Honeysuckle vine is one of those beautiful plants that hide a dark secret. The secret you may be wondering is the fact that it is very invasive and when I say invasive I mean taking over fences and trees. If you do not have any of this vine on your property, thank the garden fairies. On the other hand, if you are tempted to purchase some keep this simple saying in mind that says it all. This saying is “Purchase now and pay later.”
While this straightforward saying states the facts about honeysuckle vine, not all is lost when it comes to removing this invasive plant. There are 4 ways of getting rid of honeysuckle vine and while you will need to use a combination of these techniques to permanently remove it from your landscape, the most you will need is time.
Before moving on to the 4 ways, the other negative impact of this plant is the fact that science has shown that its presence actually changes the soil chemistry where ever it grows. This change eliminates plant competition and this is why you never see plant material growing under honeysuckle vine. Horticulturists are not really sure how this plant does it but this is just one more reason why you should never plant it.
If you have honeysuckle vine, do not despair. It can be removed in 4 different ways. The first 3 are organic approaches while the last is an old favorite and that is chemical application.
1. Mowing and/or grazing is one way that an individual can rid their property of honeysuckle. For this technique to be effective one will need to start while the vine is small. Continue with this technique until you never see starts
popping up through the ground again. This can take several years and in doing you will need to be diligent in your technique.
2. Pulling up and/or cutting down is another approach one can use. The pulling aspect comes when the plant is small or little starts begin to appear. Make sure to pull the roots completely out of the ground. If the plant is too big, prune it down to the ground with hedge trimmers. You will need to use this type of equipment because the vine’s branches are very thick.
3. Smothering is a technique that can be used once the material has been removed by another approach, such as mowing or cutting down. To do this, cover the area first with cardboard and then 4 to 6 inches of mulch. Doing this will prevent the plant from being able to perform photosynthesis and in doing so it will starve. Leave the cover on for at least a year and add to the mulch layer as needed to keep the depth.
4. The last approach is to kill the honeysuckle with a brush killer but for it to be effective you must remove it from the environment first. Once that is done, you can then apply the herbicide.
Regardless of which technique you choose, make sure to throw away the plant material instead of composting it. This will cut out the chance of transferring any honeysuckle cuttings into the compost, which would allow it to spread again.