Invasive Bindweed

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Q: What is the best way to get rid of bind weed in my lawn and flower garden? It is invasive!

Assuming that “Field Bindweed” (Convolvulus arvensis) or “Hedge Bindweed” (C. sepium) is in an isolated area, e.g. only in your garden and not coming from an outside source, there is a very good possibility you can eventually eradicate this invader. If the weed is coming from an outside source, e.g. from an adjacent property and not being controlled, then this problem will become more challenging. Bindweed is very persistent due to its deep (continuous) rhizomes and low growth.

Be patient and persistent in removing and disposing of this dreaded weed – every time the top is removed the roots become weaker as the plant draws food reserves to regrow its top. Some suggestions are: continual digging combined with using a mulch such as landscape fabric, to discourage further plant growth. In perennial borders this may include digging out herbaceous plants, e.g. iris, to remove as much of the bindweed roots as possible. Also, relocating favorite plants to a temporary bed while controlling bindweed, is a good plan.

In lawns, simply mowing should work. For hedges, combined digging and mulching is preferred. Use of chemicals can be tricky as they are non-selective and could potentially damage existing plants. Chemical treatment in beds is not recommended and strongly discouraged.

Remember, bindweed did not arrive overnight, so don’t expect it to disappear overnight!