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I Have A Bank In My Back Yard That Is…

Martha Asked

I have a bank in my back yard that is covered with honeysuckle. What can I do to get rid of it completely? I know I am likely to kill everything else also, but it is being killed anyway. The bank is about 50 feet long and 15 feet deep.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Martha: Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) smells delightful but can be very invasive and difficult to get rid of. If left alone it will become very dense and certainly choke out any other plantings if they are growing in the same space. The best way to eliminate this vine is to dig it out, root system and all. I realize this is not always feasible, so if you cannot take on this task or do not want to hire someone to do it for you, the next best option is to cut back the honeysuckle to the ground. Go ahead and do this now and then when new growth appears, which may be next spring, spot spray with a systemic herbicide such as Round-Up. Spraying on a calm day will help prevent any wind gusts from carrying the spray onto wanted plants. This will surely keep the vine in check and give the plants that you want growing on your bank a fighting chance. Watch for new plants the next growing season and pull them immediately. It is always easier to weed when the plants are young and the soil is moist.

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