I have Kudzu-how do I get rid of Kudzu?

summer_fashion(z5 IN)July 21, 2010

Just found out that I have Kudzu growing in my yard. How do I get rid of Kudzu and keep it from coming back?

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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

Your zone 5 climate should keep the kudzu under control, but it may keep sprouting each spring. I have read the it is important to destroy the crown of the plant - that will in turn cause the roots to die.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:39PM
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If you figure it out there are a lot of people in the southeast that want to know as well! there are weed killers out there that work but they are slow, need to be reapplied and kill everything around them for a long time.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:43PM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Are you sure you have kudzu? What steps have you taken to ensure a correct identification?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 8:20PM
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This is a good question for the Garden Web Weed Forum. Just click on "Other Forums" above.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 9:18PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

I suggested she may have Kudzu. I visited her home Tuesday (a three hour drive) to get some cuttings of a few roses, one of which she was told by Rogue Valley Roses, she may have the only living specimen. She requested I try to save the plant and wanted to send it to me. Too hot so I took cuttings and will attempt to root them.
While there I noticed creeping charlie and a big leafed climber had taken over her yard and was climbing the trees and poles. I realize kudzu normally doesn't grow this far north and told her that but with global warming and our mild winters lately one never knows if it's becoming acclimated to colder growing zones. She's in zone 5b or 6a. Today, I offered her the possibility that it could also be a wild grape vine but it looked more like the kudzu I've seen in the south.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:10PM
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Kudzu will eventually develop a large tuber. In an old plant it can grow to be 4 foot long and weigh 20 pounds or more. In most cases it is smaller, but in all cases if you do not dig up the rhizome the plant will return in the spring.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Kudzu is in the pea family, and has a trifoliate leaf that vaguely resembles the leaf of a common bean, or a soybean. Was the leaf trifoliate or was it entire (as a grape leaf would be)?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 12:00AM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Something else to consider is yellow passionflower vine. It is aggressive as all getout and native to northern climes to boot.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 12:49AM
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summer_fashion(z5 IN)

With the help of the head reference librarian (who also has done gardening and is very familiar with Kudzu) we found that Kudzu has established itself as far North as Morgan County (that's north of where I live in Monroe County). If I got a Flame Dragon flame weeder and used it on the Kudzu looking vine would that kill it and would it stay dead?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:10AM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

A torch will kill off the topgrowth, reducing nutrients to the roots. It can be effective if you keep applying the heat to new growth until the plant no longer returns, because you are essentially starving the plant.

I would think that a better route would be to cut it way back and apply an appropriate herbicide to the stump(s). This is a higher likelihood of roots also dying off.

I would still get an accurate ID, because plants will respond differently to different treatments, and not all "rules" apply equally across the board.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Not too long ago, I heard on the news that apparently they have found kudzu growing south of Montreal, near the U.S. border. From what I read, it's a real menace in the south. Because we have a pesticide ban up here though, getting rid of it could prove problematic. I hope our winters keep it in check.
We are also having problems with giant Hogweed sprouting up all over the place (sap can cause serious rashes and possible blindness)and all the city can do is put yellow police tape, metal barricades and warning signs up in the parks - no herbicides allowed! Somehow I can't see our city workers digging up all those plants and disposing of them...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:17AM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

This is not the place to sell DVDs or anything else for that matter. HiJacking a tread is against the rules and will be reported.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:32AM
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summer_fashion(z5 IN)

I was talking to someone here in Bloomington and he told me that a good way to get rid of Kudzu is to paint or pour a little gasoline (just enough to cover the cut stub) and this is a very effective and safer way than Round-Up (which will travel down through the roots of whatever you're trying to kill and kill the grass around the weed). This happened to me, I very carefully painted RoundUp on the cut stub of a weed tree (called Tree of Heaven here in Indiana) and it killed the grass in a four inch diameter circle around the weed tree. Any of you ever try the gasoline on the cut stub of a weed? Could you let me know whether it really works? This person said that it'll work on Grape Vines as well as Kudzu. Hope he's right.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:26AM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

The difference is that petroleum products like gas are residual in your soil while things like Roundup become inert nearly the instant they touch the soil.

Roundup is safer and more effective. I have my doubts whether the Roundup actually traveled from tree to grass roots. More likely what happened is that some got on the grass itself. Regardless, a four inch circle is a very small price to pay for destruction of a nasty invader.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:52AM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

Yeah, been there & done that, sort of. My ex-husband was NOT a gardener and he had heard the same thing. Liked to use gasoline as weed killer. Notice I said EX husband.

