What A Way to Kick Off Summer!

Back in May, my parents came over for a day of trimming vines, cutting shrubs, removing the nasty Red Tips beside the house, and so forth. Hours and hours of yard work. Hard yard work.

Right before the wedding, we noticed a vine with rather large leaves growing among the jasmine along one side of our fence. Just a vine or two, no big deal. While we were gone on our honeymoon, my parents came over and took some of the vine down, including a hunk that had jumped from the fence to the crepe myrtle in the back yard.

Then it started to rain. It rained several times while we were gone. I think it has rained almost every day since we returned. Afternoon storms are not unusual this time of year. Rain, lots of rain.

And the vine grew. And grew. And grew.

When my parents were over yesterday, my Mom offered to come over this morning to help me clear out the vine. Remember, it’s HOT here in Houston. Right now it’s 89, and says it “feels like 97”. It’s even worse when the sun is beating down on you. Add to that the fact that there is Mexican Heather plants right in front of where the main clump of vine was growing – and the bees love that during the middle of the day.

I got out of bed this morning, got dressed, covered myself in mosquito repellant, got the fire ant killing stuff ready for when they attacked (and they did attack) and started hacking at the damn vines.

Freaking Air Potato Vines that weren’t there just a month ago. They almost grow right before your eyes.

I worked for about 2.5 hours. My Mom joined me for 2 hours. We cut down two FULL lawn & leaf bags worth of vines, plus another kitchen trash bag of them. Huge vines. Leaves as big as your head almost. Baby vines that were sprouting up all over. So many vines. I would have been easier to contract the new Brisbane mowing business.

By the time we finished, our clothes were soaking wet. I wish I was kidding, but at 11 am we were just drenched from all the work.

If I see another air potato vine, I might break down and cry.

And I know I will see them again. This vine just won’t stop. In Gainesville, Florida they did an air potato roundup and picked more than 8 TONS of air potatoes. I don’t think there are that many in my yard, but I am sure there are still some out there waiting for me.

The thing that really gets me? My Dad went to the nursery with one of the potato seed things, and the guy says that they sell them! I found message boards with people looking for these seeds. Why?!? I wouldn’t wish that vine on my worst enemy!

While standing on the step ladder, trying to pull more of the vine out of my tree, I made a horrid discovery. My neighbors have some of the vine on their fence too. I just hope they didn’t intentionally plant it there. There is just no escape!

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

16 replies on “What A Way to Kick Off Summer!”

Actually, I had it without the “e” and then noticed that was how they had spelled it on all the articles. I’ll go back and edit them out later.

No photos. When we were all done, we realized we should have taken before and after photos.

Emily, I have a bag full of the “potatos” on my patio. You are more than welcome to have them! Just beware – that shit spreads FAST!

I remember those plants from when I was in grad school in Gainesville. They covered *everything*!

I’m glad you terminated this one or it could have engulfed your entire house!

Roundup should be your new best friend. That stuff kills everything. And be careful, I just discovered that I have some hidden poison ivy in my yard that I have been touching when I work out there….

I got one word for you from South Carolina.


It can, under the right conditions, grow a foot per day. And it’s taking over. Call it Japan’s revenge for WW2, since we imported it here for “erosion control”.

Amusingly, it does control erosion…and plants…and power poles…and abandoned cars…and houses…and small, slow-moving children.

Ewwwww! No, we’re not eating those things! (It wasn’t really clear if the were edible anyways.)

Should you ever end up near Chez Tremoulet, we would gladly have you over for dinner – air potato free! 😀

re: Kudzu- goats can and will eat this stuff, and a good sized group of them, with other foliage available, may be able to help clear it out of the area.

re: Air Potatoes- OMG. I’m so glad we don;t have any troublesome plants like that here. Then again, maybe some kudzu and air potatoes (if the goats can eat them safely) would make a good summer forage?

How do you root the seeds or pods whatever they are? Does anyone know? I’ve tried like an avacado seed but it has not worked. Thanks to who ever can help me.

Funny, I googled air potato vine because I am inundated with them! i bought a piece of property in Florida in March with a natural area on the side that had NO potato vines. Now, you’d never know there were 40 ft tall trees there – just giant potato vine monsters. I was hoping there was some advice on the internet of how to get rid of them besides soaking yourself (it’s hot here in Florida, too). But apparently, there isn’t. I can’t believe a nursery there sells them!! It’s so irresponsible.

If you don’t want them, send them my way. I had one a long time ago and loved it. If kept trimed back, it is a beautiful vine. I used it to hide my trash can outside, plus it looked pretty.

I understand your pain, we have millions of them in our yard and I don’tknow why anyone would voluntarily plant them–they completely took over our back yard and now they are sneaking into our garden. I too have bags full of them.

Wow, that darn vine just keeps growing and growing… sounds like a lot of work! We don’t have any of those vines in our yard (Thank God!), but we certainly have our hands full with other time-consuming yard work so I feel your pain.

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