PlantFiler: Help ID This vine in Atlanta!
September 16, 2012 9:04 AM   Subscribe

I just recently moved to Atlanta (yay) and have been doing some gardening (aside: fellow atlanta mefi-ers please say hi, i need friends here!) Anyway, in pruning the honeysuckle bush outside our place, i found that about half of the plant is entangled in what looks to be some kind of invasive vine whose leaves look like this. I've cut most of it out of the plant now but I'd like to know what it is and what i should be doing to keep it away. I also see it growing up the side of the house a little. Please dont tell me its poison something because i 've been rubbing my hands on it all morning.
posted by softlord to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd say it's Virginia Creeper. It's incredibly invasive and tenacious. You need to get it out at the roots, either physically or with herbicides. If one bit of it remains, it will come back with such strength and vigor that you will think it never left.
posted by Neeuq Nus at 9:30 AM on September 16, 2012

I'm thinking Trumpet Vine.

If so, the only way to get rid of it is to get the roots out... I've trimmed those down to the ground and they come back like wildfire. They'll also tear the boards off your deck, don't ask me how I know.
posted by HuronBob at 9:34 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Believe it! Given time, that stuff will rip apart woodwork and destroy paint, and cause all kinds of nasty damage in general. clip them, then pull the roots. Also keep checking the ground nearby for new sprouts as they will pop up everywhere :(

Welcome to Georgia! It's not so bad here!
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 9:45 AM on September 16, 2012

@HuronBob: Looking at the wiki page for trumpet vine, i'm not sure the leaves are the same.
posted by softlord at 9:50 AM on September 16, 2012

Are there any orange flowers or large seed pods?
posted by HuronBob at 9:52 AM on September 16, 2012

Dont seem to be any flowers at all, just leaves.
posted by softlord at 9:53 AM on September 16, 2012

Yeah, the leaves are a little different, but I'm betting it's trumpet vine too. Definitely not Virginia creeper, which has clusters of five leaves.
posted by Specklet at 10:05 AM on September 16, 2012

another vote for trumpet vine. i'm fighting a battle with it on my front slope where it's trying to edge out a giant clump of yucca. those roots go down forever and are almost impossible to dig out. gr.
posted by miss patrish at 10:08 AM on September 16, 2012

You need to study what poison ivy looks like before something awful happens.
posted by bongo_x at 10:08 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

+1 for trumpet vine.

But whatever kind of vine it is, please do not let it grow up your house --- the 'vine-covered cottage' look is pretty, but vines cling to your house/deck/whatever and do $expensive$ damage. Vines will send their little rootlets right into wood siding and will dig under all kinds of siding, or if you have brick? They'll actually dig those rootlets right into the mortar.... and siding or brick, the hole the rootlets make let in water, which expands when it freezes and causes the holes to enlarge and then you've got more damage, and around and around you go.
posted by easily confused at 10:21 AM on September 16, 2012

+1 to bongo_x. Poison ivy can grow as a vine.
posted by slidell at 10:31 AM on September 16, 2012

It's not poison ivy.
posted by softlord at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Former Atlantan here. My folks still live in Atlanta and battled trumpet vine for years in their yard after allowing it grow over a pergola they had out back. It took several applications of Roundup (which you can now buy in generic labeling) before they were finally able to kill it, and it still pops up in the yard from time to time. Hummingbirds are fond of it, but as plants go, it's a scourge.

Should you chance to find it, Virginia Creeper is a nice-enough looking vine, though it can be irritating to the skin. It turns a gorgeous red color in the fall. It is said to be safe for growing up buildings, but I'd frankly be worried about it holding moisture, insects and whatnot close to the house.

While I'm at it, if you happen to find any English Ivy growing about, burn it with fire and then burn the ashes with fire again. If you like vines, consider Clematis or, if you have something stout for a support (and the wherewithal to maintain once it's off and growing), Wisteria.
posted by jquinby at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

It is also called trumpet creeper, Campsis radicans, and it kind of kicks ass, I think. It's a native vine that can be very...successful in some places, but never comes close to the incredible invasiveness of honeysuckle, which is not native (at least, there's no native bush honeysuckle in the south). You probably do want to keep it off of your house, but if you have something else you'd like to get covered up, let it rip!
Like most vines, it's a good idea to not let them get too successful in tree canopies. They can cause (and hide) problems with trees.
posted by Red Loop at 6:39 PM on September 16, 2012

I guess i'm just not sure that the leaves match up with Trumpet Creeper. Those leaves look thick and oily, and the ones that i have are much more matte in finish and 'lighter'.
posted by softlord at 9:21 PM on September 16, 2012

wait, no, where do you see the thick and oily? trumpet vine leaves are definitely matte, not glossy at all, and not oily at all. at least the ones i'm dealing with, which are the native, unadulterated variety.
posted by miss patrish at 9:41 PM on September 16, 2012

If it's growing in a shadier place, the leaves will be lighter in color with less of a waxy cuticle. Sunnier and hotter will make them darker and thicker. Also, there is some variation in leaf color depending on where something is growing due to soils and/or drainage, as well.
posted by Red Loop at 3:08 AM on September 17, 2012

I think the poison ivy point was that you should research poison ivy so you know what it looks like, so you don't go pulling up any and all ivies willy nilly and potentially grab some poison ivy in the process.
posted by Grither at 6:50 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

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