How to Kill Kudzu

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Killing kudzu can only be done by eliminating all traces of the root system, but some can kill the plant by pouring bleach, vinegar or baking soda over the center of the plant. Kill kudzu, which can take over a yard and damage a house, with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video series on garden and lawn care.

Part of the Video Series: Garden & Lawn Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to kill kudzu. Now, kudzu is a beautiful plant in itself. It's kind of a vine, that has a beautiful, real glossy green leaves all over it, and a lot of times in new developments, they'll plant kudzu all over, which to me is crazy, because it's now one of the most invasive weeds in the world. It costs Americans alone, five hundred million dollars per year, to try to control it. It's taken over a lot of the natural areas, and so it's one of those plants that you do not want in your garden. You do not want to even try to contain, because it's beautiful, but it can cause mass havoc, and they always plant it right up next to the house, where like ivy, it grows up to the house, and it just eats away the wood, and eats away your house, so you never want kudzu near your house in any way. It's a very dangerous plant. Same with ivy, same with wisteria. You never want plants touching your house in any way, because they will do damage, because they are going to eat away at your house, and then they'll get into the trees, and then they'll get into everything else, and kill it, so the only way to get rid of kudzu basically, is to try to manually pull it out. Well, it just takes over, and so there's all types of chemicals that are available, but in the end, they don't usually control the whole population, because even one seed can regenerate again, but there is different organic methods, and basically, if you can pull all of it away, and get down to the root, try to pull the roots, and that is about the only way that you can get rid of them successfully, because they will keep growing back, no matter what. Now, you can put a little bit of bleach, right onto the center of the plant, a little bit of vinegar to the center of the plant, or some people say baking soda mixed with sugar, in water, if you put that right onto the plant, it will kill it itself, but you never want to use too many chemicals, even when they're natural, into the environment, because they can be dangerous in time too, and it can hurt the population, and the animals, and the birds, and we don't want to go on and on about that, but the kudzu are really killing a lot of the vegetation, and they're a huge, huge problem in the United States, so pretty much the only way that you can control it, is to manually get rid of it, or cover it up completely, like putting a raised bed right over the area, with any kind of landscape cloth, but in the end too, a lot of times they'll eat their way through that landscape cloth, and there's different chemicals again that you can use, but I still don't recommend using any of them, because they're not going to address the entire issue, so you pretty much have to clear off the whole area, even if you have to get a bulldozer. Clear everything out, try to pull it out, if it's too late, and start over. Put new soil down, and as soon as any kudzu comes up, you have to pull it out manually, and that's about the only way that you can kill it.


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