LawnGnome
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Has anyone met this plant before?

Hey guys and gals. I'm new to the forums and would like to say HELLO, first of all! My name is Andrew and I live in south central Pennsylvania USA.

My wife and I purchased our first home back in December of 2013. In the spring of 2014 I made 5 4'x6' raised garden beds so we could grow some veggies. I made a nice brick walkway inbetween the beds and everything. Everything was beautiful! Several weeks passed and I would weed out the walkway, spray a little weed killer down to make it easier. Well then I started noticing the same exact plant/weed/vine would keep coming back. "OK" I thought, it's season will pass and simply die out. Months passed and the same thing kept coming back. Towards the end of the summer I tried to go on the offensive and saturated the walkway with weed killer on top of pulling and killing anything that was coming up out of the walk way. After this it still persisted and I basically gave up for a few weeks. Once winter came the plant finally ceased growing... Until again this spring.

I've tried desperately looking it up on google, but I can't even figure out the name of this plant, let alone find anyone with pictures of it. I've attached some pictures in hopes that someone has also faced this foe. It seems to me to be an underground redish vine. It seems to all be connected underground somehow and spreads outwards. No use in suffocating it from light, because it's vines will grow outwards indefinitely until it's little vines/roots find light. Once they fine light the tips will begin to sprout reddish leaves. When I gave up, the vines would grow upwards as stems and the leaves got bigger and redder. I'm at my wits end, please help!! Thank you!
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KeyWee
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Location: West Kentucky

Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

I can't be sure, but it looks a bit like houttuynia, and if it IS, I am very sorry. I made the mistake of actually planting this from a friend's yard (because she liked it and recommended it). BIG mistake. If it has a weird smell (like plastic ~ that's as close as I can get) when you pull it ~ bingo. I have sprayed and pulled and stomped and everything ~ to no avail, and I am still fighting it as we speak. This is a devil plant.

LawnGnome
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

KeyWee, thanks for the reply! I looked up houttuynia in Google images and I'm not sure if that's exactly it. Although if this plant is also extremely hard to get rid of them maybe I could attack my weed using the same methods.

I'll try to take a few more pictures, especially when it starts to sprout out of the dirt.

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KeyWee
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

Once it starts to show more leaves (and if it IS houttuynia) you may notice more colors in the foliage, especially if it gets a little sun. It will also present a small white flower on top. And while it is not necessarily an unattractive plant, it is very invasive and if you leave just 1/4" of root in the ground, you are done for. I sprayed mine (AGAIN) yesterday, and am hoping to be able to plant something else in that spot in a couple of weeks. Yeah, maybe ............

LawnGnome
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

Ok, more pictures! Hopefully this helps identify it. If not, I'll have to let one grow larger.
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imafan26
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

It kind of reminds me of ajuga. The leaves can have different colors depending on whether it is in the sun or the shade. It is a spreading ground cover and the nodes on the runner looks like it is from some kind of spreading plant.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

purpleinopp
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

Compare to Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum, Fallopia japonica)

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applestar
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

Good call @purpleinopp :D

I thought they are usually green but apparently new shoots can have dark red leaves. I don't have these in my garden (so far) but I see them in someone else's garden along the way to the post office. :x
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

LawnGnome
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

Thanks for confirming Purpleinopp! After posting those pictures last evening I started to Google the worst weeds ever and of course "Japanese Knotweed" came up somewhere on that list, and I thought it looked fairly similar.

Well after researching it further, I have come to the realization that I should probably sell my house :evil:
The worst thing is that it's not even contained within my yard. It's growing in between my neighbors fence, which happens to be a rental property, and my property. So I guess no matter how much I try to kill this plant, it will forever live. And with me just pulling out the new sprouts, I was just throwing them onto my brick pathway until it shriveled up and "died". Well apparently if little pieces of the roots broke off and fell in between the cracks... well I'm just further helping it spread.

Also it has been confirmed that even Roundup is completely useless at killing this. -wall- -wall- -wall- -wall-

purpleinopp
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Re: Has anyone met this plant before?

So sorry :( I'd prefer to be wrong about that.

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