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If you are a gardener, you must have come across the Virginia creeper, also called parthenocissus quinquefolia scientifically. This plant is a nightmare in your garden since once it grows, it spreads at an alarming rate.
Not only does it block sunlight from reaching other plants it can also cause skin irritations. That makes it very difficult for you to be in your garden unless you get rid of them.
Check your exterior walls for cracks, it’s an ideal breeding spot for these vines to invade.
This leads us to the topic of how to get rid of Virginia creeper. Here’s the deal.
You can achieve this in two ways. There is a natural-based and chemical-based method of killing this weed.
We will review them here. But before that, there’s something you need to know.
Related Article: How to Kill Johnson Grass and Keep Your Plants Safe
Table of Contents
Is there a Difference between Virginia Creeper and Poison Ivy?
Poison ivy and Virginia creeper might seem confusing. Both of these plants tend to grow together in most cases.
It is not uncommon that when you remove the Virginia creeper; you will find poison ivy will be found and will be removed in the process as well.
The difference between them is that the Virginia creeper has five leaves, while poison ivy has three leaves only.
Getting Rid of Virginia Creeper
You need to note that the best way to deal with Virginia creeper is dealing with it while it is still small. Should you have large Virginia creeper plants already, you can even get rid of them.
Natural-Based Ways to Kill Virginia Creeper
There are simple ways that you can use to get rid of this plant at home. Remember that Virginia creeper irritates the skin if there is contact. You, therefore, need to get protective gloves before removing them.
What You’ll Need:
- A long-sleeved shirt
- Protective gloves
- Eye protection
- Safety glasses
- The first thing to ALWAYS do before entering your garden is to don all the protective gear listed above.
- Start by cutting the main trunk of the creeper close to the ground with the pruners.
- Remove the Virginia creeper that you have cut by pulling it away from the trees or shrubs keenly.
- Examine if there is any growth in the area where you cut the creeper. Should you notice any expected growth, remove it immediately to avoid its growth.
Chemical-Based Ways to Kill Virginia Creeper
In this method, you can get rid of Virginia creeper using herbicides of which there are many herbicides out there. Even though they claim to kill vines, not all of them are effective.
We recommend herbicides that contain glyphosate. However, you need to note that glyphosate can kill any vegetation. Therefore, extra care is recommended while spraying.
Otherwise, you might opt for other herbicides depending on your budget, preference, or personal choice. You will need some safety equipment and other things as mentioned below:
What You’ll Need:
- Safety glasses
- Garbage bag
- Chemical resistant gloves
- Pruning shears
- A herbicide that contains glyphosphate
- Always wear all the protective gear while carrying your glyphosate herbicide.
- Determine if the Virginia creeper has been intertwined with useful plants and then unravel them.
- Get to the base of this plant. You can do this by following it up to the ground level and widen the vine. Lay it flat to the ground.
- Put plastic down on the ground then put the widened vine on that plastic. This is crucial so that the herbicide in use may not damage the turfgrass.
- Spray the herbicide on the foliage with Virginia creeper. Ensure that you follow the instructions on the herbicide regarding how to dilute and spray.
- Some manufacturers require that you let the herbicide remain on the plant for 48 hours after spraying it without any disturbance.
- Use your pruning shears to cut the Virginia creeper. Cut it at the soil level and dispose of it in your plastic garbage bag.
- Immerse your paintbrush in the glyphosate herbicide then use it to paint the cut stem of the Virginia creeper after cutting the vine. Do this to every other vine you find.
- Avoid dripping the chemical on other plants, as this may be harmful to them. Remember to dilute the herbicide if the instructions say so.
Is Virginia Creeper Poisonous?
Virginia creeper can do a lot of harm to your garden. Since it causes skin irritation when it comes in contact with your skin this does make navigating a garden that has creepers a bit more challenging.
These plants have needle-like oxalate crystals that cause a skin rash. It is always best to be prepared with gloves and a long-sleeved sweater before going out to cut them.
You might notice that birds love eating the berries from Virginia creeper. However, those berries are poisonous when ingested by a human being. The oxalic acid in them makes them poisonous to humans.
Some people love the Virginia creeper plant because it decorates their garden by providing fall color. However, its adverse effects are many.
If your garden has Virginia creeper, avoid leaving small kids unattended in your garden. They might be tempted to test the berries from this plant. Therefore, you want to take any action to prevent this.
Virginia creeper is a dangerous plant that you need to exercise caution around at all costs. Always be on the lookout in your garden so that this plant may not cause serious damage.
Once you notice it in your garden, you have the means to remove it either naturally or chemically. Both ways are suited to the task.
It is not uncommon that for those who do not like using too many chemicals, they can opt for more natural methods.
Make sure that you always wear protective gear during the removal process. If you should choose to use herbicides, it is important to first read the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
While using a glyphosate-based herbicide product, make sure that it doesn’t get into contact with other beneficial plants during the spraying process.