Honeysuckle vines can be a beautiful addition to your garden if you can keep it under control. That is the problem. Honeysuckle is an invasive plant that can take over entire fences, trees or walls. While the scent and look can be lovely, you need to take extra care to make sure it doesn’t invade every part of your property.
Even though learning how to get rid of honeysuckle seems hard, your fence isn’t lost to the dark ages forever. You can use a combination of methods to eradicate it totally from your property. Most importantly, you have to remember that it takes time to get rid of honeysuckle. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Why You Want To Remove Honeysuckle
Wild honeysuckle plants are found all over the United States, especially on roadsides and unpopulated areas. You might be amazed the number of species, and quite a few are classified as invasive. One of the most common species is the Japanese honeysuckle.
Besides the fact that these plants can overwhelm areas on your property, there are other reasons that you may want to get rid of it. Invasive species compete with other plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Your favorite ornamental plants, or even small shrubs, can die due to an overgrowth of honeysuckle. Japanese honeysuckle can spread across the ground and attach to trees. Eventually, the vines will grow up the tree and kill the roots. They may seem beautiful, but they cause destruction on properties.
Items You Will Need
- Garden Gloves
- Hedge Trimmers
- Lawn Mower
- Round-Up or other herbicides
- Herd of Goats
4 Ways To Get Rid Of Honeysuckle
Manually Remove It
The first organic approach to removing honeysuckle is pulling it or cutting it down. It totally covers your fence or wall; you need to start yanking it down! Full up your wheelbarrow and fully dispose of the honeysuckle. You don’t want any seeds falling back into the ground! When you get down towards the ground, you will need to work on pulling up the roots. Otherwise, other sprouts will start to appear later. The roots should come out completely.
- If the honeysuckle plants are large, you might want to use hedge trimmers first to cut them down to a manageable size. Pruners can also help to make the process easier.
- Another route for massive honeysuckle plants is to wrap it with a chain and pull it out fully, roots in all. If you commit to this method, you have to pull out the roots and all.
- If you are hand pulling, make sure the ground is damp, or it won’t work well at all!
Mow It Down
After you have pulled down the larger vines, mow it over with a lawn mower. This method takes years to work. You need to diligently use this technique to make sure that the sprouts don’t start over again.
However, when you’ve done this for a long time, you don’t have to worry about the invasive honeysuckle coming back again after all of your hard work.
Smother The Sprouts
If the location of the honeysuckle makes it hard to mow down each week, you can try the smothering method. To do this, you have to cover the area where the honeysuckle emerged with cardboard. Then, you need to add four to six layers of mulch on top of the cardboard. There is no way that any sunlight or water will reach the seeds, starving the honeysuckle of its necessary nutrients. Leave this there for as long as possible, for at least a year, and continue to add mulch to keep it at this depth.
Use An Herbicide
Some people feel comfortable using herbicides on their plants and in their yard. If you feel comfortable with this practice, you first need to remove as much of the honeysuckle as possible. Then, apply the herbicide based on the directions. Some gardeners use a product such as Roundup that has a 1.5 to 2.5% solution of glyphosate. The best time to apply an herbicide is during the fall. You can use it after you mow it down.
Find A Herd Of Goats
Yes, you read that correctly. We don’t all have access to goats, but if you do, those animals can mow down nearly anything. Goats are efficient at removing unwanted vegetation, especially if you have invasive species like honeysuckle on your property. Although this method may seem odd to you, it is gaining popularity. Many farmers rent out of their goats for this exact purpose. Using goats is cheaper than paying professionals to remove them or buying multiple bottles of herbicide.
Things To Know About Wild Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is difficult to remove. You can’t just remove it one time and expect it never to return. It is a dreadful, invasive plant that will drive you crazy. Here are some things you should know about these plants.
- Pull them out during the wet seasons, depending on where you live. For example, I live in Ohio. April, May, October, and November tend to be quite damp with plenty of rain. In the spring, honeysuckle turns green quickly, and it stays green well into the fall.
- Some wild honeysuckle can grow berries. When ingested in large quantities, they can lead to illness. Honeysuckle berries are toxic. So, if you have younger children, try to remove these plants quickly.
If you purchase a new home and discover a plot of wild honeysuckle growing in the backyard, don’t despair. While honeysuckle does take a lot of time and effort to remove, it doesn’t have to stay forever. Because of its invasive and destructive attributes, many homeowners opt to remove these plants rather quickly.
The best thing to do is start with manual removal, ensuring that you pull up the roots entire. Then, either mow or cover the area with mulch to stop future growths from happening. With diligence and determination, wild honeysuckle will be a distant memory.