The Q&A Archives: Round-up

Question: My husband was spraying Round-Up on some blackberry bushes. Some of the spray got to my clemetus vine. Now half of it is dying. Will it eventually end up killing the other half of the plant? Should I cut away the dead part now? I am assuming that is what happened. Could the spray drift up to a plant about three feet away if someone was spraying?

Answer: Round-Up's main ingredient is called glyphosate, which is a systemic. This means when it is sprayed on a plant, the plant absorbs and distributes it throughout its system. Eventually, it kills the entire plant, including the roots. Yes, the spray can drift to other plants, particularly if there is any breeze. Three feet is not very far away. If the damage to your vine occurred at the same time as the spraying of the blackberries, it's a pretty good bet that some of it landed on the vine. You might try cutting it back severely to see if you can stop the spread, but Round-Up is effective at what it does, so I'm not sure there's much you can do to save the vine. For any future applications, spray in the morning when air is usually calmest and cover any nearby plants. Thanks for writing.

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