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How to Kill Wisteria Effectively & Easily!!

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Why Wisteria?

Are you looking for ways to control your wisteria? For the uninitiated, Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants of the legume family. It climbs by wrapping its stems around any available support.

It can be a tree, pillar, gate, or any other structure. They can climb as high as 20m above the ground and spread more than 10m laterally.

Read on to find how to kill wisteria or get rid of it without much problem.

It was the beauty and fragrance of this plant that attracted me first. After planting it in my garden, I was really proud of the way it spread! Soon, I started to find it annoying!

It is a beautiful plant with decorative qualities. However, the problem is that given half a chance, it can grow into a problem!

Don’t allow the beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers fool you! Its beauty and fragrance are deceptive. It grows at a rapid speed and can easily take over other plants and even trees.

It can completely take over a building or house if left unchecked. The largest known wisteria is in California, which measures more than 1 acre in size!

How to Kill Wisteria
 © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

What Do You Need?

If you are looking for a way to effectively get rid of your wisteria, then read on. I asked a lot of gardening experts and the first time someone told me to kill my wisteria, I was shocked!

Then I saw that I needed to do this to save the other plants and even a beautiful tree which was now completely covered in wisteria.

Here are a few things which you will need if you plan to kill your wisteria.

  • Herbicide: this is what will kill the wisteria. Triclopyr, glyphosate, and garlon are among the best and most effective.
  • Vegetable Oil or Diesel: this is also an important ingredient. You will mix this with the solution. It will make the herbicide seep through every inch.
  • Pocketknife & saw: the saw is for cutting the body of wisteria while you will use the pocketknife for slicing through or for peeling off its stump.
  • Paintbrush: this is what you will use for applying the mixture on the plant. You can use any thick paintbrush or get a specific herbicide application brush.

How to Kill Wisteria?

Before we get into the details, you should understand that killing or eliminating the wisteria entirely is only the last resort.

1. Remove Sprouts or Plants by Hand

Sprouts: If the wisteria is still not too spread out, then you can try to pull out the new sprouts by hand. Make sure that you dig it out entirely so that it does not re-sprout.

You should dispose-off all the branches and seed pods carefully so that no new sprouts come up in some other place.

Small plants: if the wisteria is slightly bigger, then you must cut it as close to the ground as possible. Put all the cuttings in a bag to dispose-off as far away as possible.

Now put the herbicide on he exposed part left in the ground. If you notice any new sprouts after a few days, get rid of them immediately.

Big Plants: consistent pruning is the only way you can control wisteria. Regular pruning throughout the summer season to remove excess shoots is necessary. Extensive pruning during fall and winter can keep your wisteria under your control.

2. Use Herbicide

Prepare the Mix: use a disposable bowl to prepare the required amount of the mixture. It is even better to have a garden hose sprayer.

You can find pre-mixed solutions like triclopyr and glyphosate, which are quite useful. You won’t have to worry about proportions and to mix. Add vegetable oil or diesel fuel for the herbicide to penetrate better.

Make the Cuts: the next thing to do is to make an open cut to your wisteria. Cut it a few inches from the ground. The cut should be fresh. It is better if the cut is deep because only then the herbicide can reach the inside portions of the plant.

Peel Off the Bark: look at the bark located near the stump of the wisteria. Peel off the bark until it is about an inch beneath the stump. This will ensure that the herbicide penetrates the wisteria completely. You can use the pocketknife to peel off the bark.

Apply herbicide: take the paintbrush and use it to apply the herbicide on the upper portion of the stump. Use enough herbicide to cover the exposed area completely.

Second Coat: after applying once, leave it for 24 hours or one day. During this time, the herbicide will seep into the interior parts. The next day, paint another layer of herbicide on the stump.

Kill Wisteria: after these steps, wait for a week to ten days for the wisteria to die. It also depends on how big your wisteria is and how strong the herbicide is?

You will notice that the plant is wilting and dying. Now, it is time for you to cut the stump and finish off the wisteria completely. Make sure that you remove the roots and all signs of the plant fully.

3. Spraying Herbicide

Foliage: spray the foliage with herbicide only as a last resort. It may affect nearby plants.

Dipping: place the leaves or vine tips in herbicide solution for about 48 hours before cutting and removing the wisteria vine.

Important Points

Some herbicides are specific to particular plants, while some are generic. It would help if you always used caution while using herbicides.

Excess use can harm the surrounding areas, other plants and trees, and the environment in general. Follow the directions thoroughly and properly. Always try to minimize the use of chemicals.

When & Where (Not) To Plant Wisteria!

Because of its quality of spreading too fast and becoming invasive in no time, it is a good idea to give some thought to where you want to plant it or where you must not!

  • You must plant wisteria in moist but well-drained soil.
  • Sun is crucial for the plant, especially for it to flower well.
  • You can add compost if the soil is not good. Generally, wisteria can grow in all types of soils.
  • Planting in the spring or fall season is best.

Now, you must also take precautions about the place where you plan to plant it

Where To Plant Wisteria
  • Choose a place where you don’t have any priced plants nearby. Wisteria can grow fast and overpower nearby plants.
  • Never plant it too close to your home. It grows onto any adjacent structures. We feel that you should avoid planting wisteria near your house, garage, or any other structure.
  • The vines of wisteria are quite strong and require a sturdy structure for support. The trellis, arch, or pergola can break under the weight if it is not able to take the weight.
  • Wisteria looks lovely on the side of a home with its flowers; however, you need to be cautious.

The vines of this plant can find their way into any crack or crevice in the wall. They are powerful, and once they find their way in can weaken the wall or the full structure.

If you are careful right from the beginning, you can contain and control it to suit your requirements. After all, its flowers are pretty and can add to the beauty of any garden!

Is Wisteria Toxic?

Yes, wisteria is toxic. All its parts contain substances lectin and wisterin, which are toxic to animals and humans. If ingested in small doses, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, food poisoning, etc. In extreme cases, it can even cause death.

These substances are present in a more concentrated way in the seeds and seed pods. Make sure your pets or children don’t get near these if you notice any discomfort after ingestion takes action without wasting time. Contact emergency services or take them to a hospital.


When I first decided to get rid of my wisteria, it was difficult because I did not have the right information. It was more like a trial and error method.

However, with all the information we have shared with you, it will be easier for you to do this. Killing your wisteria should be the last resort. We hope that we have been able to answer your question, “how to kill wisteria’? In a satisfactory manner.

If you find the information useful, do share it with others. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to see them. Feel free to ask any questions if you still have any doubts.

We have given you the ways to kill wisteria in the step by step processes. All you have to do is follow all the steps, and you can achieve your goal.


Sunday 8th of October 2023

PLEASE don’t plant wisteria anywhere! It can find its way to your neighbors, who will curse you forever

Hoang Quang

Monday 9th of October 2023


It sure can be a pain!

But that's why we have guides like this one to help people control its vigorous growth.

And... to keep their neighbors happy. 😁