The Demon Kudzu

kudzu pile
I thought I’d give you a kudzu update.  The front of the property is 85% clear of kudzu. Whatever is left is hanging down by the road. I patrol along the front of the house every couple days, looking for anything I missed or new vines trying to stage a comeback. I feel like a guard dog…and look like one too, I’m sure!

I always carry at least one weapon. Snippers, clippers, machete or what have you.  Mars conjunct Mercury – I love a hand tool with a blade.

Now today I went over to the barn which is a different area completely. I was going to leave this kudzu for my husband who prefers to wait until winter. I started hacking away and was shocked at how far it had encroached onto our property. I thought it had ran over a low fence about a foot. It was more like four to six feet and it had sent out runners that were twenty feet long and rooted in yard.

kudzu clearing

This is the area I cleared. You can see the tree stumps I uncovered. I had no idea they were there.

You can also see my neighbor’s kudzu problem. Or kudzu forest is more like it. This may look hopeless to you. To me it’s GAME ON.

Now the family that owns that property is the same family on the other side of me. His yard is kudzu free and immaculate. So I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get permission to hack kudzu on the other side of the fence which is of course, more fun for Elsa. That’s an 80 acre parcel over there.

As of now the property is pretty much clear of kudzu and the dog aka me will be on it. Oddly, before I moved here, I told my doctor I was going to walk the property line at least once daily. I guess most would carry their phone. I’m going to carry a tree saw.

I don’t think this is going to do much to change my “peculiar neighbor” tag. I don’t care.  They can just be glad I don’t have a tractor..

My husband calls kudzu a demon. I call it a devious bastard. You should see how beautiful it seems.  So vibrant and healthy, with beautiful flowers no less!

Is there “kudzu” in your life?  Something that seems appealing but will choke you out if you don’t stay on top it?

23 thoughts on “The Demon Kudzu”

  1. Is there “kudzu” in your life? Something that seems appealing but will choke you out if you don’t stay on top it?

    Oh boy….is there ever

  2. In those parts of the world where it doesn’t run wild and choke out native plants, kudzu isn’t quite the devil in green:

    Kudzu has shown some promising results in reducing the desire for alcohol in studies. Although the mechanisms through which it works remain unclear, kudzu shows an ability to both decrease the amount of alcohol a person drinks, and help prevent hangovers.

    Kudzu increases circulation, an action that tends to reduce muscle pain and stiffness, and increases blood flow through the coronary arteries. One kudzu compound is a beta-blocker, which reduces a racing pulse induced by stress. It has traditionally been used for respiratory infections. Kudzu contains an estrogenlike compound that can binds to breast cancer cells, blocking estrogen that stimulates cancer cells to reproduce.2

    The starchy root of kudzu is high in complex carbohydrates, helps balance the acidic nature of many foods, and is soothing and cooling to the digestive tract. Powdered kudzu root is used to thicken sauces, especially in Asian cooking.

    Preparation Methods & Dosage :Powder added to teas, extracts. Kudzu may be more effective if used in its natural state, such as in kudzu tea.

  3. Yup. But I do not find it attractive at all. It was actually sold by local nurseries and has become major invasive. Buckthorn. And it’s that time of the year again to continue my pursuit to eradicate it. Takes over and shades out new tree growth. Actually everything else. Monoculture. Yuck. It gets these little purple berries that cause the runs when eaten. So the birdies eat em and spread the seeds readily.

  4. I have Kudzu on my property and just rip it out like a mad woman. I dig out the roots with my handy tools. I call it dirt therapy.

    It does get some pretty flowers, but its so invasive and spreads so quickly it has to go. I’ve been doing it for several years and finally have it almost gone.

    It reminds me of some of my family relationships. They’re about to go too.

