How do I control weedy vines?


How do I control weedy vines?


Weedy vines are fast growing plants, getting very large in a relatively short amount of time often climbing and covering other garden plants. If left to grow, they can smother other plants blocking out light and killing the desirable plant.

Keeping ahead of weeds and controlling them when they are small is essential for good weed management. This requires persistence throughout the entire growing season to remove weeds as they emerge or resprout. There are several management options for vining weeds. 

Pulling and digging is best for small, newly emerged weeds and is done more easily after a soaking rain or deep watering.  Utilize a trowel, spade, or weeding tool to dig and pull the plant out of the ground. 

Persistent and frequent cutting or mowing will eventually exhaust the root system and kill the vine over the period of several growing seasons. This method of eradication is only effective if the vine is never allowed to grow new top growth.

Systemic herbicides, such as glyphosate or triclopyr, can be sprayed on the foliage of the vine.  A foliar application of herbicide can only be used if the vine is not climbing or rambling on a desirable plant as the herbicide will impact any green plant it comes in contact with.  Protect nearby garden plants with barriers like buckets, boxes, plastic bags, or plastic sheets to reduce problems with drift or overspray. Herbicides must be used according to label instructions on the package. 

Herbicide can also be used in a cut and treat application.  Cut stump herbicide applications involve cutting the vine off near the base and applying a systemic herbicide, such as glyphosate or triclopyr, directly to the cut surface as quickly as possible after the cut has been made and the sawdust has been brushed aside.  Utilize a sprayer, squirt bottle, or foam brush to apply herbicide to the entire cut surface of the stump. If the stump resprouts, cut and treat again or apply a foliar spray to the new growth.  Multiple applications are frequently needed. 

More detailed information on controlling weedy vines can be found in this article: Managing Weedy Vines

Answered by
  • Specialist
  • Consumer Horticulture Extension
Last updated on
March 19, 2024