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How To Control KudzuKudzu control

For farmers and landowners, a troublesome invasive vine that has been quite hard to control is one native from Japan known as kudzu. This vine can very quickly grow out of control where it is established to the point where it has been nicknamed the "foot a night vine", the "mile a minute vine" and in some cases the "vine that ate the South." Removing the kudzu vine which has been becoming widespread in the southeastern United States has grown into a major issue and is something that people have been frustrated with managing, however there are ways to control it and it starts with learning about this invasive plant.

Kudzu was brought over to the U.S. from Japan as far back as the 1800’s in order to help with erosion control. The government paid farmers to grow this plant and help improve agriculture since it was known to be a fast growing ground cover and good foraging crop. However, it was learned to be a mistake as the vine would grow well beyond where it was intended to grow and would overtake lands and virtually anything that gets in its way, whether they are vehicles or houses.

The kudzu vine can grow up to 12 feet in a day and is not slowed down by poor conditions. The vines can grow up and over almost any structure and literally covers objects with it’s fast-growing vegetation.  What helps it to thrive is it’s characteristics such as very deep taproots that are almost impossible to dig out entirely. Also, kudzu contains main crown and then smaller crowns as the stems root at internodes. Any crown left behind in the soil while trying to carry out control measures can cause the plant to resprout and come back with a vengeance.

If you have kudzu growing on your lawn, Solutions Pest and Lawn can provide you with the tips and tools that can defeat this invasive weed for good.

Browse our recommended Kudzu control products below. If you ever have any questions, we can be reached at any time via email, online live chat or phone.


 

How To Get Rid of Kudzu: 4 Step Solution

As difficult and frustrating as kudzu is, it is possible to put a stop to them reduce and completely kill off the invasive plant. Using only mechanical or manual means will leave you in disappointment when kudzu grows right back with no intention of stopping. This is when it is best to use chemical means of treatment to ensure that kudzu is not only taken out, but they stay gone. Check out our simple steps below to learn how to manage this irritating plant.


Step 1: Identification. 
First and foremost it is important to identify and be completely sure that the plant that you are dealing with on your land is in fact, kudzu. There are other plants which look similar to kudzu so it can be easy to confuse it with other plants.


Kudzu is a climbing, semi-woody, perennial vine hailing from the pea family. It has deciduous leaves are alternate and compound, with three broad leaflets up to 4 inches across. Leaflets may be entire or deeply 2-3 lobed with hairy margins. Individual flowers, about 1/2 inch long, are purple, highly fragrant and borne in long hanging clusters. Flowering in late summer is followed by production of brown, hairy, flattened, seed pods, each of which contains three to ten hard seeds.

 

If you are not totally sure via independent research, we recommend you to email us a photo at identification@solutionsstores.com and we will be able to accurately ID the plant and then present you with recommendations for control.

Step 2: Inspection. Once you have properly identified the plant as kudzu, we recommend using tools, whatever you prefer, to begin cutting down the kudzu vines. Survey the area to see where the vine is growing and whether it is a safe area to move forward with chopping down. Once the proper safety measures are placed and the area is analyzed you can then mow or cut the vegetation down until it gets to the ground level. Loppers tend to work well with this plant.


Step 3: Control.
Finally, it’s time to break out the big guns and use herbicides to kill off the kudzu plant for good. We recommend using either brush killer with triplocyr or 2,4D with dicamba or even going the systemic route with glyphosate. Apply liberally to sufficiently kill the plant. Repeated application may be necessary to ensure total eradication. Apply to freshly cut stumps.


Step 4: Prevention. Typically, it takes about 10 years of persistent herbicide applications to get rid of kudzu. Mow short and repeat treatment applications during the growing season to fend off this invasive vine.

 

Learn More About Kudzu 

At face value, kudzu looks pleasant and harmless, but when this vine grows out of control, it quickly becomes something out of a horror movie on landscapes. Kudzu has been regarded as "The Vine that Ate The South" because of how easily and quickly this invasive plant takes over native plants and spaces that it has infiltrated. 


Native to Japan, Kudzu was introduced to the US in the 1800's as a forage crop and possibly because someone thought it looked nice but boy did it take! Now, kudzu covers 7 million acres in the southeast and grows about a foot a day if the conditions are right. 


Because it is in an area that's out of its native origin, it doesn't have any natural predators. During a long growing season with plenty of rainfall and a lack of insect pests, kudzu can really thrive and spread like wildfire on a landscape.

 

The main problem with kudzu is it chokes out other vegetation by blocking sunlight. It's hard to get rid of because it often grows in hard-to-reach places. This can make it difficult to let livestock loose on it or use chemicals. In some cases, this sports cliche applies: "you can't stop kudzu, you can only hope to contain it"

 

A lot of times, control boils down to something that will hinder it's spread rather than totally eradicate it. A chemical application will knock the kudzu back to keep it from invading areas that haven't been affected by its spread yet. Kudzu will grow just about anywhere but it really enjoys and thrives in areas where the summers are hot and the winters are mild and the soil isn't too sandy. This makes most of the southern states in the country Kudzu central.

 

Kudzu is mostly found along roadways and the edge of forests but it can infringe on horticulture and landscaping so it can potentially become a major problem in residential areas and drive homeowners crazy because you may have to constantly attack it with herbicide because there's really no other effective way to get rid of it.

 

On the upside, kudzu does prevent some soil erosion and may even one day be used as an alternative fuel. For now, however, kudzu is going to grow and grow and grow and there's not much we can do about it aside from cut it back and spray it off your property.

 

Additional Kudzu Resources

5 Facts About Kudzu Vine - Southern Living

 

Kudzu Plant History, Identification, and Control - Lawn Care Academy

 

 

 

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