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How to Control or Kill a Trumpet Vine

How to Control or Kill a Trumpet Vine

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Known by its botanical name of Campus radicans, the flowering trumpet vine spans over a wide area of the U.S.

Some gardeners consider the vine invasive and seek methods to get rid of it. Other gardeners prefer to contain the vine so they can highlight its lovely yet unruly beauty.

The following information can help you reduce the vine or remove it from your garden patch.

Containing the Trumpet Vine

A common-sense approach to containing the trumpet vine is to place it in a container. Plant the vine and container in the ground by digging a hole and positioning the container inside.

This contains the vine as it restricts the roots from growing.

Digging a Trench

You may also consider digging a trench around the vine yearly. Dig a trench that is about 30 centimeters or 12 inches wide, and about 12 inches or 30 centimeters deep.

Make sure to dig the trench at least three feet from the base of the growth to prevent plant damage.

Killing the Trumpet Vine

Overgrown Trumpet Vine

You may not want to be so generous if a trumpet vine has overtaken your yard. Many gardeners hold up their hands in despair when trying to find a way to eliminate the vine.

Even if you apply herbicide, the plant can grow back stronger than ever. Therefore, this clinging and pervasive vine can be a challenge to eradicate. However, don’t give up hope. You just need to practice patience when getting rid of the plant.

To totally remove the vine, you can choose one of several methods. The first method involves digging up the roots.

1 – The Digging Method

The trumpet vine easily spreads because its roots help in the process. Therefore, to get rid of the plant, you have to kill the roots. To get the results you want, you need to dig up as much of the root system as you can.

If pieces of roots are left behind, shoots of regrowth will support the vine’s survival. Therefore, when digging up the vine, you need to pay attention to any signs of regrowth.

If you see any small shoots emerging from the ground, dig them up and remove them.

2 – Using a Chemical

While chemical solutions are viewed as a last resort, you can also get rid of a trumpet vine this way. Cut the plant off at ground level and apply herbicide.

As with digging, you still need to check for any signs of regrowth. Apply herbicide to these sites immediately.

3 – Apply Boiling Water

A Pot of Boiling Water

If you wish to use a more organic solution, use boiling water in the place of herbicide to kill a trumpet vine. First, cut the vine to the ground. Apply boiling water to a space of about three feet or 0.91 meters.

Boiling water offers an easy and effective means to kill the vine. However, again, you still need to watch for regrowth. Pour boiling water on any shoots you see.

Practice Diligence

One of the biggest challenges of gardening is getting rid of a trumpet vine. However, eliminating a trumpet vine can be achieved as long as you know that the process cannot be done overnight. The key is to be diligent and consistent in killing the plant.

The best way to totally eliminate the plant is to dig it up and keep an outlook for new growth or to use boiling water. These measures are preferred as they are more environmentally friendly.

To ensure safety, it is better to choose a more organic approach as you still need to keep an eye out for shoots of regrowth.

Unfortunately, growing an invasive plant such as a trumpet vine does not require a green thumb. However, leaving the vine to grow can wreak havoc on your garden or landscape. By practicing patience and using organically friendly controls, you can eventually realize a trumpet vine-free yard.

Remember that trumpet vines have expansive root systems. Therefore, to get at the root of the problem, you have to attack the roots. When applying boiling water, pour the water at the base of the plant.

Make sure that the plant is cut down to the ground before proceeding with the process.

Again, this type of application will not end the problem overnight. As long as you remain consistent, you can eliminate trumpet vines.

Two Other Methods to Consider

Vinegar and Water Spray

You can also eliminate a trumpet vine by blending white vinegar with water. This method works the best if you spray the vine in full sunlight.

You may also apply rock salt if you don’t have other plants growing near the vine. Add a cup of the salt to a gallon of boiling water. Once the solution dissolves, pour the liquid at the base of the vine.

Once you decide which method to use, stay on a consistent course. You might combine digging up the roots with applying hot water. Whatever you decide, again, make sure that you follow a regular course of treatment.

You have to exert a lot of patience when killing the plant. However, again, it can be done. Don’t give up and do keep an eye on any signs of regrowth.

That will spell the difference between continued growth or eradication of the plant.

Getting Aggressive

If you are someone who wants to use a more aggressive approach, you may find that applying herbicide is the best answer. To make sure that you stay safe and use an effective technique, you need to prepare.

Not only do you have to wear clothes and shoes that protect you but you have to follow specific steps.

What You Should Wear

To apply a chemical to the vine, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed-toed footwear. You will also need to don gloves and safety goggles.

Use a pruning shears to cut back the vine at ground level.

Applying a Herbicide

Next, paint a herbicide concentrate at the site where the trumpet vine appears. Choose a herbicide that contains undiluted glyphosate.

Apply the herbicide right after you cut the vine. You can also pour the herbicide in a spray bottle and apply it near each area where you have cut the vine. Make sure that you don’t spray the grass with the chemical.

Never spray the herbicide on a windy day as it can produce an overspray that can kill your other plants. This type of herbicide is strong and it can kill most vegetation.

Therefore, you want to keep this in mind when using the product. Saturate all cut areas with the herbicide. Do so quickly, as you want to make sure that the plant’s roots completely absorb the chemical.