MegaMike
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How to kill a creeping vine growing out of control

I have a problem that has been developing over the last several years. A vine has been crawling up a 20 foot brick wall in my garden. It has now reached the top and I am afraid that it's starting to grow down into my neighbor's yard on the other side of the wall. It is also slowly creeping to the apartment windows of other neighbors nearby (the lady on the third floor has already complained about insects).

I've tried to kill it by cutting the vines, thus separating the growth above from the roots below. But that has yielded no result.

I'm sorry but I don't know what type of vine it is (the kind that grows like crazy!).

So, any suggestions on how to kill it? Should I just buy a herbicide and spray all the leafs (20 feet high and a length of 10 feet)?

Via these links can you find photos of the vine and its branches which appear to have roots going up the length of the wall.

Finally, I live in Holland where the winter temperature is cold, but only drops below freeze point about 4 weeks a year. It is quite wet though.

Any suggestions would be welcome.
Last edited by MegaMike on Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Cutting the vines kills all the growth above the cut, so is a good thing to do. It does not kill the plant which can grow back amazingly rapidly.

So don't spray all the leaves, just a waste and spreading more poison around. Cut the vines off just a few inches above the ground, then paint the cut stumps with Round-Up or whatever you are using (if you don't like poison, a concentrated vinegar/salt solution will work - simmer the vinegar a little to drive some of the water out of it and concentrate it more). You have to do this when the plant is actively growing, so it will uptake the herbicide.
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MegaMike
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Been there; done that :-)

rainbowgardener wrote:Cutting the vines kills all the growth above the cut, so is a good thing to do. It does not kill the plant which can grow back amazingly rapidly.

So don't spray all the leaves, just a waste and spreading more poison around. Cut the vines off just a few inches above the ground, then paint the cut stumps with Round-Up or whatever you are using (if you don't like poison, a concentrated vinegar/salt solution will work - simmer the vinegar a little to drive some of the water out of it and concentrate it more). You have to do this when the plant is actively growing, so it will uptake the herbicide.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I already tried cutting through all the vines at the end of last summer. Everything above the cut is still green, and I assume will continue growing this spring.

By the way, I don't know what kind of vine it is, but it stays green all year long, even in the winter. Does that help any???

gumbo2176
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Re: Been there; done that :-)

MegaMike wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion, but I already tried cutting through all the vines at the end of last summer. Everything above the cut is still green, and I assume will continue growing this spring.

By the way, I don't know what kind of vine it is, but it stays green all year long, even in the winter. Does that help any???

Does the vine have tendrils, or claw like things that help it hold on to what it's growing on. Lots of vines have those that allow it to cling to many different surfaces. Some have root-like appendages that will burrow into the mortar in brick and also fasten to wood, especially unpainted wood surfaces. If let alone, it can damage the surface of the fence, house, etc.

If you could post a pic or possibly do research on vining plants, that may help you to identify it.

gumbo2176
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Also, you mention it stays green even in the winter. I live in New Orleans and our winters will not kill off vines. Our northern members would likely lose their vines. It may help to know where you live and what your climate is.

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rainbowgardener
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"Thanks for the suggestion, but I already tried cutting through all the vines at the end of last summer. Everything above the cut is still green, and I assume will continue growing this spring. "

I don't know, maybe you have some southern kudzu thing that reacts differently and can actually function like an air plant. In my northerner experience, if the vine is really disconnected from the root, it can't grow. Sometimes I cut big vigorous vines (like trumpet creeper!) in two places, taking out a chunk in the middle to be sure it is really disconnected. If the vine or any part of it is growing along the ground, then it can send down roots where ever it is touching, so that is a different story. If it is ivy, it can continue to look green, but it still can't grow. I have thrown ivy branches into a compost pile (no longer do that! :) ) and pulled it out a year later looking green and fresh. Probably if I had replanted it at that point, it could still have grown. But as long as it has no roots, it can't grow. Some vines that are growing up trees, can become parasites on the tree, putting roots into the tree and taking from it. In that case also they would not die if disconnected from the ground.

