Kudzu
Pueraria montana var. lobata

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pueraria (pew-er-RAY-ree-uh) (Info)
Species: montana var. lobata
Synonym:Pueraria lobata
Synonym:Pueraria thunbergiana

Category:

Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender

Purple

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Evergreen

Herbaceous

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Jáltipan De Morelos,

Alabaster, Alabama

Cullman, Alabama

Deatsville, Alabama

Eclectic, Alabama

Irvington, Alabama

Linden, Alabama

Midland City, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama (2 reports)

New Market, Alabama

Thomaston, Alabama

Verbena, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama (2 reports)

Prescott, Arizona

Dunnellon, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Venice, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Cornelia, Georgia

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Kennesaw, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Woodstock, Georgia

Murphysboro, Illinois

Benton, Kentucky

Hi Hat, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Mc Dowell, Kentucky

Melvin, Kentucky

Pikeville, Kentucky

Brookeville, Maryland

Marietta, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Kansas City, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Concord, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Henderson, North Carolina

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Summerville, South Carolina

Del Rio, Tennessee

Jackson, Tennessee (2 reports)

Johnson City, Tennessee

Medina, Tennessee

Nellysford, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Bellingham, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
5
neutrals
18
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 29, 2012, KudzuWorld from Wetumpka, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love kudzu. It is a beautiful, easy to grow vine that can cover just about anything. It is edible (in fact very tastey, and the jelly you can make from the blossoms is delicious). It is full of health properties and loaded with fiber and protein and is one of the healthiest things you can eat. It grows well in other areas plants can't and has some possibilities as a bio fuel also.

It is like many other vines, and that is if you don't take care of it often, it CAN grow out of control. It is not much of a problem for me as I have incredibly rocky and clay soil that is extremely tough for anything to grow, but I just grow it in a big pot to be sure. I love lots of vines, they are my favorite types of plants.

Chances are if you grow it in a pot then you won't ha... read more

Positive

On Dec 17, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I used to hate this stuff, as i grew up in the North and had never seen such an invasive thing that can grow 2 feet in a day and cover 150 feet tall trees and connot usually be killed as it can develop 80 to 100 foot root systems, till i moved to North Carolina at age 13. But after discovering that it not only prevents erosion, but has such high protein and vitamin and mineral content, that it is 15 times as nutritious as soy beans, and it's roots can be ground up into a nutritious powder for humans that is sold in health food stores and can be made into a gelatin like tofu, and old timers here in the appalachian and blue ridge mountains of NC and Georgia.make sweet jam and jelly, out of its pink blooms and flower blossoms. This stuff has just about as many benificial uses as George Washin... read more

Neutral

On Aug 16, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have not heard of this plant growing in the UK.

But having heard all the horror stories of how invasive it is,how impossible to eradicate, and" don't, don't plant it!", I think I will have to give it a try!

I bet the diabolical English weather will put a damper on it. I will let you know of the results.

Positive

On May 26, 2010, Lodewijkp from Zwolle
Netherlands (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plant for the future .. the uses as food and medicine are endless .... probably will be used to colonize mars. The ultimate all purpose plant.....

however.....

It's too invasive on mars
It took over my girlfriend
Mulch with concrete if not steel brick
Fertilize with agent orange
Prune with machineguns
I live in a area where UFO are sighted ... nowadays kudzu grows here and there are no sightings anymore.....
Moonlight is enough to make it grow

it wouldn't surprise me if this vine abducted people, since it can grow 30 CM in a DAY. If you want to wage a war and need a good plan to destroy a country you need to fill a plane with kudzu seeds and disperse it on the lands.

This is not a gar... read more

Neutral

On Apr 25, 2010, SleepyFox from Prescott, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

On the observance of Kudzu in an arid climate:

I have observed this plant growing in several yards where they do NOT garner much watering from owners of the properties. Kudzu in my local climate in northern Arizona (Less than 19 inches of precip. a year, extremely low humidity) does not effectively spread. However, when near the few sources of water here (Seasonal creeks, ponds, etc...) this stuff is awful. In several areas, it has overtaken large oaks and carpeted the gorges where seasonal waters flow, choking out pinyon pines and Alligator juniper in the process.

If you live in the arid American Southwest, make absolutely certain you do NOT plant this near any seasonal or permanent creekbeds/waterways or other sources of water.

I would also ... read more

Neutral

On Oct 5, 2009, davecito from Carrboro, NC wrote:

The destructive and invasive qualities of this plant are legendary, and well-covered here. It's growth habit and overall appearance are reminiscent of something from a bad sci-fi movie.

This noted, Kudzu does have a number of virtues, which should also be noted:

1. It's edible. The young leaves, which are tender (older leaves become tough and fibrous) can be eaten as greens. The roots yield a high quality starch (similar to cornstarch) which can be found in specialty and ethnic grocers under its' Japanese name: Kuzu Root Starch. The flowers are prolific generators of nectar, make a good jam, and will yield honey of very, very good quality.

