Bindweed can be a very stubborn and frustrating weed to deal with. It can not only strangle and out-compete other plants, but once established it can be very difficult if not impossible to deal with. Here’s how you can identify and get rid of it if it happens to take up residence in your own garden.

  • Cut off any stems at the soil line when you see them forming
  • Do not pull as broken pieces of roots, even a small piece can form new growth
  • In extreme cases, cover the area with black plastic for at least a year
  • A thick layer of mulch may not be enough to prevent it from pushing through
  • Continue weeding regimen and in a few years it may start to lose its growth and vigor
  • Remove any flowers or before seed pods mature and develop

What makes bindweed, convolvulus arvensis, such an insidious weed? It could  be the fact that its seeds can remain viable for over 50 years. It could also be the fact that its roots can extend over 30 meters in length. Whatever the reason, this relative of the morning glory can be a real nuisance to deal with. It is characterized by arrow-shaped leaves and growth in heavy clay soils.

Cover Image by Frank Mayfield, used under its Creative Commons license.

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