But again, until the stump is killed it will continue to sprout new vines. I had a huge old trumpet creeper that I cut off just above ground level, but didn't kill. In one season I had a bunch of 15' vines. The big old roots had tons of growing power!
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*dim*
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you need to cut an inch or two off the main stems near the ground (don't just cut through the stem .... there has to be a gap between the stem in the ground, and the stem above the cut)

wait a few weeks and see if it starts to die .... if not, you may need to use roundup, but you need to spray it on the leaves (don't paint the stem as it wont work)

and if you use roundup or glyphosate, ensure that it does not rain for at least 6-8 hrs after applying

sounds like it could be russian vine (mile a minute) .... does it have white flowers in summer?
Spend sixpence on the plant but a shilling on the hole - Anon

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tomf
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If you want to kill it then you will have to use a woody herbicide, Roundup will only make it sick and will most likely not kill it. Crossbow is as good as they get. What works the best is to mix a batch of Crossbow as directed and then not adding any more water put in the amount of Roundup for that much liquid, add a small amount of dish soap or mineral oil to help it stick. Spray the whole thing down, it will take a week or so to kill it off good, but you will see it start to die in a day or so. DO NOT CUT THE PLANT BACK! The more green to take the herbicide to the roots the better.
Take a photo of it and post the picture some one will know what it is.

MegaMike
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Re: Been there; done that :-)

gumbo2176 wrote:
MegaMike wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion, but I already tried cutting through all the vines at the end of last summer. Everything above the cut is still green, and I assume will continue growing this spring.

By the way, I don't know what kind of vine it is, but it stays green all year long, even in the winter. Does that help any???

Does the vine have tendrils, or claw like things that help it hold on to what it's growing on. Lots of vines have those that allow it to cling to many different surfaces. Some have root-like appendages that will burrow into the mortar in brick and also fasten to wood, especially unpainted wood surfaces. If let alone, it can damage the surface of the fence, house, etc.

If you could post a pic or possibly do research on vining plants, that may help you to identify it.
Thanks for the reply. Check my original posting because I've now included links to photos to try to help identify this plant. There is also additional information about where I live if that helps.

MegaMike
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tomf wrote:If you want to kill it then you will have to use a woody herbicide, Roundup will only make it sick and will most likely not kill it. Crossbow is as good as they get. What works the best is to mix a batch of Crossbow as directed and then not adding any more water put in the amount of Roundup for that much liquid, add a small amount of dish soap or mineral oil to help it stick. Spray the whole thing down, it will take a week or so to kill it off good, but you will see it start to die in a day or so. DO NOT CUT THE PLANT BACK! The more green to take the herbicide to the roots the better.
Take a photo of it and post the picture some one will know what it is.
Thanks for the information. Check out my original posting because I've added a link to a couple of photos that I hope will help to identify this plant. I live in Europe, so I'm not sure if I'll find Crossbow on the shelf here. Maybe you can identify it's most important ingredients and then I can shop for something.

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tomf
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Sure looks like English Ivy, it is an invasive plant, nasty tree killer, show no mercy!

*dim*
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tomf wrote:Sure looks like English Ivy, it is an invasive plant, nasty tree killer, show no mercy!
I never checked the pics before my previous post .... it is english ivy .... and it's nasty, but easily taken care of

chop the stems at the base and remove a section as previously mentioned

it is also easy to remove by hand (wear gloves, and use a building trowel to get between the stems and the wall) .... just rip it off in sections
Spend sixpence on the plant but a shilling on the hole - Anon

MegaMike
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*dim* wrote:
tomf wrote:Sure looks like English Ivy, it is an invasive plant, nasty tree killer, show no mercy!
I never checked the pics before my previous post .... it is english ivy .... and it's nasty, but easily taken care of

chop the stems at the base and remove a section as previously mentioned

it is also easy to remove by hand (wear gloves, and use a building trowel to get between the stems and the wall) .... just rip it off in sections
Thanks for the identification. I've already made a cut through the branches of the vine about one yard from the ground. This was done the entire length of the vine. What I will do is rip out everything below this cut, down to the roots if that's possible.

cynthia_h
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Rip out/off as much as you can reach. I fought with English ivy at the house in Berkeley as long as we lived there. I cannot use chemicals for personal health reasons, so I had to use physical means. :(

Cutting it at the roots is the first step. Then remove as much as you can reach from that cut upwards. Bag the plants so they cannot re-root into the ground. Do *not* compost them. Dispose of them in whatever way your town allows. This is one time when it may be necessary to dispose of a plant in the garbage waste stream, sadly.

Then get a ladder and remove the next amount of ivy you can safely reach. Bag it up and dispose of it, too.

By now, a few weeks may have passed. Time to look at those roots again. Rake out any loose leaves, twigs, or other "plant parts" that have fallen while you've been tearing ivy off of walls and trees. Bag up the raked leaves, etc. Pull up whatever roots you can. Right after a rain is an excellent time to pull up roots; the ground is softer then, and you'll be able to pull out longer lengths than are usually possible. :)

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chermom
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Have you tried salt? We would get these huge picker bushes in the yard and my dad would use a screwdriver to pop it out of the ground and then poured ordinary table salt into the hole. the picker bushes never came back in that spot. It may work for your vine problem and its cheap and safe for the ground.

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