Q:

How do I prune silver lace vines?

A:

Silver lace vines, or polygonum aubertii, tend to be invasive and must be pruned regularly. Severe pruning is best done in late winter or early spring. Use garden shears disinfected in hydrogen peroxide, and be sure to discard the cuttings.

  1. Train young vines

    Train silver lace vines to go where you want them to during early years of growth. A place with moist soil, morning sunlight and afternoon shade is best. Give the vines an arbor or fence to climb, and limit them to this area by trimming them into a specific growth pattern. Because they can grow 12 to 20 feet in one growing season, silver lace vines need continual attention.

  2. Remove damaged and unwanted limbs

    Once the vine is established, cut diseased or dead limbs, which look unhealthy and dark, back to healthy wood. Trim limbs damaged with gashes and limbs that tangle around each other. Do not yank out stems, but cut them into sections to remove them. Any time a shoot goes too far or the wrong way, cut it back to the direction you want it to go. Make clean cuts, and do not leave stubs, which invite insects and disease.

  3. Perform major pruning if necessary

    If the vine is difficult to control or has grown too extensive, cut it back completely to the ground during its dormant season. This inspires vigorous new spring growth that you can freshly trim and control.


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