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Hi All!

I have a back wall and fence with ivy and wild aspargus vine and as I understand it the Ivy gives off a fluid in it's roots that stops other plants growing near it. Most of it is holding up some dead Elms along with the wild asparagus vine which is seriously invasive it's stem is sticky and it grows a mile a minute and has berries in Autumn. It wouldn't surprise me to discover that it was them that killed the trees. If I leave any of the roots in they'll just start up again so I need something that will kill off the roots as well?


hi liz i have lots of ivy in my garden with lots of cottage plants in and around them but i dont know about your vine did you see the a to z of gardening which is on every sunday morning on bbc 2  at around 9 30am alan titmarsh was talking about ivy and the myth of it destroying trees and the pebble dashing on houses apparently it does not kill of anything very interesting program


I don't know of a Wild Asparagus vine - can you post a picture for us?

Whatever it is it won't have killed your elms - sadly that will have been down to Dutch Elm disease 


im wondering if you mean that vine called i mile a minute, cant think of the proper name but it has white blossom flowers in the summer and grows at a horrendas  rate but nice if you can keep it in check,i also dont know od a wild asparargus vine


Just cut everything off at the base of the plant and leave to die for a few months.  Then it'll be easy enough to pull away and you can spray fresh new growth with glyphosate to kill that off.

However, ivy is not a killer of trees and actuallu offers shelter and food to insects and birds so maybe just trim back where it's growing where you don't want it but definitely kill off the Mile a Minute as it's a thug and just plain ugly.



Like chica I have masses of ivy in my garden and have had no problem growing spring and summer bulbs and perrebials alongside/underneath it. Ivy is a great source of food for insects and specially some moths.

Some of the stone dykes around my garden are completely covered in it and is popular with wrens and other small birds so I leave it largely to itself  except for cutting back the creeping stems about this time of year whilst I can still reach them and then leave it to develop berries for the winter.

If it is possible I'd keep the ivy - I've never heard about it having poisonous fluid in it's roots.

 I don't know what the mile a minute plant is but years ago I had a Russian vine that was called the same thing (otherwise known as triffid!) - it grew like crazy and covered a home made pergola in one season and was a mass of white flowers.


Gardening Grandma

I think asparagus vine is the same thing as asparagus fern, a rampant climber that can also spread invasively.


Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never come across asparagus fern growing wild in the UK - I know it can be a problem in the Southern states of the USA, but I've not met it here.  

My first thought when the OP posted about this was that it might be wild hops (or cultivated ones gone rampant) as I know that some foragers gather the spring shoots to cook and eat like asparagus,  

and she did say that the stem is sticky, which could be a way of describing it.  But she went on to say that it has 'berries' which wouldn't be the way I'd describe them. 


Gardening Grandma

i looked it up yesterday and found that it can be invasive in parts of the UK, but a photo would end the uncertainty. I didn't know about wild hops being eaten in this way - fascinating!


I've seen 'culinary' asparagus (officianalis) growing wild here in East Anglia, but I wouldn't call it invasive - I know that asparagus scandens (the climbing asparagus) is invasive in Australia, but as it's not frost-hardy I'd be surprised if it's causing a problem in the UK, especially after our recent winter weather  

I see that the OP lives in Enfield - not the mildest part of the country but I suppose that there might be a sheltered nook where it can cause trouble.  

Gardening Grandma

Well, Dove, you are more likely to be right than me. Not much point in debate anyway until a photo is forthcoming. The only really invasive thing I've had to deal with is Japanese knotweed, in another garden, and the solution there, other than spraying and letting the land lie fallow for a year or so, was to cut off the stems an inch or so from the ground and pour in neat Roundup. We also had a  rampant Boston Ivy growing in our garden whose roots were really next door.  The solution there was to cut back the plant to the bottom of the woody stem, bore a hole in it and again, pour in neat Roundup. It did not grow back.


Thank heavens I've never had to deal with Japanese Knotweed   I'm impressed that you beat it!  A friend fenced hers in and turned the chickens loose in there then dug a trench around and put in sheets of corrugated iron - 20 years on it was still there but hadn't spread. 

You're absolutely right - a photograph would be so helpful.  I wonder where the OP is?  Hope she's not been ensnared by the ivy and the vines  


 Black Bryony is one of my absolute favouritest plants - it is so beautiful sprawling across a hedgerow in the early autumn.  What gorgeous photos on that website!



I agree, wouldn't be without it. But it does get out of hand if not supervised.

gardenning granny

Trouble with the asparagus vine is that its very fleshy roots grow in amongst valuable shrub and tree roots.  I've dug out the spidery roots many times and burned them, and pull up all the seedlings as soon as I see them. Anything too big to be pulled/dug out without damaging the surrounding shrubs gets cut down to the ground.  I think the secret could be to deal with it the moment you see it because it does grow very fast.  I definitely have less with each year that passes.

Mine is growing in very dry schist.

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