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How to Get Rid of Wild Sweet Potato Vines in Your Garden

sweet potato image by steveinnz from Fotolia.com

Wild sweet potato vines thrive as produce in a garden and in the wild, with invasive drought-resistant vines that grow up to 30 feet long. These vines bloom big purple and white flowers in spring season that can be up to 6 inches wide. Since sweet potatoes can grow in almost any condition or type of soil, it is almost classified as a weed. If you want to get rid of these vines, it will take some time and manual labor, but it can be done.

Determine the location of all the existing wild sweet potato vines. Follow the vines to find where they end and where the bulk of the plant begins.

Use the pruning shears or scissors (depending on how thick the vine is) to cut the vine off 1 inch from the ground.

  • Wild sweet potato vines thrive as produce in a garden and in the wild, with invasive drought-resistant vines that grow up to 30 feet long.
  • Since sweet potatoes can grow in almost any condition or type of soil, it is almost classified as a weed.

Sprinkle a handful of salt on the cut area.

Apply the herbicide the remaining bulk section of the vine until it is soaking wet. Continue to apply the herbicide around the plant area in the soil, about 5 inches from the base of the sweet potato vine.

Discard the cut-off vine pieces into the trash.

Examine the cut vine stubs in the ground to see if they have died a week later. If it looks like the vines have started to grow again or look alive, cut them off again and apply the salt and herbicide a second time.

Holes In My Sweet Potato Vines?

Long hind legs for jumping give metallic-bronze or black potato flea beetles their name. Usually less that 1/10 inch long, the adult beetles infest sweet potato vines in spring, chewing tiny holes in their new leaves. The white-striped, pale-green caterpillars crawl across the undersides of the leaves by arching their midsections as they draw their front and back ends together. Control both these pests with a spray solution containing 3 to 5 tablespoons -- or the label's specified amount -- of plant-based pyrethrin insecticide in a gallon of water. Wear protective clothing and eyewear, socks, shoes and a hat while you drench the leaves on both sides.

  • Sprinkle a handful of salt on the cut area.
  • Wear protective clothing and eyewear, socks, shoes and a hat while you drench the leaves on both sides.
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