This plant rated among the Top Ten favorites in the 2013 Survey of Norchester Garden members. It attracts Red Admiral, Monarch, Queen. Viceroy, Cassius Blue, Marine Blue, and Reakirt Blue butterflies. West end of Buchanan Bed.
Kudzu was introduced from Asia into the United States in 1876. It has spread through southern states into Texas. All parts of the plant need to be eradicated in order to prevent regrowth and undesirable spread in our area.
Wikipedia - Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a serious invasive plant in theUnited States. It has been spreading in the southern U.S. at the rate of 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) annually, "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually." Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. This has earned it the nickname, "The vine that ate the South."
Kudzu kills or damages other plants by smothering them under a blanket of leaves, encompassing tree trunks, breaking branches, or even uprooting entire trees. Once established in a habitat, kudzu is able to grow very quickly. Kudzu can grow up to 60 feet per season, or about one foot per day.
In addition to its abilities to obtain nutrients and spread quickly, kudzu leaves have paraheliotropic movements, meaning that they move in response to the movement of the sun in order to maximize photosynthetic productivity.
The economic impact of kudzu in the United States is estimated at $100–500 million lost per year in forest productivity. In addition, it takes about $5,000 per hectare (2.5 acres) per year to control kudzu. For power companies, it costs about $1.5 million per year to repair damage to power lines.
Control: Most mechanical means of kudzu removal practiced in the southeastern United States involve mowing the vine or cutting it back. These methods, though more effective than herbicides, are more time consuming. Vines must be mowed down just above ground level every month or two during the growing season in order to prevent them from growing back. When using this method of kudzu control, all of the plant material must be removed and/or destroyed (burned) to prevent the vines from taking root and re-growing. Another method of mechanical removal is to remove the crown of the plant. This part must also be destroyed to prevent re-implantation.
Join garden club members in this the last of summer workdays at Matzke Park Butterfly Garden where we get an early start. Left to nature, it could become a "vine yard" so let's focus this month on removing as many of the fast growing vines as possible. Damage to flowers can be minimized by snipping segments of vines and their tendrills and lifting upward. Remove down to the last root when possible. Good luck!