In addition, the nodes of the kudzu vine have the ability to root when exposed to soil, further anchoring the vine to the ground. ANR-65. lobata. In kudzu’s native countries, it has continued to have beneficial uses beyond being an adequate form of soil erosion control. Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences.  This has earned it the nickname "the vine that ate the South". Our species profiles include selected highly relevant resources for the species (organized by source), and access to all species related resources included on our site. One case study saw a significant decrease in the growth of kudzu after just two years, whereas another study required the use of the herbicide for up to ten years.  Other pathogens have been tested as potential biological control agents, but have proven to be ineffective. Now the dominant nitrogen-fixing plant in the eastern United States, kudzu fixes an estimated 235 kg of nitrogen per hectare per year, which is an order of magnitude higher than the rates of native species. However, by 1953, the kudzu invasion was on the move and the USDA took kudzu off of the list of recommended cover plants. The kudzu.  The roots are tuberous and are high in starch and water content, and the twining of the plant allows for less carbon concentration in the construction of woody stems and greater concentration in roots, which aids root growth.  There are several biological means that are already in place and more that may be implemented to control the growth of kudzu. Kudzu grows best where winters are mild, summer temperatures are above 80°F and annual rainfall is 40 inches or more. Appearance Pueraria montana var.  Seed predation is quite prevalent, with up to 81% of seeds incurring damage in populations studied in North Carolina.  These attributes of kudzu made it attractive as an ornamental plant for shading porches in the southeastern United States, but they facilitated the growth of kudzu as it became a "structural parasite" of the South, enveloping entire structures when untreated and often referred to as "the vine that ate the South".. "Kudzu (, Forseth. It can survive through harsh hot temperatures and dry seasons. GRIN-Global. Distribution Map; Research; Identification; Control; Images; Video; Links; Contact; Website developed, maintained and hosted by the Bugwood Center for Invasives Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia as part of the Southern IPM Center with funding provided by USDA NIFA, under Agreement No. and Innis, Anne F."Kudzu (, Black, R.J. and Meerow, A.W. ", Marshall, Jessica "Kudzu Gets Kudos as a Potential Biofuel". Pennsylvania State University. Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Kudzu grows well under a wide range of conditions and in many soil types. Of the plants that can successfully compete with kudzu, many are other invasive species such as the Chinese privet and the Japanese honeysuckle. , Another form of chemical removal other than herbicides is soil solarization. Forest Service. It was cultivated by Civilian Conservation Corps workers as a solution for the erosion during the Dust Bowl. , As chemical treatments are often ineffective for long term control and mechanical removal is likewise difficult and costly for long-term control, kudzu makes a good candidate for biological pest control. These methods, though more effective than herbicides, are more time-consuming.  Power companies must spend about $1.5 million per year to repair damage to power lines. (180 kg). Kudzu has even been shown to possess medical properties and was used to fight inflammation and infections, among other ailments. "Effects of Kudzu (, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Environmental issues in the United States, "Kudzu's invasion into Southern United States life and culture", "Controlling Kudzu With Naturally Occurring Fungus", "Fungus Tapped to Take on Kudzu : USDA ARS", Kudzu Gets Kudos as a Potential Biofuel, 2008, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kudzu_in_the_United_States&oldid=991870494, Invasive plant species in the United States, Articles with dead external links from February 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2013, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 06:27. Pennsylvania Sea Grant. A small herd can reduce an acre (0.4 ha) of kudzu every day. In China, kudzu is found on road embankments and in mountainous regions where cultivation of crops was not possible. Pueraria montana var. The vine has a growth rate of 0.3 m (1 foot) every day. , In addition to its abilities to obtain nutrients and spread quickly, kudzu leaves have paraheliotropic movements, meaning that they move in response to the movement of the sun in order to maximize photosynthetic productivity. Grows up to one foot per day. Its ability to reproduce and spread quickly allows it to quickly cover shrubs, trees, and forests, where it blocks the sun's rays from the plants below it, decreasing or completely eliminating their photosynthetic productivity. By the early 20th century, southerners began to use kudzu for purposes other than ornamentation and so kudzu began to come closer in contact with the land which, in turn, encouraged its spread throughout the southeast. All land owners in an infestation area must coopera…  Today, kudzu is estimated to cover 3,000,000 hectares (7,400,000 acres) of land in the southeastern United States, mostly in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi. Once rooted, most stems lose connection with each other within one year, allowing each stem to become a physiologically independent individual, and requiring that all stems be treated or removed in order to eliminate a population. These roots can weigh up to 400 lbs. Kudzu's ability to grow quickly, survive in areas of low nitrogen availability, and acquire resources quickly allows it to out-compete native species. When young, stems are covered with stiff bronze hairs, becoming woody when mature. Kudzu kills or damages other plants by smothering them under a blanket of leaves, encompassing tree trunks, breaking branches, or even uprooting entire trees. The maximum length the vine can reach is 30 m (98 feet). "Kudzu Root: An Ancient Chinese Source of Modern Antidipsotrophic Agents. Leaflets may be entire or deeply lobed. In the USA, kudzu has a wide geographic and climatic range but grows best in areas with at least 1000 mm annual rainfall, mild winters (5-15°C) and hot summers (above 25°C).  