View Full Version : Removing Vinca (Periwinkle)

04-11-2003, 08:06 AM
Tried to ask this question on the invasives discussion, but it kind of got lost in a bigger issue: I am heading up a creek restoration in my neighborhood. As with many creeks, we have a vinca problem. Charlie Danielson once told me that the only way to get rid of it may be to cover it or to dig it out plus about 2 feet of soil. At the time, I had visions of plastic sheeting. Since then, I have realized that instead of hauling off vines, etc., that we could just dump them on the vinca. If it kills the vinca, then the vines are a lesser issue and are already there anyway. Also, we have a big pile of Eucalyptus chips dumped near the site. I know that they are considered bad for most plants, but again I thought that we could dump those chips on the vinca. I figure, since there is not a continously dumping of Eucalyptus duff, the potential effects of the Eucalytus oil would be less than that around the trees. Also, I have recently read that Eucalytus mulch is not, in fact, chemically toxic to other plants. I don`t think any seedlings would be an issue, as we could easily pull them before they grew. Joe Trapp</p>

04-12-2003, 05:36 PM
Hey, Joe - I`m not sure that covering up actively growing Vinca with plant refuse will do the job. The Vinca might just grow through the mulch, branches, etc. Solarization might work, but you have to use clear plastic and fasten down the edges tightly, which is hard to do on a steep slope. Then, of course, you have to have enough sunny days. We don`t do much solarization where I live - the Mendocino coast. If there are enough people willing to work on this, you might section off the Vinca area and try different methods. Put Euc mulch on one section, non-Euc plant trimmings on another, solarize another, and so on. Just plain pulling it up works well when the ground is damp, as it is now. Of course any bits of root or stem left behind will grow into a new Vinca invastion, but it might be that getting rid of most of the above-ground growth would make it more amenable to mulching or solarization treatments. Friends of Sausal Creek has a website, and I`m sure they had to deal with Vinca. Can`t recall what the URL is, but a Google search will get it. You might want to contact them and ask if they have any advice. I can tell you that in projects like this, the 'People`s Republic of China approach' is the key - lots and lots of humans out there, toiling away. Good luck, Lori Hubbart</p>

04-14-2003, 03:10 PM
Hi Joe: You`ve now become acquainted with one of the single most difficult exotics to remove. I have had to deal with it next to the coast, and at 5000 feet in Julian, and it is incredibly tenacious. It is like Bermuda grass with flowers! We have had fair success repeatedly spraying with heavily concentrated Round-up or Rodeo in riparian plant communities. We usually mix to the highest concentration allowable per label instructions. It may take 5-8 sprayings to get rid of the stuff. It laughs at us when we try to pull or even dig it up, as there always seem to be pieces left. Due diligence combined with creation of a stable native plant community seem to be the only answer we`ve come up with. We are fighting some on a client`s slope in Carlsbad as we speak. We are on our fourth spraying, but seem to definitely be winning the battle. Hope this helps.</p>

04-15-2003, 10:59 AM
I have since read that one of the problems with using Roundup on Vinca or Ivy is that the leaves have a waxy coating, making the herbicides roll off. To get around this, I read, one can cut back the Vinca or Ivy. When fresh shoots come up, apparently they do not have waxy leaves, and therefore Roundup is much more effective. So, I am going to give that method a shot. Joe</p>