Best Tips: How To Kill Invasive Vines and How To Prevent

Invasive vines are a common problem in residential areas such as your yard or garden. Vines can grow and spread quickly, encasing an entire tree or a building in their grasp. Therefore, there are some steps you should take to remove invasive vines. According to our garden experts, killing invasive vines earlier is a simple way to save your plants without harming the soil. That’s because it’s easier to kill a vine while it’s at its smallest stage than once it has grown roots, produced seeds and expanded.

However, if your garden already turns into a vine forest, don’t worry! There are still many ways on how to kill invasive vines and solve the problem! From the natural method to the chemical ways, you should be flexible and get ready for a long day of work to get the best results.

In order to succeed in your killing vines mission, we are here to help you understand more about invasive vines and the best way to get rid of them! Let’s get started!

The Invasive Vines

Invasive vines are non-native species that have a propensity to spread uncontrolled. The term “invasive” refers to plants from other places that have been imported and have taken off like wildfire in their new environments. Some vines are regarded as invasive species because they can easily invade natural regions and provide a risk to the stability of the ecosystems there.

how to kill invasive vines
The Invasive Vines

1. What Are Invasive Climbing Vines?

Just like their name, invasive climbing vines grow vertically, reaching out to higher locations to survive. They look for higher places to get more sunlight. Usually, they will grow in tree canopy or wall. Ivy and crepe are examples of invasive climbing plants that you may find in your garden.

However, they may also create an extreme shade for trees that also need sunlight for photosynthesis. Its invasive growth may cover up these trees and slow down their growth. If you don’t remove invasive plants properly, it may kill your trees slowly.

2. Why Do Vines Climb Up Trees?

Vines climb trees to get closer to the tree canopy and more sunlight. To do an invasive climbing, vines have the ability to connect to surfaces like a tree trunk with sticky pads or adventitious roots, spiral upward with twining stems, and stretch out with tendrils for the journey. However, the development of a tree slows down as a vine reaches its crown.

3. The Reason Why Invasive Vines Could Kill The A Tree

Invasive vines could kill trees in some ways. After a tree is dominated by invasive vines, the tree growth may be inhibited and cause death if you don’t cut the vine up the tree. Here’s some reasons why invasive vines can kill a tree:

Preventing Nutrition Pathways

Some vines can girdle a tree so tightly that they literally strangle it, preventing it from receiving nutrition.

Blocking Sunlight

Invasive vines also prevent the sun from reaching the tree’s leaves, stopping photosynthesis and ultimately killing the tree.

Reduce Fecundity

In addition, invasive vines decrease a tree’s ability to reproduce since it has limited energy. Additionally, vine-infested trees succumb to death much more quickly.

What Kills Vines Permanently?

Killing vines requires a lot of energy, and you may want to remove them permanently. We agree that gardening would be a lot more fun if we didn’t have to deal with vines over and over again. If you don’t know how to kill invasive vines naturally, then using aid ingredients will be very useful. For the control of weedy vines, we recommend you to use herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr for the best results.

1. How Do You Get Rid of Invasive Vines Naturally?

It can be difficult to get vines out of your garden, but there is a natural way to eradicate vine! If you are looking for smart tips on how to kill invasive vines naturally, then you come to the right place!

how to kill invasive vines
Get Rid of Invasive Vines Naturally

Let us give you some tips on how to kill vines naturally in your garden!

Use Flat Tools for Climbing Vines from Trees and Walls

Use a solid, flat tool to pry climbing vines from trees or structures. We recommend you to use a long, flat instrument to peel vines away without damaging the trees or other surfaces they are clinging to. Gently wedge each vine between the surface it is clinging to and a screwdriver, crowbar, or other similar tool. After that, pull the vine slowly up and away.

Prune Vines To The Roots

You can use pruning shears or a pruning saw while removing vines. Trim climbing vines at a height of three to five feet. Depending on the thickness of the vines, use pruning shears or a razor-tooth pruning saw while killing underground vines. This makes getting rid of the vine’s roots easier.

The Power of Hands

Hand is a powerful tool to remove the vine’s roots from the ground. You ought to be able to locate the vine’s roots if it’s still a little vine. To completely dig out the root system, consider pulling the vine off by hand or use a shovel or trowel.