Any kudzu being eaten should not be roadside (marinated in car exhaust and other pollutants), and m... read more

Negative

On Jun 25, 2009, gryfonclaw from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is not only impossible to kill, but destructive. I'm not talking about trees or other plants (although I've seen it of course) but it BROKE my fence. Yes, you heard right, it broke my fence, and is working on my neighbor's. (He hates the kudzu, but I think he's given up fighting it. I don't blame him.) I will never, EVER recommend ANYONE plant this for ANY reason, and that includes erosion control. It's not worth it. Let the land erode. Just don't plant kudzu.

I've sown almost one metric ton of salt into my lawn on the kudzu areas, and that didn't kill it. My backyard caught on fire (long story, stupid neighborhood kids) and all the kudzu was 'destroyed'. It was a huge fire; had about 3 fire trucks parked in my front yard to put it out. (I have a large property).... read more

Negative

On Mar 26, 2009, gtr1017 from Roanoke, VA wrote:

For the love of God, don't plant this !!!!!!

Negative

On Oct 8, 2008, GardeningNC from Durham, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Anyone in the south - BEWARE! This plant will consume you if you choose to plant it and try to 'keep' it under control (not sure that is even possible in the south it grows so quickly).

Positive

On Sep 28, 2008, mjolner88 from Bellingham, WA wrote:

This species of Kudzu has many names, depending on the naming convention used...in this case it is: Pueraria thunbergiana (Siebold & Zucc.) Benth.

Some other synonyms for Pueraria lobata include:

Dolichos hirsutus Thunb.
Dolichos lobatus Willd. (basionym)
Neustanthus chinensis Benth.
Pachyrhizus thunbergianus Siebold & Zucc.
Pueraria hirsuta (Thunb.) Matsum.
Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi
Pueraria lobata var. chinensis (Benth.) Ohwi
Pueraria pseudohirsuta Tang & F. T. Wang, nom. nud.
Pueraria triloba (Houtt.) Makino

Positive

On Aug 21, 2008, cactusman102 from Lawrence, KS wrote:

Relax a bit......let the plant take over.....so what! Look what our own invasive species has done to this earth! Besides, plants like this are good for absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), sequestering harmful chemicals and adding oxygen to the air. I figure we should promote dense stands of plants like this to offset all the tropical forests we cut down and burn.

Maybe instead of crying about how this plant ruined your life and saying how horrible it is, lets try to see the good too.... explore its use as paper, bio-fuel, erosion control, or neighbor screening and repellant.

Think about this.....If you are concerned about a plant taking over, you are upset because of a control issue!You are upset that you can't control a species just ... read more

Negative

On Jul 26, 2008, Pamgarden from Central, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I don't know what can be further added to say what an invasive and destructive vine this is. The vines are so thick they can undermine the foundation of a house. It can completely envolop an unused shed or barn in just a few years.

Negative

On Jun 29, 2007, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Driving on a certain road, I see this plant literally draped like a blanket over tall trees, fences and anything else it can get to. It's probably choking out the life from these plants by not allowing any light to penetrate.

Anything this tenacious should be avoided, in my opinion. You can always plant something better behaved and similar in appearance. That's the beauty of the plant world. There's so many plants to choose from. You can most definably find a suitable option.

Negative

On Jun 1, 2007, RockingHolland from Floresville, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Many years ago when I was a child, I remember driving to North Carolina to visit my family. My mother asked my grandfather to stop the car so she could get some cuttings or kudzu.

Having never seen it before and not knowing anything about it, she just thought is was a great vine and covered so beautifully. My grandfather, told her kudzu would make it's way to Texas without any help from us.

Now that I am 36, I have discovered, he was right. This plant, although beautiful, is invasive and destructive and much to my chagrin is rapidly descending upon my area of the state.

Neutral

On Mar 12, 2007, Archena from Thomaston, AL wrote:

Spacing: Put it in the ground and run. Seriously, the stuff doesn't seem to have issues with congestion.

Actually, both the leaves and tubers are edible. Here in the South there are recipes for fried kudzu leaves (use young leaves) and you can buy kudzu jelly (has a mild grape flavor, they say. Is made from the flowers). The tubers are actually grown and harvested in China as a ground herb.

If you don't want your property anymore - or you have a hay baler you use regularly - then it's fine to plant. Otherwise it'll take over in a heartbeat. Does have a serious use in erosion control especially along riverbanks where it works well.

Negative

On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Kudzu Pueraria montana var. lobata is naturalized in Texas and other States ans is considered an invasive noxious plant in Texas.

Negative

On Sep 16, 2006, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ditto to all of the negative comments. This is one dangerous weed. If you don't have it......keep it that way.

Livestock will graze it, and I've heard that an edible jelly can be made from the blossoms. The blossoms have a thick, heavy scent that fills the air. They smell very good, but one shouldn't plant this thing just for the aroma.