The starch is used in Japanese cuisine, and is widely consumed as such in that country. This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above.  In Korea, kudzu root is harvested for its starch, which is used in various foods including naengmyon, as well as a health food and herbal medicine. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  In the southeast, the spread of kudzu is especially troublesome because of the high level of biodiversity in this region that is not found in other regions of the United States. and Vallee, B.L. Kudzu can also root wherever stems make contact with soil, allowing vines to grow in all directions. Bacterial blights, insect herbivory, and insect seed predation occur in high levels in field populations of kudzu. (18 cm) in width and grow to 9 ft. (3.8 m) deep. 104, 366-274. North Carolina State University.  Vines must be mowed down just above ground level every month or two during the growing season in order to prevent them from growing back. Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Later, the United States government distributed the plant around the region to help prevent soil erosion. "Herbicide Tests for Kudzu Eradication. Home; Report; Distribution Map; Research; Identification; Control; Images; Video; Links; Contact; Website developed, maintained and hosted by the Bugwood Center for Invasives Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia as part of the Southern IPM Center with funding provided by USDA NIFA, under Agreement No. , Other uses may include: paper products, food products, insect repellents (the smoke from burning leaves), honey, and methane production.  As a twining vine, kudzu uses stems or tendrils that can extend from any node on the vine to attach to and climb most surfaces. Disease development is very high at around 30 °C to 40 °C, which matches field conditions. While they may admit that Kudzu was deliberately sown by the US Soil Conservation Service to reduce soil erosion, they just as quickly say that it is a noxious, invasive plant that should be avoided at all cost. Kudzu growing near the Mississippi river in Baton Rouge.  When kudzu was first introduced in the southeast, it was initially used as an ornamental vine to shade homes. It was first introduced to North America in 1876 in the Japanese pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Roots are fleshy with taproot up to 12 feet deep . Unfortunately it is because of climate change that kudzu has become as bad as it has in the southern US. , Most mechanical means of kudzu removal practiced in the southeastern United States involve mowing the vine or cutting it back. Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. 2006. Kudzu Pueraria montana : Description: Kudzu is a fast-growing, climbing, semi-woody perennial vine in the pea family. Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. , Kudzu's primary method of reproduction is asexual vegetative spread (cloning) which is aided by the ability to root wherever a stem is exposed to soil. Kudzu is a fast growing vine native to China and Japan and was introduced into the United States in the late 1800s as fodder for livestock and to prevent soil erosion. By 1997, the vine was placed on the "Federal Noxious Weed List". Although the Authority does not own or maintain canoe/kayak launch points on the Brazos, there are many put-in and take-out locations available along the Brazos river.The most popular paddling locations are the stretches of river below Possum Kingdom Estimates of the vine's spread vary, from the United States Forest Service's 2015 estimate of 2,500 acres (1,000 ha - 10 km²) per year to the Dep… , Bill Finch, "Legend of the Green Monster," Smithsonian Magazine, vol. ", Adams, Nicole E., et al.  Kudzu is also able to allocate large portions of carbon to root growth, allowing it to acquire sufficient nutrients for rapid growth and to spread clonally. Vines. Happy weeding! Kudzu is an invasive plant species in the United States. However it will not grow in very wet or thin hard-pan soil. You map prompted me to check whether it's found in British Columbia. IFAS. Maps can be downloaded and shared. However, one major drawback of this biological control agent is that it is highly toxic to mammals, so extreme care would have to be taken in handling this organism. It has been spreading rapidly in the southern U.S., "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually".  By 1946, it was estimated that 1,200,000 hectares (3,000,000 acres) of kudzu had been planted. C ompletely covers vegetation and structures. See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information, See also: Publications - Weed Control for Lawn and Garden for more resources.  In Japan, the kudzu root starch (or kuzu root starch) extracted from kudzu roots is used in cooking and natural medicines, and it is used to make hay that sick animals will eat.  