Lawn Mower for Vines on The Ground

Cutting down ground cover vines with a lawnmower will restrict their growth. Instead of rolling over difficult vines, use a gas-powered equipment with enough power to chop through them. This can be done at least three to four times a year to gradually kill the vine.

Cover The Ground with Mulch

Thoroughly cover the area to completely cut off the vines’ access to light, sun, and air, which will cause them to die within a few weeks. This is the organic side that can’t kill invasive vines permanently, but it will slow down their growth.

Use Vinegar Solution

Fill an outdoor sprayer or spray container with a solution of 80% water and 20% white vinegar. Apply the mixture on the vines. After two to three days, examine them and remove any vines that are dead. If required, repeat the procedure.

Use Boiling Water As An Herbicide

Pour boiling water over the vines’ root crown to kill them. Directly onto the top of the root system, where the roots meet the plant’s base, pour 3 to 4 cups of boiling water. Before that, make sure you dig into the dirt with a shovel or trowel until you find the vine root. 

2. Why Are Vine Killers Kill Vines?

If you are giving up on the exhausting natural way, vine killers are the best solution you should try! Vine killers may kill them through the leaves, go into the vines’ bloodstream, and damage the roots. Therefore, you can kill strong and thick vines by using a vine killer that contains triclopyr, the most potent kind of systemic herbicide. This will effortlessly pierce the resistant exterior of the vines.

how to kill invasive vines
Invasive Vines on Tree

When dealing with herbaceous vines, use a glyphosate herbicide. This is a gentler systemic herbicide you can use to get rid of herbaceous vines. To allow glyphosate herbicide to enter the bloodstream, spray it on vine leaves. Herbaceous vines can be killed without the use of a more potent poison since they are less resilient than woody vines.

3. The Best Vine Killer Products

Make sure you purchase the appropriate kind of vine killer product while trying to remove vines from your garden. Remember that you are investing the right amount of effort and money in the purchase of the appropriate goods. It can be difficult to select a brush killer that meets your unique requirements.

how to kill invasive vines
Remove Vines From Garden

Therefore, we have compiled the best vine killer products with underlying reasons just for you!

Roundup Concentrate

Roundup Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer does exactly what its name implies: it kills poison ivy roots. Ivy is a notorious invasive vine that may harm your plants. However, it is also a chemical that can kill woody vines, including honeysuckle, kudzu, lespedeza, and blackberry. The ready to use version has 0.1% Triclopyr and 1% Glyphosate as active ingredients. To kill the vine roots, you can simply spray it to the leaves.

Ortho Brush-B-Gon

In the form of concentrate, Brush-B-Gon contains a mixture of 24.5 percent of the active ingredient 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acid and 11.7 percent of the active ingredient 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid. You can mix 1 fl oz per gallon of water for each 200 sq ft. After that, add 6 fl oz to the sprayer jar before spreading it to the leaves. This mixture will eradicate woody plants, including stumps and vines.

Eraser 41% Glyphosate

If you are looking for a multipurpose herbicide that can kill all of unwanted plants as well as numerous others, you can consider Eraser 41% Weed Killer Herbicide. Since it is non-selective, anything to which you apply it will be killed. It has 41% glyphosate as active ingredients and surfactant for increased efficacy. You can use 2 12 fl. oz. per gallon of water for optimal results. Around 300 square feet can be treated with one gallon of water.

Southern Ag Brush Killer

This one does a good job of completely clearing away non-crop areas where unwanted vine, shrubs, and even tree stumps are required. Southern Ag Brush Killer contains triclopyr, triethylamine salt 8.8%. To get the best results, mix 8–16 teaspoons in a gallon of water and spray using a hose-end or tank sprayer.

VPG Fertilome Brush and Stump Killer

To get rid of vines, broadleaf weeds, woody, invasive shrubs, and bushes that are seen growing against fences or emerging through crevices in walkways, VPG Fertilome Brush and Stump Killer is perfect for your garden. It contains 8.8% triethylamine salt and triclopyr. You can mix 8 ounces of the concentrate with 1 gallon of water for brush application, then spray on leaves.

