How to Kill Wisteria Roots

How to Kill Wisteria Roots

Wisteria is a fast-growing vine known for its stunning and decorative lilac-colored flowers and fragrant smell.

Wisteria is grown to cover fences, walls, arbor,s or trellises.

However, wisteria is not just your average fast-growing vine. It is quite an ‘aggressive’ plant.

It covers anything that comes in its way. It can take over any plantation or lawn and is killing neighboring plants.

It also aggressively spreads to nearby structures like buildings and houses making Wisteria difficult to contain.

It is also important to mention that Wisteria is highly toxic for animals.

So if you have domesticated animals such as dogs or horses, wisteria can be harmful for them. 

Trying to kill Wisteria in the garden is therefore not uncommon.

Wisteria takes a couple of years before it has fully developed into a large and aggressive vine.

The time comes when these beautiful plants will need to be taken down because of their tendency to spread uncontrollably. One way is to kill the roots of a Wisteria.

How to kill Wisteria roots?

Wisteria roots can be killed by going the non-chemical route starving or excavating the plant. It is by far the safest method, especially if you have animals or kids nearby. The second method involves chemicals such as herbicides, petrol, and bleach that will kill the wisteria.

How to kill Wisteria roots in the non-chemical way?


One way is to starve the wisteria. First, you need to cut the trunk. 

Then look carefully for any sprouting leaves and remove them on a weekly basis if you spot any.

That way, you can just remove the new sprouts on an ongoing basis and leave the roots to rot. 

This method is all about depriving the plant of the energy that would be produced by the leaves.

This will eventually kill the plant. If you cut off the shoots just before the new leaves start feeding energy into the plant, the plant will die. 

This requires consistency, patience, and persistence.


Excavation is the process of removing soil and rock through the use of construction equipment.

The excavation will usually take a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of 3 weeks or more depending on how big the plant is.

Bear in mind that this method is expensive and will involve heavy equipment.

What are the different methods to kill Wisteria roots the chemical way?

Concentrated herbicide

When using herbicide always wear rubber gloves and safety gear because the chemical used may cause skin irritation. 

Also, read and follow the label instructions carefully to avoid any harm. 

Cut the vines all the way through the ground level.

Apply the herbicide formulated for wisteria onto the stump that has been freshly cut.

This needs to be done immediately after cutting.

You can also apply the herbicide onto the outer edge of the cut. This is where the vascular surface of the plant is, just underneath the bark. 

In addition poison its roots by inserting picks into the ground so that the tips puncture the roots. 

Herbicide & diesel fuel mixture

If herbicides don’t work, you can mix a small amount of diesel fuel to the herbicide and repeat the steps mentioned above. 

Using this method, extreme precaution is a must because of fire hazard when using diesel fuel. 


If the herbicide & diesel mixture still seems to fail, you can make use of bleach. You can also kill other plants with bleach.

Read about how to kill poison ivy with bleach.

Peel the wisteria’s bark from the vines. 

Use a commercial-grade bleach and carefully paint it onto the freshly peeled bark. 

Although this method is effective, it is not highly advisable because other plants that are planted nearby may die.

The bleach is strong enough to contaminate the soil.

When is the best time to kill Wisteria roots?

Killing wisteria roots can be done anytime but it will take plenty of application before you can successfully kill the stem.

it is most effectively done during the winter season. This is because wintertime is when the wisteria is dormant.

What kind of concentrated herbicide should I use?

Experts recommend using herbicides with a 20% concentration of glyphosate.

You can start off with a 41% concentrated bottle, and dilute it with 1:1 water to form a working solution. An alternative is a 8% solution of triclopyr.

Most people prefer using glyphosate herbicide. It breaks down into non-toxic material when applied, and won’t travel in soil, and will not impact other plants. 

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