I did not take this plant seriously when it first appeared in my garden – after all, if you let it go long enough, it will give you beautiful white morning glory flowers. But by then you are in big trouble! After a couple years of my tolerating this plant and not aggressively eliminating it, it had taken over my peonies (and I have a dozen plants) and spread to other areas. So here’s what to do.
- Pour a small amount of a strong weed killer, full strength, into a small jar. I use Ortho’s Poison Ivy Killer, but check labels. Maybe Roundup would also work. It needs to be something systemic, that the plant drinks in and gets killed to the root. Get some Q-tips and head out to the field of battle.
- Follow the vine down to its root. You will often find that several vines grow from the same root.
- Hold the base of the plant and paint it with the full-strength weed killer using the Q-tip. Make sure you fully coat the bottom inch or two.
- Break off the vine within the area that you painted. For good measure, you can also paint the newly exposed tip.
- Throw out the vines you have removed. Do NOT compost, as they could regrow. They are most pernicious.
- As you walk away, tired, thinking the battle is over for now, you will see another. Don’t say, ‘Oh, it’s just little. I’ll get it later.’ DO IT THEN! You will be glad you did.
I hope you read this post soon enough to avoid an infestation in your yard, but if not, following these tips will get the enemy well under control. Yes, weeds are flowers, too. But I do draw the line somewhere!