4. How Fast Does Vine Killer Work?

Well, it depends on the dosage of active ingredients in your vine killer mixture. The size of vines that grow in your garden also affect the efficacy rate. On average, it may take 2-3 weeks to begin seeing visible results of the vine killer. You may find the wilting and discoloration of vines.

How Fast Does Vine Killer Work
How Fast Does Vine Killer Work

Meanwhile, if you want to kill them completely, it will take longer to see the results. Large and hard to kill vines may take up to 6 weeks to completely die. You can kill strong and thick vines by using killer vine products that contain triclopyr as it is the most potent kind of systemic herbicide.

How To Kill Invasive Vines That Keep Coming Back?

To prevent younger vines coming back, you need a comprehensive killing mission. You can’t just rely on natural methods to kill them permanently. Instead, combining your natural ways with chemical ingredients from vine killers will increase the success possibility. To get the best results, you can follow these simple steps before starting the mission.

Kill Permanently
Kill Invasive Vines That Keep Coming Back

1. Remove Their Root Systems

Cutting down vines and eliminating their root systems will kill them. You can remove them manually using hands or using sharp and sturdy equipment to help. We recommend this step if you only have small and thin vines such as Algerian Ivy that are easy to remove.

2. Cut Down Near The Ground

For invasive vines which have complicated root systems like Japanese Honeysuckle, we recommend you to cut above inches from the ground. You can use a lawn mower for the simple option. Later, you can combine this step using herbicide to kill the roots.

3. Use Vine Killer That Contains Triclopyr

Triclopyr is a systemic herbicide that spreads throughout plant tissue and functions by obstructing cell division and growth. You can make a Triclopyr solution by mixing the vine killer with water, following the instructions. After that, simply inject the solution into soil or spray on the vine leaves to avoid undesirable impact to other plants. Within two to three weeks of application, vines will begin to grow abnormally and twistedly after treatment. Finally, vines will rot over a number of weeks.

4. Control Vines Growth with Natural Herbicide

To prevent vine growing again, you can maintain them with a natural and affordable solution. Therefore, we recommend you to use  a mixture of vinegar, salt, and dish soap. Mix a gallon of white vinegar, a cup of salt, and a spoonful of dish soap to get 20% natural herbicide solution. After thoroughly stirring it, pour the mixture into a spray bottle for convenient application. Then, apply the mixture on the vines. After two to three days, examine them and remove any vines that are dead. It can be the best way to control vines, which is inexpensive and efficient.

Final Thought

It’s a really easy and quite simple task if you understand how to kill invasive vines well. You can use various methods from natural to chemicals, or even combination to remove the invasive vines that harm your garden. However, the critical point is to prevent them from coming back permanently. We hope some useful tips above inspire you to succeed in the killing vines mission in your garden!


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is vine killer not working?

It may not be effective as you don’t follow the mixing instructions. Usually, if you dilute the vine killer with too much water, it will lower the dosage of active ingredients and also decrease the efficacy. Therefore, we recommend you to use the ready to use version to avoid the mistake.

Does cutting a vine kill it?

Yes, cutting the vines can be effective if you remove the vine to the root systems. As you damage the root systems, vines will eventually wither and die. Otherwise, they will come back to your garden. If you don’t know how to kill invasive vines properly, you can read the smart tips in the article above. 

Does vinegar and salt kill vines?

Yes. Vinegar works by introducing acid to a plant’s soil and leaves then killing vines effectively. Additionally, it can make the plant less efficient at transporting water. The use of salt dehydrates the plant and may result in root burn, which harms the root system and prevents the roots from transporting water and nutrients. For more tips on how to kill invasive vines, you can check in the article above.

Does bleach kill vines?

Yes. While the detergent aids in the bleach’s adhesion to the vines, the bleach will effectively kill the vines. After you spray vines, they will start to die for three to four days. Because the bleach depletes the earth of nutrients, the vines will starve to death.

Will covering vines with plastic kill them?

Yes, using plastic to kill weeds is possible. The process is also known as soil solarization or sheet mulching. It is a great natural method that requires little effort to clear vines and weeds from your garden.

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