Russian vines are a nuisance in the garden. They can grow quickly, choke out other plants, and are difficult to get rid of.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have time to waste on ineffective methods for getting rid of Russian vines. You need a solution that will work quickly and reliably.

The good news is that there are several ways to get rid of Russian vines using natural methods like herbicides or physical removal. We’ve compiled the best tips and tricks here so you can get your garden back to its former glory.

How to identify Russian vine

Russian vines are a common garden weed that can quickly take over an area if left unchecked. Our guide will show you exactly what tools and products you need to use so that once those vines are gone, they stay gone for good.

Russian vine is an invasive plant species in the UK that has spread across the country with devastating consequences by choking out native plants and shrubs. It’s estimated there are now more than five million acres of Russian vine-infested land in the United Kingdom alone.

If left untreated, this aggressive weed could soon become one of the most destructive weeds on earth. Fortunately, there are ways to remove it from your yard or garden before it becomes unmanageable!

There are two types of Russian vine: herbaceous and woody.

The herbaceous Russian vine is an annual plant that dies off each year after it blossoms in the spring, whereas the woody Russian vine can become a tree-like shrub that never dies back.

What methods work best to kill Russian vines?

There are two types of insecticides that work to kill Russian vines: systemic and non-systemic.

Systemic insecticides can be applied to the soil around Russian vines and taken up by the roots.

Non-systemic insecticides cannot be absorbed into the plant and must come in contact with the leaves, which is why it’s critical that non-selective herbicide is used as well.

Best methods to get rid of Russian vine

It takes only a single vine to quickly take over an area of your garden. Russian vines grow in the shade, so they are most prevalent under trees and in shady spots near buildings. They can also sprout up along fences or pavements where there is no direct sunlight.

There are several ways to remove these pesky vines from the ground for good.

The first option is manual removal which can be done with a shovel or hand trowel if they are not too deep-rooted. If that doesn’t work try using weed killer on the surface roots and then covering them with mulch to keep them moist while waiting for new growth to die off (this may take a few weeks).

If neither of those options is appealing, or if your Russian vines have grown too deep to be removed by hand, then you will need to use chemicals. The key is finding the right chemical for the job and applying it properly.

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Traditional ways to get rid of Russian vine

An easy-to-use formulation containing glyphosate in a ready-to-use spray bottle is the most effective way to control Russian vines. However, many have reported success with Roundup brand products, which are available in concentrate form for use in a pump garden sprayer. There are several different manufacturers of glyphosate formulations, so finding one that works well is largely trial and error.

These herbicides work by removing all foliage from the vines including runners that are still growing below ground. This rototill process is easily done by one person; however, it’s important to be very careful when applying the chemicals with a weed sprayer as they can harm anything that is green and growing around them (grass, flowers, trees, etc.).

Make sure to read and follow all safety and application instructions included on the herbicide labels. And remember, always wear proper protective gear and a mask when working with chemicals.

If you have a lot of ground to cover or large areas of shade, chemical weed killers can be expensive and take a long time to work. Since Russian vines grow in the shade where other plants won’t normally grow it can take several weeks for them to die completely.

But once they are gone you have forever solved your Russian vines problem. Also, treat any affected area with an organic weed killer before planting new plants if the soil isn’t very fertile or has poor drainage.

Russian vine can die back blocking gutters and downpipes, as well making your home look unsightly - Russian vines
Russian vine can die back blocking gutters and downpipes, as well as making your home look unsightly

Natural ways to get rid of Russian vine

Pulling can be a good way to get rid of Russian vines, but you have to be careful not to damage the plants growing near them. Picking up small populations or single plants is a much safer option, although your patience will be tested if there are many vines in one area.

If you are planning on pulling more than a few plants, consider using gloves to prevent contact with the plant or its sap, which can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

Solarization works by killing young seedlings around the vine populations you want to get rid of. To accomplish this task, cover large areas with black plastic, ensuring that there are no holes or gaps to allow sunlight in. Leave the plastic in place for 8-12 weeks, depending on weather conditions.