The destruction that this plant causes is huge. It can kill a whole forest, each tree strangled as this creeping menace covers it.

Negative

On Jun 19, 2005, wtliftr from Wilson's Mills, NC wrote:

Only 12 inches a day??? I've seen it in North Carolina grow 2 feet a day. That's an inch an hour, people! You could actually see it growing!

Negative

On May 5, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is truly the most horrible weed in the United States. Brought from Japan when Philadelphia hosted the World's Fair, the USDA encourage farmers to plant it as an perpetual food source for livestock. Apparently the legume grew all too well here and has spread through the South's forests covering everything in its path like a green cancer. Please do not plant this ever!

Negative

On Apr 8, 2005, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

The WORST weed ever. If there is a such thing as a super weed, this is it. Kudzu can grow up to 60 feet or more in one season and its roots can reach 14 feet deep. It can also smother entire forests. Any pieces of root left in the ground will grow and conventional herbicides won't kill it. It isn't called the "vine that ate the South" for nothing. If it appears any where on my land I'd panic. The government is doing research into a beetle that eats kudzu in its native Japan for control measures but they have to make sure it won't attack other plants.

Negative

On Aug 2, 2004, WDNETMAN from Jackson, TN wrote:

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a very bad vine; no, take that back - it is not a vine it is more like a weed. It will take over anything kills tres and all plants! DO NOT DIG IT UP AND TRANSPLANT IT! It will take over your whole yard and once you plant it, you can't remove it (or at least I can't!) I wish I could go back in time and kill it before it ever got started. If you have found a way to get rid of this irritating plant, please let me know.

Negative

On Jul 24, 2004, chicochi3 from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

The vine looks like a grape vine and can be very attractive in a small bunch. Problem is, there's no such thing as a small bunch of kudzu. I cut a stand of it down the other day and found a garage in my back yard. Actually, I knew the old garage was there and had been unused for years, but the thing was entirely covered over. And now the kudzu is coming back. Invasive is an understatement to say the least.

Negative

On Jul 13, 2004, herbman75 from Cornelia, GA wrote:

I have seeds for anyone who wishes to unleash this wretched plant on thier property. I will even mail them to yankees. They might possibly get some sort of variant seed that is hardy in Buffalo, New York, then this weed can choke out all the burnt out crack houses up there the way it takes over all of our trashy homes and trailers that have been unoccupied for more than two years. Truly has found its second home here in Georgia. Choking out whole state. It might actually perform as an annual vine in extremely cold climate, too risky though as your name would be forever cursed by countless generations as the person who unleashed this plauge on your hardiness zone. Wisteria-like blossoms do smell pleasantly like NeHi grape soda.

Negative

On Jul 12, 2004, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

Kudzu also grows invase here in the southern midwest. I live in extreme southern Illinois(USDA zone 7a as indicated by the map on this webpage). There is a large hill about 9 miles west of my house covered in this biological anomoly. It is one of the largest known locations of Kudzu in Southern Illinois. Kudzu dies to the ground here in the winter, but it comes right back in the spring and summer with full force. We experience Georgia weather on average during the summer, with afternoon highs topping out over 90 with humid, but dry conditions. Kudzu actually grows fastest in drier weather, but growth rates differentiate constantly during the growing season. Throughout July and August, this vine grows 12 inches per day and up to 40 feet per year. When Kudzu climbs trees, it is slowed by the... read more

Neutral

On Jan 13, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

The only good way to control Kudzu is to fence it in and graze livestock. Cows, Sheep, or goats will take care of it. As small farms have dwindled, this plant has taken over any uncultivated ungrazed area from Virginia south. It does need adequate rainfall so you folks in the arid areas are probably safe, unless you irrigate it. It will survive winters that reach 15 below for short periods.

Negative

On Jan 13, 2004, Jacquie from Spring, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Kudzu is a major invasive weed in North Carolina's Piedmont. It will sprawl over telephone and power poles, growing several feet per day--not a joke. This plant was introduced for erosion control, but quickly takes over literally acres--and don't imagine that freeze will stop it. It came back after 15 degrees and then 2-foot snow in the same winter. Very Noxious in the Southeast. Houston better look out--or plant it over the worst eyesores.

Negative

On Jan 12, 2004, art_n_garden from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Negative

On Jan 19, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

"May be invasive" is way too polite. Any moderate climate is a potential victim for this rampant-growing exotic imported to the southern U.S. several decades ago. The tap roots are very deep, which makes it harder to kill through cold winter temperatures; and reports indicate it is becoming hardier as it spreads northward. (Or maybe it's always been that hardy, and it's just now getting a toehold in other areas.)

The only positive attributes of this plant: it does indeed prevent soil erosion on steep banks, and its roots can be dried and used in various ways including food. (These virtues are gravely overshadowed by its incredibly aggressive growth habit.)