invasive plant

Asked April 9, 2019, 11:52 AM EDT

Can you please tell me what this plant is and how I can kill it? Not sure if the thorn vine is also part of this plant. It is right next to my vegetable garden so I'm afraid to use some insecticides. Right now I'm digging up the roots, but the root system is very intricate. Is there another plant that can be planted to stop the spread?

Kent County Michigan

8 Responses

Sorry I can really tell much from those photos. The middle photo looks like a type of euonymus. I am not sure why that would be by your vegetable garden. It is hard to identify anything from the last photo. If you could send some additional photos with any bigger plants that would be helpful. Also maybe a photo of the surrounding area so we can see what else is around there.

It originally grew up from a an overgrown brush behind the vegetable garden and has set runners under the garden and to the front of the garden. There is no bigger plants because they are just starting to bloom. Please see picture 2 above.

Is the original bush behind the garden still there or is this what is left from that plant? The last few photos are a bit blurry. I will see what I can figure out from photo 2 above.

I believe what you have is Wintercreeper, Euonymus fortunei. Wintercreeper is a fast-growing ground cover, shrub or vine. It can be considered invasive. This plant has trailing stems that spread out from a central root system. They will spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with the soil. If you want to control this you might try spot treating the stems with Roundup. It may take several applications. Be careful to only treat the wintercreeper as Roundup is a contact herbicide and will kill or injure beneficial plants. Roundup is probably your best option right now as it doesn't have a lot of residual and you can plant in that area once the desired weedy pest is eliminated. Be sure to read and follow the label. Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Hi, I reviewed multiple pictures of the winter creeper and that is not it. Also I didn’t see thorns on them. They also bid little purple flowers late in the summer, any other thoughts?

I only noticed thorns on the first photo and the photo with the thorns appears to be different than the variegated plant photo. I am only able to tell you what I think the variegated plant looks like. Do the variegated plants produce purple flowers?

They could be a different plant, yes the variegated plants has the purple flowers

If the plant with the thorns gets any leaves, send some additional photos. The variegated plant with purple flowers could also be periwinkle or vinca. You can search that and compare it to your plant.