How To Kill Wisteria The Proper Way

Sure, it’s nice to have a few ornamental plants in your garden or lawn. But there are times these ornamental plants seem to become more of a hassle to us. One example of this is Wisteria.

When they grow bigger, they become harder to maintain, and they just become a total mess when you forget to tend them for just a few days. 

It’s because of this that we came to the rescue to help you out by teaching you how to kill wisteria for good.

What do you need to prepare?

1. Herbicide

how to kill wisteria vines naturally

The first and most important thing you need to have is the herbicide. This is the one which will kill the wisteria due to its chemical elements and properties.

Triclopyr, glyphosate, and garlon, are some of the best pesticides you can use. These are very effective in killing off wisteria.

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2. Diesel fuel or vegetable oil

Diesel and vegetable oil are also important to have. You’re going to mix this with the solution so that it can easily penetrate the wisteria’s interior.

It makes the herbicide stickier and more fluid, making it more capable of seeping through every inch of the wisteria.

3. Saw and pocketknife

Prepare a saw and a pocket knife.

You’re going to use the saw to cut through the wisteria body. On the other hand, the pocket knife will be used to cut and slice through the wisteria, as well as peel off its stump. You want its interior to be exposed, and giving it cuts and peeling it off just does that.

However, it would be better if you’ll be getting a saw and pocket knife that is not too big. You don’t need a big one because wisterias aren’t that hard to cut as their branches are a bit soft and thin.

4. Paintbrush

You’re going to need a paintbrush because it’s this that you’ll use to apply the herbicide to the cuts and slices in the wisteria’s body.

Any paintbrush will do. However, it’s best if you use one that is specifically designed for herbicide application. 

There are some herbicide packages that include its paintbrush. In choosing an herbicide product, it would be wise of you to choose one that has a paintbrush included.

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The step-by-step process

#1. Prepare the mixture

how to kill wisteria vines naturally

The first thing you need to do is to prepare the mixture solution that you’re going to apply to the wisteria later on. You can use a disposable bowl as a container for the solution. However, it’s best if you have a garden hose sprayer.

The herbicide you’ll put inside it can be triclopyr, glyphosate, or garlon. There are pre-mixed solutions you can find on the market. These are the ones recommended because you don’t have to worry about doing mixings and stuff.

Just remember that they’re more expensive than the ones you still need to mix. It’s also recommended that you add a bit of diesel fuel or vegetable oil to the solution so that it can penetrate the wisteria better.

#2. Make a cut

The next thing you’ll do is to give the wisteria a nice open cut.

As you’re cutting an opening across it, make sure that a few inches will protrude from the ground. If you already opened it cut in the previous days, don’t hesitate to make another.

You want the cut to be fresh. The deeper the cut, the better it is so that the herbicide can penetrate the inside portion of the wisteria.

#3. Peel it off nicely and slowly

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You’ll see a bark located near the stump of the wisteria. You want that bark to be peeled off.

Peel it off until it’s about an inch beneath the stump. This will make it easier for the herbicide to penetrate the entirety of the wisteria later on. You can use a simple pocket knife to peel it off down to the stump bark.

#4. Paint it

Bring out your paintbrush and use it to paint the upper portion of the stump with your herbicide. Any paintbrush will do.

However, it’s recommended that you use a small one, so you won’t paint on other parts. It’ll also be less messy.

Apply a lot of herbicide but make sure that it won’t be too much where it will be dripping off of it.

#5. The second round of painting

Once you’re done doing the initial painting process, you need to leave it there for an entire day – 24 hours, to be exact.

This amount of time will be enough to enable the herbicide to seep through the interior of the wisteria, along with its stump and roots.

The next day, do another layer of paint on the stump. Just repeat the process.

#6. Finish off the wisteria

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The waiting time for the wisteria to die completely is around one week to one month. It depends on the size of the wisteria, the climate, and the intensity of the herbicide you’ve applied.

