Virginia creeper vine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) thrives in USDA zones 3 to 10, and while some people enjoy the overgrown look this vibrant vine can provide, Virginia creeper problems exist in some circumstances.
To remove Virginia creeper tendrils is simple, to eliminate Virginia Creeper itself can be difficult because of its sturdiness and ability to rebound quickly. Virginia creeper vines are sometimes mistaken for poison ivy.
Their flowers are a bluish-green color and come in bunches. It isn’t as bad yet killing Virginia Creeper poisonous berries can sometimes be required.
Virginia creeper vines are woody and deciduous and often found in ravines, valleys, thickets, and a variety of other places.
The plant is endemic to North Carolina, and Virginia creeper leaves can be spotted climbing up tall buildings, trees around the garden, and more, as the name suggests.
A Virginia creeper vine can grow rather long–up to 50 feet in some situations–and cling to brick and wood with sucker disks at the ends of the tendrils.
In our guide, you can learn more about getting rid of poisonous Virginia Creeper berries and nuisance plants. By the end, you’ll have the best method of how to get rid of Virginia creeper and other vegetation that causes problems.
How Do I Get Rid of Virginia Creeper Naturally?
While some gardeners use Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) as ground cover to stop soil erosion, others try to eradicate it. Virginia creepers are low-maintenance vines that withstand harsh pruning. (Read How To Get Rid Of Creeping Charlie)
Virginia creepers are popular for simple coverage and robustness, as well as its stunning deep red color in the fall. It’s toxic to humans and pets, but not to birds or local wildlife. It produces tiny green blossoms and small dark fruits. However, there are Virginia creeper problems that some gardeners don’t wish to deal with.
The berries contain oxalic acid that can be harmful, and the sap contains oxalate crystals that can irritate.
How to Remove Virginia Creeper
To get rid of Virginia creeper, you need to do more than pull it off the walls, trellis, or trees.
- Find the roots of smaller vines and try to pluck them out. Wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid rashes and discomfort from the leaves. Younger, less-established vines can easily be hand-pulled.
- Natural methods to get rid of Virginia creeper vines can help, but killing Virginia creeper could take more effort.
- The first of the natural ways is to prune it back to ground level and cover it with thick mulch made from biodegradable materials to keep it out of the sun and air. Mulch can kill the plant naturally over several weeks. However, because of its extensive root system, Virginia creeper may not be eradicated.
Other Methods of Removal
Isolate the vines individually if using either of these methods.
What You Need
- Protective clothing (long-sleeved shirt, goggles, etc.)
- Pruning shears
- Boiling water
- Rock salt
- Spray bottle
Boiling Water Method
Boiling water can be used to kill Virginia creeper naturally effectively and naturally.
Follow our steps to get rid of Virginia creeper using boiling water:
- Cut the Virginia creeper down to the base at ground level when pruning.
- Pour boiling water on the base of your Virginia creeper.
- Repeat the process over several days to kill the root system.
- Remove Virginia creeper from its host buildings before applying either of these compounds to avoid damaging other plants.
- Mix water and 20% white vinegar (this is a specific horticultural vinegar).
- Spray the solution onto the vines’ leaves and stems.
- Reapply the solution if there is any heavy rain during the next three days.
- Remove and dispose of vines as they die.
- After the three-day interval, reapply the solution to any vines that are still living.
Wear protective gear for both the poison ivy-looking creeper and the strong vinegar, as this can burn.
Rock Salt Method
Rock salt can also be used, but be cautious because it can injure nearby plants and poison the soil for some time.
According to lawn care experts, rain can drive salt deep into the soil, harming neighboring plants. Damage may not appear right away, but it is conceivable depending on local water tables and types of soil. (Learn How Do I Get Rid Of Gnats In My Potted Plants?)
- Pour a gallon of boiling water over one cup of rock salt
- Saturate the Virginia creeper with the solution.
- It should die off during the following three days.
- If these methods fail and the Virginia creeper continues, a glyphosate herbicide may be required.
What Herbicide Kills Virginia Creeper?
The best time to apply a glyphosate herbicide to control the vine is late summer or early fall. Once roots are established, it makes little sense to remove them by hand.
You can apply the herbicide to the vine and the foliage, making sure at least half of the plant foliage is fully treated. Alternatively, you can cut the vine near ground level and immediately apply the glyphosate to the exposed stump.
Glyphosate is a diluted form is the best substance to use on Virginia creeper and other undesirable plants.
- Wear your long-sleeved shirt and other protective clothing.
- Hold the vine away from your body and use a foam paintbrush to apply the product to the vine.
- Avoid getting glyphosate on desirable plants, as it is non-selective and will kill any vegetation it comes into contact with.
- Always use gloves while working with chemicals and follow the dilution instructions on the product label.
- These are all the tools you need to tackle overgrown vines in your environment now that you know how to get rid of Virginia creeper.
- Wear protective clothing as the sap from the dead vines can cause skin irritation.
- Remove any dead Virginia Creeper vine you see and reapply to living vines from new growth.