It worked, but not any better or worse than Round-up. It does, however, smell a lot worse and it's FLAMMABLE. Two 'No' votes for gasoline in my book. And the gas made the soil totally NOT viable for any living thing for at least the rest of that growing season.

The less I have to buy & use gasoline, the happier I am.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:54AM
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summer_fashion(z5 IN)

Guess I'll stick to my original plan which is to cut and chop down the Kudzu/Grape vine and then use a Flame Weeder on the stub. Hope this will kill the thing permanently. Margaret

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:04AM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Just keep after the new shoots...you'll get it eventually, especially if you weaken it significantly before our cold winter starts. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:16AM
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Kudzu grows extremely fast. My brother said if you plant it under a window, make sure the window is nailed shut before you plant. LOL


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:47PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Out of curiosity, what is the rose, Karl, of which she may have the last living specimen, per RVR?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 5:45PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Mandarin. I don't know, I didn't check.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:11PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Down here, Kudzu can grow 18 inches in one day. It strangles huges trees. I see huge swaths of it cut down, but it comes back every year. It starts to die out about now. But I would think it would be less of a problem up north.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:50PM
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summer_fashion(z5 IN)

Kstrong, the rose is Mandarin a Floribunda from Vintage. If you email Gregg Lowry at Vintage he'll fill you in on what happened to the only Mandarin that they had. Gophers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 10:28AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Hmmm, HMF says Cliff has one, and also the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden. Do you know differently?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:03AM
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roseman(Z 8A GA)

I live in southeast Georgia, and know what Kudzu is and what it was initially intended for when introduced. I have seen whole buildings engulfed with the stuff. RoundUp on the leaves, lots of patience, and abundant prayer will eventually get rid of it for you, but be prepared for the long haul.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:44AM
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summer_fashion(z5 IN)

Kstrong I don't know why you feel the need to challenge. Since you doubt me I strongly suggest that you go directly to the source, Gregg Lowery at Vintage Gardens and ask him about Mandarin. Also, if Mandarin was still available at this Cliff person's or the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, don't you think Gregg would have driven down (after all Sebastopol is only about an hours drive up the coast from San Jose and Gregg does a lot of Rose Rustling-He's the one who took cuttings of a red climber, Bardou Job from the Alcatraz Prison grounds. Now that you have hi-jacked this Kudzu thread I suggest you quit hi-jacking.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:32AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

I am sorry you take offense summer fashion -- I was just trying to point out that there are other places for this rare rose. As the grower of over 600 roses, many of which are rare, I try to do my part to keep some of these in commerce, and have given cuttings to many different growers. My initial question was simply directed at trying to figure out if I had the rose that was supposedly "the last one," and if I did have it, to get it out there to some distributers. FYI -- Cliff is the proprieter of Eurodesert Roses and he specializes in distributing rare roses. And to answer your question about Gregg -- no I do not think he would necessarily have driven down and gotten another one -- he has his hands full keeping all the roses already in his 4000 rose collection. I would be shocked if he were adding more, even if he happens to lose one.

As for you complaint about "hi-jacking", I am sorry that you posted your Kudzu question on the rose board. Maybe you should have put it on the appropriate forum in the first place, rather than worrying about someone changing the subject of your post back to the subject of the board.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kudzu on HMF

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 10:46AM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Be nice kids!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 12:08PM
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mgleason56(Michigan 5b)

WOW! That got nasty. Never read this until I saw a reference to it in another post. Summer fashion - I do not think kdstrong was trying to hijack, but your statement of a nearly extinct rose would get lots of us wondering about it. It was a justifiable question in my opinion. I know Greg lost a few to a pocket gopher, so he might not have it any longer. San jose Heritage Rose Garden supposedly is not updated, so maybe they do not have. We can easily figure this out. Karl - did you get some good cuttings?
Now kill that d**n kudzu and lets all be nice to each other.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 11:48PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

MGleason -- I heard this back from the curator of the San Jose Heritage Gardens when I raised the inquiry in response to this thread:

"It's still in our database. I can't guarantee it's still in the garden without going there and looking, but it was in good health as of last fall when I took inventory. And Gregg may have already gotten cuttings from us to start a new plant when he came to the garden last month. Sounds like it's pretty rare, so we'll try to propagate a few more of them for next year's sale."


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:00AM
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