What is moth plant?
One of Auckland’s most noxious weeds, moth plant (Araujia hortorum) is a woody vine that can grow up to eight meters high, has sticky white sap, smothers native vegetation and produces large choko-like seed pods that dry and split, releasing 250-1000 parachute-like seeds per pod. The wind spreads those seeds and so the invasion continues.
Moth plants are categorised as Surveillance pest plants which are pest plants banned from sale, distribution and display but not subject to mandatory removal.
In the past few years though, Pest Free Auckland has been fighting back to eradicate the moth plant and you can help.
What can I do?
- The sap is an irritant, so avoid skin contact.
- Remove fruits to prevent seeding.
- Pull the plant out by the roots or cut near the ground.
How can I dispose of the pods?
- If you subscribe to a garden bag or bin collection service, the pods can go in there – the commercial composting process (with industry standards) remains hot enough for long enough that the seeds inside the pods do not survive.
- Home composting is not recommended - it doesn't get hot enough to kill the seeds.
- Put the pods in your regular rubbish bin for collection.
- Take them to a transfer station.