Virginia creeper, scientifically renowned as Parthenocissus quinquefolia, is a type of vine with unique abilities to grow on any soil, trees, and shrubs. Though this ability has some benefits, it is also highly bothersome in instances where it grows invasively. The vine is detrimental to the survival of most garden plants since it covers them and deprives them of their necessities; oxygen and light. Let’s look at how to get rid of Virginia Creeper.
Why You Want to Destroy Virginia Creeper
People have often used the term ‘five-leaved ivy’ to refer to the plant because it contains five-leaf stems. Although the weed has pretty unpleasant abilities, there are cases where people plant it purposefully.
During such instances, some of the notable pros include its color (deep-red), it’s excellent covering, and ability to withstand harsh environments, makes maintaining the plant easy.
The plant yields small dark fruits that birds and other garden wildlife eat. In contrast, the fruits are poisonous to people.
Some of the other leading unpleasant qualities of the plant to people include their leaves’ ability to irritate and cause blistering when people contact them.
Furthermore, when the need arises, people realize that getting rid of the vine is not a walk in the park. These qualities are some of the core reasons why people consult experts on probable methods of getting rid of the vine.
In this article, we address the question by taking a perspective on the various techniques that gardeners employ to do away with the Virginia Creeper.
Various Techniques Employed to Do Away with Virginia Creeper
1. Physical Removal
This technique involves using hands to eradicate the plant by pulling it from the ground or cutting its stem. Note that, due to the irritation it causes, it is paramount to wear gloves when employing these techniques.
Cut back the stem and pull it from the trees, shrubs, fences, or structures it has covered.
Furthermore, it is vital to cut the plant to the ground level and afterward dispose of (preferably by burning) its berries and seeds.
You can reduce the odds it’ll come back by applying herbicides that kill the plant and the root system at the cutting points.
2. Use of Herbicide to Destroy the Remainder of the Virginia Creeper
Experts have advocated Glysophate as the herbicide of choice for destroying the weed. Effective use of the herbicide involves the following steps;
- Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. The first step involves diluting Glysophate using water to achieve the recommended quantities.
- Put on the gloves
- Using a foam paintbrush, paint the cut stems with the diluted solution while avoiding contact with other plants since they will also get destroyed.
- Afterward, ensure to occasionally check for shoots or growth on the cut stems and reapply the herbicide.
3. Destroying Virginia Creeper using Vinegar and Water
Garden professionals have recommended using vinegar as a way of eliminating Virginia creeper. T
hey note that vinegar is quite acidic, a quality that makes it suitable for killing the weed. However, the initial step of destroying the plant using vinegar involves cutting it, after, the vinegar concoction is applied.
Mix vinegar and water in a 20:80 ratio. Then, put the mixture in a sprayer and spray the plant.
Vinegar should utterly destroy the plant in about three days.
Note that vinegar can also kill other plants, and you should be careful not to spray them since they will equally get destroyed in the process. Once the plant is destroyed, it is vital to add some manure to the soil to neutralize the acidity.
4. Use Mulch to Get Rid of Virginia Creeper
This technique is effective when the creeper is growing on the ground. Cover the land where the plant grows with a thick layer of mulch. It works by depriving the plant of its essentials (water, sunlight, and air). Without these essentials, the plant will ultimately die. However, the technique is not as fast as others and requires some time.
5. Use of Rock Salt to Destroy the Virginia Creeper
Use this method only when there are no desirable plants in the target location. This is because the salt will take some time to wash away from the soil.
It involves mixing a cup of rock salt into a gallon of hot water and then giving it some time to dissolve. This is followed by pouring the mixture around the base of the Virginia creeper. The method is highly effective and delivers results after a few days.
6. Use of Boiling Water to Get Rid of Virginia Creeper
This is a technique that involves the use of water at elevated temperatures to destroy the plant. The initial step when employing this method involves cutting the Virginia creeper to the ground level. Afterward, boil the water until it boils and pour it at the plant’s base. However, the process may require continued applications to eliminate the roots.
You can kill other, desired, plants when killing Virginia Creeper. So Be careful.
The Bottom Line
Virginia creeper is a vine that often grows on many gardens unnecessarily, but people also grow the plants for specific purposes in some instances. Whether the presence of the plant in the garden is purposeful or as an invading weed, it is crucial to understand the various methods that can effectively eliminate the plant and the related details.
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