Estimates of the vine's spread vary, from the United States Forest Service's 2015 estimate of 2,500 acres (1,000 ha - 10 km²) per year to the Department of Agriculture's estimate of as much as 150,000 acres (61,000 ha - 610 km²) annually. Range of invasion on Maui: On Maui, kudzu can be found in low elevation wet areas along the Hana Highway in Keanae, Wailua, and Nahiku.  Herbicides are found to be most effective when they are used during the typical growing season, June–October, and when used for successive years. , Currently, grazing by goats and pigs is the best method for control of the vine. Kudzu grows out of control quickly, spreading through runners (stems that root at the tip when in contact with moist soil), rhizomes and by vines that root at the nodes to form new plants.  For sexual reproduction, kudzu is entirely dependent on pollinators. Organisms that feed on kudzu will often feed on similar non-target species that are important in agriculture, such as soybeans and hog-peanuts. , Kudzu management is of great concern in the management of national parks in the southeast such as Vicksburg National Military Park, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ; Jenkins, M. A.  In Korea, kudzu grows in areas where the temperature can drop to −22 °F (−30 °C). Distribution Map. Kudzu in the United States is a recognized invasive plant species that has continued to cause problems for the environment and land owners. In Honomanu valley, at sea level, kudzu can be seen below the road, climbing the valley walls. In the southern part of the United States, kudzu is known as "the vine that ate the South" and efforts are made to eradicate it.  Kudzu is also used as a food crop in Java, Sumatra, and Malaya, and can be found in Puerto Rico and South America. When using this method of kudzu control, all of the plant material must be removed and/or destroyed (burned or fed to cattle) to prevent the vines from taking root and re-growing. True. Columbia University. Kudzu mostly lives in the southeast because of the well-drained eroded lands. Our species profiles include selected highly relevant resources for the species (organized by source), and access to all species related resources included on our site. Ball, and M. Patterson. Kudzu is a very stress-tolerant plant. Now, kudzu is most commonly found in the U.S. south, but its range stretches north towards New York and west towards Texas. 46, no 5, September, 2015, p. 19.  Kudzu was introduced to the Southeast in 1883 at the New Orleans Exposition.  Kudzu is also a "structural parasite", meaning that, rather than supporting itself, it grows on top of other plants and buildings to reach light. Google. Kudzu was cultivated by civilians who were paid $8 per hour to plant the vine on the top … United States Kudzu Range Map.  When evaluations of potential control agents are made, the range of the control agents must be taken into account. , There are several methods for controlling kudzu growth that are used in the Southeastern United States. ", Frye, Matthew J., Judith Hough-Goldstein, and Jiang-Hua Sun. Maesen & S. M. Almeida ex Sanjappa & Predeep (ITIS), Introduced as an ornamental and for erosion control (Everest et al. Revegetation of sites following treatment is an important last step to ensure that any residual kudzu does not reestablish. Jr., I.N. Kudzu is an invasive plant that was introduced in the United States for erosion control, but the environmental Kudzu vines, Pueraria montana, covering trees and a hillside in North Carolina. Potential control agents have to be rejected if they are shown in laboratory and field tests to feed on these non-target plants. Kudzu has also expanded into non‐analog climates in the invasive range that are not found in the native range, including parts of south‐central (western Texas, northern Louisiana, Arkansas) and western (Washington, Oregon, California) United States (Fig. Kudzu in Alabama: History, Uses, and Control (PDF | 1.46 MB) Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Its fleshy tap roots can reach 7 in. , While little research has been conducted on the impacts of plant invasion on atmospheric conditions, a study conducted at Stony Brook University in New York shows that kudzu has increased the concentration of atmospheric NOx in the eastern United States, which causes a 2 ppb increase in tropospheric ozone during high temperature events in addition to soil acidification, aluminum mobilization, and leaching of nitrate (NO3−) into aquatic ecosystems. , Kudzu also has potential as a source for biofuel.  Along the vines are nodes, points at which stems or tendrils can propagate to increase support and attach to structures. Provides kudzu resources from sources with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species. 1999).  In the United States, kudzu is extensively reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Harrington, Timothy B., Laura T. Rader-Dixon, and John W. Taylor. In the absence of other plants, nitrogen then builds up in the soil, allowing the maintenance of large leaf areas and high photosynthetic rates. The word is a corruption of “kuzu,“ the Japanese name for the plant. Australian Government. "Landscaping to Conserve Energy", Keung, W.M.  However, chemical treatments are expensive, and killing off the plant completely requires large amounts of herbicides (40-80 gallons per acre). 1999. Going Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants.  The leaves have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which can supply up to 95% of leaf nitrogen to the plant in poor soils. Hickman, Jonathan E., Shiliang Wu, Loretta J. Mickey, and Manuel T. Lerdau. Kudzu also forms symbiotic relationships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria to convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into ammonium which can be used by surrounding plants. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely. , Of the diseases that have been identified as potential biological control agents, the fungal pathogen Myrothecium verrucaria has been shown to be very promising. The Eurasian pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) has a disjunct distribution in Europe and the island of Ireland. Kudzu… Or, to display all related content view all resources for Kudzu.  This ability allows it to flourish in nitrogen-poor sites where other plants are unable to grow. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The most extensive infestations have been found in the southern United States, including Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, earning kudzu the nickname “the vine that ate the south.” Kudzu was introduced into the US in 1878 from Japan as a Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and New Orleans in 1883 during an exposition. University of Georgia. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Primary kudzu roots can weigh over 180 kg, grow to 18 cm in diameter, and penetrate soil at a rate of 3 cm in depth per day. A. Webster, C.R. In the dictionary next to the definition of "invasive species," they could show a photo of kudzu. For this reason Kudzu was promoted to be used as an erosion control. [Accessed Mar 19, 2015]. The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. In China, kudzu root is used in herbal remedies, teas, and the treatment of alcohol-related problems. Kudzu is drought tolerant and only the above ground portions of the plant are damaged by frost. Miller, James H., and Ronald E. At Wailua, kudzu can be also be National Genetic Resources Program. Kudzu is an invasive plant species in the United States.  It has been recorded in Nova Scotia, Canada, in Columbus, Ohio, and in all five boroughs of New York City. Leftover root fragments from lawnmowers can also take root and become established. Kudzu is a climbing vine native to Japan. lobata (Willd.) The plant was widely marketed as an ornamental plant that would provide shade for porches as well as a high protein content for livestock fodder and as a cover for soil erosion in the 20th century. The following species have been reported to be invasive in natural areas in the U.S. In Vicksburg, kudzu has invaded 190 of the 2,000 total acres of the park and threatens to diminish the historical value of the park. In Japan, kudzu thrives in mountainous regions, ranging from the 44th parallel north (the island of Hokkaido) to the 30th parallel north (the island of Kuchinoshima) and many of the lowlands and the islands. Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada). In addition, the fungus does not spread outside of areas where it is applied. In McNeely, J. , Although kudzu prefers forest regrowth and edge habitats with high sun exposure, the plant can survive in full sun or partial shade. Entomology and Plant Pathology. YouTube; United States Department of Agriculture. kudzu This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Cooperative Extension. The most prominent effect of this method of control is the increase in potassium.  From this survey, several leaf-feeding beetles and sawflies that have no other known hosts were identified. Vines are woody or herbaceous twining or climbing plants with relatively long stems.  A separate study also found two weevils that attacked the stems of kudzu and eight beetles that complete larval development in the kudzu roots.  The efficacy of the treatment of alcohol-related problems is currently under question, but experiments show promising results. Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. As with most aggressive exotic species, eradication requires persistence in monitoring and thoroughness in treating patches during a multi-year program. These include mechanical, chemical, and biological methods. Everest, J.W., J.H. North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Forest Service. S3). Friday, 6th June 2014 by Kyle Kusch. lobata) as a feedstock for livestock. Kudzu and other invasive weeds pose a significant threat to the biodiversity in the southeast. "Biology and Preliminary Host Range Assessment of Two Potential Kudzu Biological Control Agents. million planted acres. , Kudzu was intentionally introduced to North America by the Soil Erosion Service and Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s for the purpose of controlling soil erosion in the American Southeast. This review assesses the potential use of kudzu (Pueraria montana var.  Soil solarization affects the micronutrients and macronutrients in the soil. Today, somewhere between two and seven million acres in the southeastern United Stated are covered by kudzu. , The economic impact of kudzu in the United States is estimated at $100 million to $500 million lost per year in forest productivity. , The kudzu plant was introduced to the United States from Japan in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  Another way to control kudzu is goats and sheep. This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. Kudzu Infestation in the United States. , Once established in a habitat, kudzu is able to grow very quickly. lobata is a climbing, deciduous vine capable of reaching lengths of over 100 ft. (30.5 m) in a single season. Kudzu is believed to have originated in Japan, where the ecosystem (primarily the tendency of kudzu to experience above-ground die back over winter) kept the vine from becoming a nuisance, and it is thought to have been introduced to China and likely Korea. Nothing seems to stop it. ARS. Kudzu (Pueraria montana) is a semi-woody, trailing or climbing, perennial invasive vine native to China, Japan, and the Indian subcontinent. Pueraria montana var. While the vine spreads, the pest range will spread, and the pest will navigate itself into economically important crops. 