Is Chocolate Vine Invasive: Getting Rid Of Chocolate Vine In Gardens

Chocolate Vines
(Image credit: rbiedermann)

When a plant has a luscious name like “chocolate vine,” you may think you can never grow too much of it. Yet, growing chocolate vines in gardens can be a problem, and getting rid of chocolate vines is an even bigger one. Is chocolate vine invasive? Yes, it is a very invasive plant. Read on for information about how to control chocolate vines in your backyard or garden.

Is Chocolate Vine Invasive?

Only gardeners new to chocolate vine need to ask, “Is chocolate vine invasive?”. Once you’ve grown it, you know the answer. Chocolate vine (Akebia quinata) is a tough, woody plant that presents a serious ecological threat to native plants. This vigorous vine will climb trees or shrubs by twining, but with absent supports, it will grow as a dense groundcover. It quickly becomes a thick, tangled mass that overwhelms and chokes out neighboring plants.

Managing Akebia Chocolate Vines

Managing Akebia chocolate vines is difficult because of how tough they are and how rapidly they spread. This vine grows happily in shade, partial shade, and full sun. It sails through droughts and survives freezing temperatures. In short, it can and does thrive in many different habitats. Chocolate vines grow quickly, shooting up to 40 feet (12 m.) in one growing season. The vine produces fruit with seeds that are distributed by birds. Chocolate vine in gardens though more often spreads by vegetative means. Every piece of stem or root left in the ground can grow. It’s easier to talk about managing Akebia chocolate vines than to fully eradicate them. Getting rid of chocolate vines is possible, however, using manual, mechanical, and chemical control methods. If you are wondering exactly how to control chocolate vine, you have a few options. If chocolate vine in gardens has developed into scattered infestations, try using manual and mechanical methods first. Pull out groundcover vines by hand, then dispose of them carefully. If your chocolate vines have climbed into trees, your first step is to sever the vine trunks at ground level. This kills the portion of the vine above the cut. You’ll need to start getting rid of chocolate vine-rooted portions by pruning them repeatedly as they grow back, using a weed whip. How to control chocolate vine once and for all? Unfortunately, taking out chocolate vines in gardens entirely means you may need to use pesticides and herbicides. Using systemic herbicides might be the most practical way of killing chocolate vines. If you first cut the vines and then apply concentrated systemic herbicide to the rooted stumps, you can deal with the infestation.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.