How to Kill Wisteria Roots

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves

  • Pruners or loppers

  • Handsaw

  • Shovel

  • Glyphosate herbicide

  • Pump sprayer, spray bottle or soft paintbrush

The most common of the wisteria species grown in home landscapes are Chinese and Japanese wisteria. Both of these attractive woody vines start growing slowly, but in a few years, they increase in vigor and soon take over, if not pruned and controlled. Occasionally, a gardener may wish to completely remove a wisteria vine from the landscape. Cutting down the vine is a start, but the roots, which can grow new plant shoots, must be killed to completely eradicate the plant.

Step 1

Use pruners, loppers or a handsaw to cut off the wisteria vine. Leave 2 inches of stump when you cut the vine.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig out smaller stumps and roots from the ground. The more you can manually remove, the quicker the remaining roots will die from lack of food and sunlight.

Step 3

Apply a glyphosate herbicide to the cut surface of the stump. The ratio of herbicide to water is one part herbicide to three parts water. Use a sprayer, or brush the herbicide on with a paintbrush. Glyphosate herbicides are absorbed and carried throughout the plant, eventually killing the roots.

Step 4

Repeat this application on the stump if new growth appears while the glyphosate is taking effect. Along with coating the stump surface, apply the herbicide to the new growth.

Step 5

Hand pull or spray with the glyphosate herbicide any new sprouts from the roots. Eliminating all foliage will starve the roots, and they will die.


Burn or discard in the trash all parts of the wisteria you are removing. Wisteria vines can grow from cuttings left in compost piles.