Getting Rid of Cat's Claw

MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZJune 28, 2010

Is there a way? This vine was growing on our lattice-type patio cover - to the point where it was stressing the structure. We have pulled it all out (had to tie the whole mess off to the truck in order to drag all of the vines to the alley for bulk trash pickup).

I would like to plant something else in the areas where the cat claw vines are rooted but cannot get it to stop re-growing. Round Up only kills the sprout we spray it on, then another sprout will begin. Any ideas on permanently killing this stuff?


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It's right up there with Bermuda and kudzu.

Your number 1 mistake was in not spraying it thoroughly with glyphosate before you cut it down ... they have massive tuberous root systems they resprout from

1 - Dig out that bed, remove the tubers and rake out as many of the other roots as you can.

2 - Water the bed well to encourage any remaining roots to sprout so you can KILL them.

3 - When you see a sprout, let it get well-leafed out, spray it with glyphosate, and when it dies, dig it and it's associated root out as best you can.

It may take a couple of years, depending on how big that root system got.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Hi marymcp,

Cats Claw (Macfadyena unguis-cati) develops an underground tuber as it matures. The only way to completely get rid of this vine (in my experience) is to dig up the tuber. It looks like a sweet potato and can grow from 8 - 16 inches long and located 6 - 12 inches below ground.

Soak the area well so digging will be easier. Follow one of the sprouts down until you find the tuber.

Keep in mind that stems may have rooted if they touched the ground and pieces may keep sprouting. A product with glyphosate, like in Round Up, should help.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:44AM
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marymcp -
I had to chuckle at your post (NOT at your misfortune!) because I had asked a month or so back about planting cat's claw in some big holes in my patio to have it vine up my porch supports and lazygardens (I think) replied immediately that I shouldn't plant it anywhere near anything I cared about (like my patio roof).

Reading your post, I'm SO glad that: 1) I took the advice and paved over the planter holes and,
2) I belong to this forum!

I wish you luck with your CC eradication!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:14PM
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marymcp, what part of town are you in?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:41PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Thanks for the advice lazy and treelover. I'll post a pictre of where the CC is planted. I think it's been in the ground 30 or40 years,the age of the house. It may be impossible at this point to eradicate it completely. Maybe I should follow zzini and just concrete over the holes....there's 8 of them. The patio walls would look so cool with some other, less invasive vine. something pretty like clematis is what I would like to put in. Is there any hope???

plantaddict, I live in NW Phx,43rd Ave and Peoria. Why? You have a backhoe you can bring?? :~)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:28AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Here is an overview of the patio so you can see the placement of the planting sites, there's actually only 5 of them to deal with, not 8 at the base of each arch. Instead of concrete, would it work if I seal the dirt section completely with landscape cloth so that no light and no water gets in? How many millenium will it take to kill the CC that way?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:35AM
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I wanted some more cats claw so I was going to offer help in digging some up. Im at 35th and Greenway

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:36AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Well thanks ppa, if I thought it would help eradicate them I would happily let you at it, but methinks I need to just pour some cement over the holes. Darn it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:28PM
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I have a trick that seems to work for getting rid of any plant, maybe it will work on the Cats Claw too!
I cut down the plant, leaving a foot of the main stem. Then I soak cotton balls with vegitation killer. I rap the cotton balls around the cut, cover it with plastic baggy and rubber band it in place. The plant sucks up the vegitation killer, getting rid of roots and all. Im new to Az. but this has worked for getting rid of Ivy in Washington state. Good Luck:)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:23AM
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I don't know who allowed my neighbor to plant this or how long ago but it is highly invasive! It's all over ever fenceline, climbing up walls, and choking/strangling the china berry tree in my yard and I find it snaking its way underground and popping up all over the place. I'm surprised the electric company doesn't seem to care that it's completely covering some wires and has climbed all the way up the pole and is starting to snake across the lines up there now. Will Round-up really kill this off? I want this gone!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 6:31PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Re-reading this thread is informative, I started it June 2010. Here we are slightly more than a year later. We used a tow strap attached to the back of our truck to remove the root ball from three of the sections where they were planted. Two have remained cat-claw-free but one, the one I've been watering because other plants have been inserted, the CC is coming back. Shoulda done what lulu2 suggested and wrap gauze soaked vegatation killer rags around the stump. Ugh. I hate this stuff - with the same vehemenous as bermuda. Never lived with kudzu, don't wanna.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:24PM
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Well, here it is two years later and I am still dealing with this nasty CC. Unless I can get into the neighbor's yard and kill this thing where she planted it I am fighting a losing battle. All I can do is keep cutting it back. I've ripped it away from my building where it is wanting to climb up like it is doing on two of the neighbor's buildings. I am in an apartment. You would think the homeowner next to me would not want that nasty thing separating their roof from the rest of the house. I can see where they would like for it to keep the sun off the house thus keeping it cooler but I can think of better ways of doing this and not the destructive, invasive CC.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:48AM
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