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Invasive Plants: Wintercreeper

Ah, winter creeper. My most despised groundcover.

Euonymus fortunei is native to China, Japan, and Korea. Dark green or variegated, this vine climbs across the ground and up trees and structures. It likes almost all sun and soil conditions except wet. It forms a mat and displaces any natives in its path, including saplings. It can smother and kill shrubs and small trees.

I have spent a fair amount of time removing wintercreeper from gardens. It is not fun. In small areas, you may remove by pulling, being sure to get every piece of the root. For larger areas, it is best to cut back as much as you can in the fall, and then spray the remaining plants with glyphosate. It may take multiple applications.

Sources: DCNR, Invasive Plant Atlas

📷: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

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