When you see that it’s already wilting off and is already dead, then it’s time for you to cut the stump off. Make sure that its roots are included when you pull it off the ground. This will ensure you that it wouldn’t regrow in the future.

You can view this video to see how to control the growth of wisteria if you don’t want to kill the off.


Though wisteria is usually used as ornamental plants, they can become more of a hassle because they can grow too thick, which can cover and mess up the overall look of your garden or home.

With this, it’s just wise of you to remove it. By simply preparing the things needed and following the mentioned steps in this article, there’s no doubt that you’ll be getting rid of wisteria for good.

You just need to be careful in doing it so that you won’t damage the other plants as well as put yourself in harm’s way. To a good-looking garden, mate.

If you like this article, you can share it with your family and friends, especially those who are into gardening. You can also tell us what you think by writing in the comment section below.

We’d be more than happy to hear from you.

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

15 thoughts on “How To Kill Wisteria The Proper Way”

  1. I love the idea of a targeted application. Wisteria tends to grow into plants that I want to live and the idea of applying herbicide into the plant never occurred to me.

  2. Glysophate found in Round-Up and others is Cancer Causing, the Company was successfully sued and it is advised not to use this chemical.

    • Thank you, I saw this recommended and reeled. It’s not necessary to go to such extremes. Even the incredibly invasive trumpet vine can be pulled up and chopped and simple vinegar applied to the peeled back roots. No need to go to petrol chemicals and glysophate.

    • Its glyphosate, and it does not cause cancer any more than the coffee you drink. It is only claimed to do so in CA, but in CA everything causes cancer. If glyphosate get your panties in a wad use triclopyr 4 mixed with diesel. both kill wisteria dead. Your genes have more to say about you life expectancy than these herbicides.

  3. Have aging Wisteria vines throughout an 8′ high cluster of Azaleas in a 20×30 foot plot. Am cutting everything back to 42-inch high and then tracking Wisteria to source and cutting a few inches above ground. Will either drill holes down center of larger (up to 3-inch Dia) stumps or splinter smaller stumps so as to make them more receptive to stump killer herbicide. Hopefully all stumps are part of a common root system. Will hereafter maintain passages through the plot for access to better manage surviving Azaleas. Wish me luck.

  4. I bought a 7 acre property in central NC in September of 2019 that is covered in wisteria. I have mostly gotten it out of the trees. It is everywhere on the ground and has spread into the neighboring properties. I have been selectively cutting smaller trees, pines, sweetgums and underbrush and keeping the hardwoods and very big pines. Where I have been brush cutting the wisteria on the ground it is an endless criss-cross of vines with no end, anywhere from 1 to 2 inches thick for acres. My plan A was to keep cutting the foliage until it is defeated. I am not sure I am winning. I don’t really want to Agent Orange myself. Someone recommended blow torching it. Any thoughts? If I knew cutting and torching would eventually kill it I would be fine with that. If it won’t, I need a plan B

  5. It will come back. Wisteria is a scourge in mankind. We had an arbor and when we removed it, it grows back weekly in 20 different places. Think of Stranger Things only worse.

    • Yes, this wisteria is taking over the woods all around our house and also in a front garden area. I’m digging up the vined roots (cutting them off) as deeply as I can (with a big spade shovel). If/when it comes back up, I think I’ll try putting herbicide on the root at the point where I cut it off.

  6. We are overwhelmed with it, that someone else planted. We don’t want to kill the wildlife or neighborhood pets. Is it possible to do it safely?

  7. I have a 50 + year old wisteria growing up a 50 yr plus chestnut tree. The trunk of the wisteria is 25 inches in diameter and the side vines octopus out from it for 25 feet. It really is a monster and is compromising the chestnut . We have torn up ground vines and rootsfrom this monster for years !!! Can I safely poison the wisteria without killing this valued tree? I’m willing to take a few years to complete the task so I can increase the survival of this old and rare and compromised chestnut. What should my plan of attack be? Thanks for you suggestions!!! I realized sometimes herbicides are necessary .


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