Will Vinegar Kill Crepe Myrtle? Tips to Remove the Shrub

Removing crepe myrtle from your yard can be a challenge. Although you may cut down the main plant, you may deal with shoots coming up into your yard and strangling other plants if you don’t kill the roots. This is why it’s important to ensure you eliminate the entire plant.

You may have heard that vinegar will kill crepe myrtle, and although this may be true, you will have to take great care when using it. Below you will find some information on whether or not vinegar will kill crepe myrtle and the best ways to remove this plant from your yard or garden.

What Is Crepe Myrtle?

Will Vinegar Kill Crepe Myrtle?

There are many types of crepe myrtle. They are a deciduous type of tree or shrub that produces green leaves and vibrant flowers ranging from white to red. Usually, people plant these shrubs for ornamental purposes.

Removing Crepe Myrtle

Every once in a while, you will need to change your landscape or move a plant in order to make room for a new species. Perhaps your crepe myrtle is infected or is otherwise a competitor in your garden. In cases like these, killing the crepe myrtle entirely may be necessary.

Unfortunately, this plant is extremely robust and won’t usually die unless the roots are destroyed. Otherwise, you may continue to notice suckers coming up in your yard.

Will Vinegar Destroy the Roots?

Will Vinegar Kill Crepe Myrtle?

On your mission to kill the roots of this plant, you may have heard that vinegar will do the job, and you are wondering if this really works. In short, you can kill a crepe myrtle with vinegar, but you risk killing other plants.

In fact, vinegar is so detrimental it has been compared to other weed removers as one of the top choices for controlling unwanted foliage. Since this is the case, containing it to only the roots of the crepe myrtle will be particularly challenging. 

If you still want to try this method, below is a sample of instructions on how you might apply vinegar to the roots of this plant.

  • Step 1: Cut down the crepe myrtle to a stump and allow a few new leaves to form.
  • Step 2: Fill a bottle with undiluted white vinegar.
  • Step 3: Spray, or using a brush, paint the mixture onto any new growth and directly to the stump.

Continue this application until you no longer see any new growth in your yard. You shouldn’t do this on a windy day because there’s a good chance the vinegar will be carried to other healthy plants.


Will Vinegar Kill Crepe Myrtle?

The best way to avoid unruly roots is to ensure while planting that you have plenty of space and research which shrubs you wish to include. Of course, life can be unpredictable, and there may be no avoiding it. If you can, however, choose your foliage carefully and determine whether or not it will be a good companion in your garden.

Other Methods of Removal

If you don’t feel comfortable using vinegar on your crepe myrtle, there are plenty of other methods for destroying this plant.

Check out these alternatives:

  • Use a commercial vine or stump killer
  • Dig up and cut the roots
  • Try Epsom salt


Sometimes Crepe Myrtle needs to be removed to stop them damaging pipes, out buildings or your home. Killing crepe myrtle roots with vinegar is possible. However, it may not be the best method to use. If you ever feel unsure, it is best to consult a professional to prevent damage to your yard or other plants.