Will Salt Kill Wisteria? [Yes, Here’s How To Use It!]

Sodium chloride, commonly known as salt, is a household condiment ordinarily used in cooking. However, there are several other applications that make the element versatile. We have researched if salt can actually kill wisteria, and its proper usage to help you rid your garden of this invasive plant.

Salt will definitely kill wisteria by attracting water away from the cells and dehydrating the plant. You can either spray the solution over the foliage or apply the mixture directly into the ground.

However, it would alter the soil composition and affect other plants. The cut stump method is the safest and most effective system when using saline-based remedies.

Proper usage is necessary to avoid future problems. Several alternatives to salt application can be used to eradicate wisteria. Read on and find out the ways you can control its growth, the best method of applying salt, and other solutions you can use.

Is Wisteria A Good Vine?

Two types of wisteria – Chinese and Japanese wisteria – are notoriously famous across the United States because of their fragrant, clustered purple flowers that beautifully drape throughout garden structures such as trellises and pergolas.

Wisteria blossoms on white house wall

However, as a vining plant, they are considered invasive species that are known to occupy and even kill an entire forest if left unchecked. The vine wraps itself around tree trunks, small plants, and any other growths that are within its proximity.

Underground, runners form and spread throughout the area. These runners grow shoots that will eventually develop their own root system, as such, the cycle continues until it invades an entire place or garden.

These foreign varieties badly damage native plants and affect animals that thrive in a certain habitat, hence, disrupting an entire ecosystem.

If you still intend to grow wisteria, choose the native varieties – American and Kentucky wisteria. They are slow-growing and less invasive plants.

How To Control Wisteria Growth?

Woman pruning wisteria in the garden

Regular pruning is the best way to prevent wisteria from taking over your garden and invading other plants or structures. It may be necessary to get rid of it entirely if the ivy has already dominated trees, fences, or walls on your property.

Using salt is one way to disrupt the growth of wisteria and there are several methods of application.

Can I Spray Salt Solution On The Foliage?

Gardeners use a cup of epsom or regular salt dissolved in three parts hot water. The leaves and flowers eventually wilt and die after the saline solution deprives plant tissue of adequate hydration. However, the vine may develop new buds after a certain period because the roots remain intact.

Check out Natural Epsom Salt on Amazon.

Salt damages the structures it comes to contact with and isn't absorbed by the plant's cells. The leaves and flowers will always reemerge since spraying the foliage only create a temporary solution.

Can I Pour Salt Solution Over The Roots?

If salt is watered directly into the soil, it would kill the roots after several applications and cause the wisteria to die. However, it would create a similar effect on nearby trees and plants. Salt (sodium chloride) may not be absorbed by the roots but the dissolved sodium component is.

The plant is unable to manufacture its own food once sodium disrupts the uptake of water. Salt may be effective against weeds but larger doses are necessary to kill ivies and similar invaders.

It is important to note that using salt can change the soil composition and render it infertile for years.

What Is The Best Method Of Applying Salt On Wisteria?

The cut stump treatment is an effective and safe way to apply salt to kill wisteria. Cut the main trunk of the ivy as close to the ground as possible then drill holes on the remaining stump. Fill the crevices with salt then pour hot water to dissolve the particles.

The trunk will decompose after several weeks of repeated application and eventually dry out. You can excavate the periphery and dig out the root system if the area is manageable to prevent repeated growth.

Water the surroundings often and liberally to dilute any salt residues.

Are There Other Ways To Get Rid Of Wisteria?

Other ways to get rid of wisteria

The use of salt to control unwanted growth has been a controversial issue among horticulturists and gardeners. The main concern lies on its lingering effect on soil composition and its capacity to sustain plants after salt has been introduced into the primary growth medium.

What Is The Best Herbicide To Kill Wisteria?

Glyphosate or triclopyr based herbicides have been proven to work best on wisteria. Use the premixed variety to avoid damaging the soil and nearby plants with a solution that is too potent.

Check out Killzall Weed And Grass Killer on Amazon.

You can spray the herbicide directly on the foliage if there are no trees, shrubs, or other growths nearby, but the cut stump method is the safest and most effective way.

Prune off all leaves and flowers to expose the main trunk of the ivy. Using a saw, cut the stem until the plant is reduced to a stump.

Immediately apply the herbicide by spraying the surface or by coating the layer using a brush. Repeated application is necessary until the trunk and its root system die.

What Kills Wisteria Naturally?

There are a few natural ways to kill wisteria without using herbicides and organic solutions. However, the process is time consuming and hard work is necessary.

Can I Just Dig Up Wisteria Roots?

Digging up the roots is only advisable if only a portion of your garden is infested, otherwise, it is necessary to use solutions or call a professional.

Start with cutting the foliage, and branches, and sawing its main stem until at least a foot of the stump is left aboveground. Afterward, create a trench around the trunk to expose the roots.

Remove the root ball using a shovel, and make sure to cut off all roots surrounding the ivy’s trunk. This way, it will be easier to pull it up.

Follow where the roots extend and excavate them to eradicate the runners and new shoots that form aboveground, and ensure that the area is free of any possible growths.

Properly dispose the roots and foliage to prevent new shoots from growing. This can be done by either placing them inside a large garbage bag and putting them in the dumpster or by simply burning them.

You may want to monitor your garden for any signs of new growth.

How Do You Keep Wisteria From Spreading?

It is possible to deprive its roots of nutrients by constantly removing the foliage to disrupt photosynthesis. This way, the plant cannot make its own food.

Begin with pruning off all its foliage and branches until only a stump of the plant is left. Even after all of its foliage is pruned off, the roots still have energy and nutrients stored to produce new plant structures.

Immediately cut off any new shoots and regularly inspect the plant for any new growth. By doing so, the roots will find it difficult to form new plants and eventually lose all of their energy.

The whole process requires extreme dedication. It may take a few years to successfully kill the plant and its root system. Wisterias have long taproots that should be removed using a shovel.

Will Bleach Kill Wisteria?

Great value concentrated bleach big bottle

Bleach is another effective way to permanently eradicate and kill wisteria. The sodium present in the solution will dehydrate the plant tissues, and inhibit its growth, eventually killing the plant.

First, peel off the stems using a knife or a peeler, then apply the solution onto the stripped portion. Remember to only strip the sections one at a time to prevent the plant from sealing them off.

Do not forget to wear protective gear including goggles, gloves, long sleeves, and pants to protect yourself from chemical burns and skin irritation.

Can You Let Wisteria Climb A Tree?

A Wisteria creeper grows from the bottom to the top of a 40 foot tree

It is not advisable to let wisterias climb trees because these vines tend to wrap themselves around the trunk, strangling new branches and suffocating the tree.

Simply cut the runners and the stems at the base to let the upper portion wilt and eventually die. Avoid pulling the vines since it could damage the tree.

In Closing

The cut stump method is the safest and most effective way to apply salt. Repeated application is necessary to kill the plant’s entire system. We hope the article has given you the proper guidance in removing wisteria in your garden.

You might also find these topics helpful:

Does Wisteria Have Invasive Roots? [And How To Control Them]

Wisteria Tree Vs Vine: Is There A Difference?

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