What is it?

Kudzu (Pueriaria lobata Willd.) is a leguminous vine native to China. The plant was first introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as an ornamental and later grown as a forage crop and soil stabilizer. Kudzu now grows throughout the southeastern United States, including Kentucky, and occurs in a variety of sites, such as forest edges, rights-of-way, old homesteads, and stream banks. Capable of growing two inches a day under optimal conditions, kudzu is considered an invasive species due to its growth habit and ability to dominate a site if left unchecked.


How do I control it?

Cultural control methods, such as livestock grazing, have been shown to be effective in controlling the size of a small ongoing infestation. Intensive grazing by goats and cattle, for example, may help deplete root reserves and weaken the plant to allow for easier control. Mechanical control of kudzu infestations by mowing, hand removal, or prescribed burning is usually ineffective due to the inadequacy of these methods to control sprouting roots and tubers.

For more control methods, click the Kentucky Woodlands Magazine article link to the right.


KWM Article