  5. No, I attack kudzu in my life like a m-f’er. Even potential kudzu. Carry that machete, Elsa, that’s what it takes. 🙂

  6. My mom had kudzu infiltrate her life last year in the form of a freeloading younger brother who had gone through the generosity of all the other siblings who eventually kicked him out. He latched onto her after she lost her husband of 28 years. He was very helpful, of course, and talked her into deeding a house and a truck to him…. A year and a half later, she NOW realizes that he has been piggybacking onto her life to avoid making one for himself, and it’s very difficult to extricate herself from this. You see, she is a Cap with an opposing Cancer moon (FAMILY IS EVERYTHING), so it was very easy to see how this would end up. Fortunately, I was willing to do the dirty work for her because I could not care less about blood, and now he’s off to Alaska to bum off some friends he met in taxidermy school. They’re not family and they have no reason to support him indefinitely, so I predict he’ll be back in a year, tops… Hahhhahah, I love being right. Anyway, moral of the story: You can trim the kudzu, you can appreciate the kudzu, but ultimately, if you don’t aggressively attack the kudzu, it will never leave and will insidiously take over your whole life.

  7. I have the opposite problem! Boys with toys who INSIST on butchering anything with flowers on it (Sonoran Desert). Especially bougainvillea. The HOA hates me, neighbors think I’m crazy and the blade happy landscapers are afraid of me. And I couldn’t care less!

  8. hi elsa,
    I’ve got a landscapers trick for you- from the kudzu -samorai:
    take a cup filled with petrol and a wide paint brush- and brush with petrol the stems of the kudzu – petrol will be absorbd into the roots and kill the bastard for good.
    In my country we call this procedure “stroking”
    ….that is only if you prefer not to snipe around daily 🙂
    Enjoy <3

  9. Yup. Stupid ex-crush. Got some help from the Leo new moon (which was smack on top of my natal moon) in the form of a red lion (which looks a lot like a stuffed toy I had as a child LOL!). Anytime I start thinking about him, the red lion roars and scares the fantasy ‘lover’ away! Or chases him, whatever. 🙂 I think it had him by the throat once….

  10. When you said that kudza had beautiful flowers I had to google it. They are gorgeous!!! Such rich, vibrant colors.
    They should be the cover, instead of the green leaves. To DesertJewel, NOT the bougainvillea!! That’s just criminal.
    Elsa, if you planted bougainvillea, would that take over the kudza?

  11. “..Eradication procedure recommends repeated herbicide treatments for at least four years, but some kudzu plants may take as long as ten years to kill, even with the most effective herbicides.

    The vine of the hardy, fast growing Kudzu can engulf an abandoned vehicle, house, barn or even a grove of trees in a single season once a good root base has been established. It often damages or even kills large trees by blocking needed sunlight…”

  12. Amazing photos! Thank you. That second one looks like “The Burning Man” playing golf.
    The Burning Man people should do something creative with kudzu.

  13. Looked up kudzu. It’s very edible. There is even a kudzu cookbook. Supposed to be good for blood flow, the heart, and diabetes too. But mostly I enjoyed how it was described. Will follow you like a dog. Close the windows on your house or the kudzu will get in.

  14. Great article! I have given this a lot of thought since I first read it because I wasn’t sure at first. But now I realize that my Kudzu is the battle of depression from self-doubt and inferiority complex. (Saturn in Virgo 2nd square Moon/Venus in Gem 10th/11th) I used to think Saturn was the cause but when I scrutinized this, the real root is the oversensitivity of the Moon/Venus. It sounds like such a nice aspect to have but truly, Moon-Venus, especially in the upper horizon, is supersensitive and hyperreactive to the max. ? Even positive conjunctions from Jupiter, Venus, Sun, and/or Moon in synastry or by transit cause deep cuts from perceived slights that take *forever* to heal (not the squares, trines, oppositions, or sextiles but only conjunctions). Odd right? So I’ve learned that the Saturn in Virgo square is my real cure to depression, as antithetical as that sounds. When I feed Saturn by being physically and mentally active, serving others, staying organized, being scheduled, eating well, staying on top of the mundane details that add up into bigger problems and working on some self-development–then I am happy and helping that moon/Venus desensitize by staying even-keeled and sensible with a healthy dose self-esteem, thus cutting the Kudzu of depression. But when I don’t and pay too much attention to Jupiter in the 12th sextiling and indulging moon to be in the clouds, then that’s where things go downhill. Kudzu grows very quickly with Jupiter’s influence. Eek! (And t.Jupiter is closing in on a square ? )

    Thanks for your thoughts! Definitely will have to utilize my Saturn scissors more often. ?

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