When you remove it, you can expect to see many of your weeds have died – but don’t worry! Your hard work was not in vain; the heat from the sun has likely killed the weed’s seeds as well, so these plants should not grow back for at least a few seasons.

Management of the Russian vines

As you begin the process of getting rid of Russian vines around your yard or garden, keep in mind that it may take several seasons to completely remove them from an area. For this reason, proper planning is essential for success. Start by removing all of the vines from your garden in spring after they die back (and before they grow again).

While doing this, also remove any young plants that appear in areas outside of your garden; when you dig up or pull the weeds out here, be sure to get their roots as well. After removing the large populations, spot treatment of any remaining plants that you missed earlier.

Finally, there are many plants that will naturally repel Russian vines from growing near them or in other parts of your garden. You can plant these strategically around areas that you want to keep clear of weeds or use them as “barriers”. Some plants like nasturtiums and cotton will grow quickly and aggressively, choking out any nearby weeds and preventing new ones from growing.

However, if you do not want to grow these plants yourself, consider using mulch inside your garden bed that contains some of the following: pea gravel, red cedar mulch, nutshells, pine bark, or cotton burrs.

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Manual tools to combat Russian vine

As you continue to work on getting rid of Russian vines in your garden, consider using tools that can speed up the process. To better arm yourself for future weed battles around your home and garden, check out this guide to purchasing the best tool for the job.

A shovel is a great tool to have on hand when you’re planning to uproot Russian vines. A shovel should be heavy and sharp enough to cut into the dirt around the vine. The pointier your shovel, the easier it will be for you to dig up those stubborn weeds as well as their long, clinging roots.

A hoe is another great tool that can help you uproot Russian vines. There are several different types of hoes available. If you’re planning to choose a hoe, make sure the blades are sharp and sturdy enough for use on tough roots. You’ll also need a larger handle so you have more leverage when digging into the ground to remove the vines.

A mattock is another great tool for hacking away at Russian vines. A mattock combines the tools of both a hoe and an axe, giving you more leverage to cut through tough vine roots with less work on your part. Instead of swinging like an axe, you’ll use it as a hoe by pushing down on the handle to cut through vines.

A weed trimmer is another tool you should have on hand when up against thick Russian vines. It’s important that the blade be extra sharp so it can easily slice into tough roots without giving you too much trouble or requiring too much work on your part! Make sure the shaft is long enough for your height so it’s comfortable for you to use.

Also, have a spray bottle around to mist down those vines as soon as you cut them so they don’t regrow! You should also keep a box of baking soda around as well as an old rag or sponge. When cutting the vines, it’s recommended that you apply a paste made from baking soda and water to the cut end. This helps prevent any regrowth as well as keeps bugs from eating the vines before they die off.

Russian vines consuming a property and exploiting all cracks which will lead to inevitable problems
Russian vines consuming property and exploiting all cracks which will lead to inevitable problems

What to do after the vines are gone

Now that you’ve removed the Russian vines from your garden, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from coming back. One way to do this is by using a weed barrier fabric. This will block the vines from growing back into your garden, and it can be easily installed by following these simple steps:

Purchase weed barrier fabric. This comes in rolls that are typically 4 or 5 feet wide. You should be able to find it at your local home improvement store. If not, you can order it online pretty easily as well.

Once you’ve brought the weed barrier fabric home, use a hose, shovel, and utility knife to cut the strips into smaller sections that are approximately one square foot. You can then unroll these strips across the entire area where you just removed the Russian vines, and staple them into place using a staple gun.

You can also use garden fabric to prevent the Russian vines from coming back. It will do the same thing as the weed barrier fabric, but it’s more permanent so you won’t have to keep replacing it.

In conclusion

The best way to get rid of Russian vines is by using a herbicide. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all safety precautions, as herbicides can be dangerous if not used correctly.

Whilst we have recommended several methods within this blog including prevention and management, we know from experience that herbicide treatment produces the best results in the shortest amount of time.

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Want to know more about removing Russian vine?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email –

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

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