1999), Crowds out native species (Everest et al. Kudzu grows well under a wide range of environmental conditions, although greatest growth is achieved where winters are mild (40-60°F), summer temperatures rise above 80°F, and rainfall is abundant (101+ cm [39 in]). Ecological Threat  The roots can account for up to 40% of total plant biomass. National Invasive Species Information Center, Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) - Kudzu, Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - Kudzu, New York Invasive Species Information - Kudzu, Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) -, The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Kudzu, Japanese Arrowroot, Invasive Plants: Restricted Invasive Plants - Kudzu, Forest Pests: Invasive Plants and Insects of Maryland - Kudzu (Aug 2012) (PDF | 670 KB), Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Kudzu (PDF | 211 KB), Publications - Weed Control for Lawn and Garden, The History and Use of Kudzu in the Southeastern United States (2018), Introduced Species Summary Project - Kudzu, Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast - Kudzu, Kudzu in Alabama: History, Uses, and Control (PDF | 1.46 MB).  This claim, however, was disputed in 2015 with the United States Forest Service estimating an increase of 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) per year.  In the 135 years since its introduction, kudzu has spread over three million hectares (ha) of the southern United States, and continues to 'consume' the south at an estimated rate of 50,000 hectares (120,000 acres) per year, destroying power lines, buildings, and native vegetation in its path. Department of the Environment and Energy. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Kudzu Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) Fast-growing, deciduous, perennial vine. This has earned it the nickname "the vine that ate the South". It cannot be over emphasized that total eradication of kudzu is necessary to prevent re-growth.  Another method of mechanical removal is to remove the crown of the plant. Range. Preferred habitats are open, sunny areas like forest edges, abandoned fields, roadsides and disturbed areas. Blaustein, R.J. (2001). Once established, kudzu grows at a rate of one foot per day with mature vines as long as 100 feet.  The climate and environment of the Southeastern United States allowed the kudzu to grow virtually unchecked.  Each leaflet is large and ovate with two to three lobes each and hair on the underside.  Five species in the genus Pueraria (P. montana, P. lobata, P. edulis, P. phaseoloides and P. thomsoni) are closely related and kudzu populations in the United States seem to have ancestry from more than one of the species. Miller, D.M. Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2019: I've never had to deal with kudzu. The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library says this about kudzu: ————— Scientific name: Pueraria montana; a subdivision of Phaseoleae, the group that includes peas and beans. , A different and less time-consuming option for the control of kudzu is treatment with herbicides. In 1970 kudzu was listed as a common weed, and in 1998 it was listed as a Fed-eral Noxious Weed. , Kudzu is a perennial vine native to Asia, primarily subtropical and temperate regions of China, Japan, and Korea, with trifoliate leaves composed of three leaflets. Soil solarization is a thermal (heat) method that utilizes solar-enhanced heating of the soil to kill the root system of the plant, thereby avoiding the use of pesticides and other more dangerous (fire-based) means to control the plant. Species native to the U.S. are included when they are invasive in areas well outside their … Some common herbicides used are picloram and triclopyr; the most effective are picloram and tebuthiuron. They reduce the environment to impoverished "vine barrens". A different survey found twenty-five different species of insect feeding on the kudzu. The .gov means it’s official.Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. The word "kudzu" comes from the Japanese word for the plant, 葛, or kuzu. "Kudzu's invasion into Southern United States life and culture". Factors Contributing to Species Range Several factors determine species range. YouTube; Oklahoma State University. Native to eastern Asia, the perennial vine known as kudzu was introduced to the southeastern United States in the late 19th century as an ornamental plant to provide shade for porches. The higher level of potassium in all soils undergoing solarization demonstrates the successful release of K from decomposing kudzu plant tissues. This part must also be destroyed to prevent re-implantation. The kudzu plant (Pueraria lobata) has a disjunct distribution in the southern islands of Japan and the southeast Asian mainland, as well as the United States. Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  The fast growth and high competitive ability is achieved through several key features of kudzu that are detailed below. Of these states, three in the southeast have the heaviest infestations: Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.. Vines are 1 to 4 inches thick. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar. Such a rise in potassium levels by solarization is important for soils in the Southeastern United States that tend to be highly weathered and generally have low potassium contents. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It has been spreading rapidly in the southern U.S., "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually".