Bindweed Control – How To Kill Bindweed In The Garden And Lawn

Bindweed Control – How To Kill Bindweed In The Garden And Lawn

Any gardener that has had the displeasure of having bindweed in their garden knows how frustrating and infuriating these weeds can be. Controlling bindweed can be difficult, but it can be done if you are willing to take the time. Below, we have listed some different ways for how to control bindweed.

Identifying Bindweed

Before you can get rid of bindweed, you need to make sure that the weed you have is bindweed. Bindweed (Convolvulus) is often called wild morning glory because it looks like morning glory. Bindweed is a climbing vine. Normally, the first signs that you have bindweed will be thin thread-like vines that wrap themselves tightly around plants or other upward objects.

Eventually, the bindweed vines will grow leaves, which are shaped much like an arrowhead. After the leaves appear, the bindweed vine will start growing flowers. Bindweed flowers are trumpet shaped and will be either white or pink.

How to Control Bindweed

Part of why it is so hard to get rid of bindweed is that it has a large and hardy root system. Single attempts to remove bindweed roots will not be successful. When controlling bindweed, the first thing to remember is that you will need to make several attempts of the bindweed control method you choose several times before you can successfully kill bindweed.

Organic and Chemical Approaches for Bindweed Control

Both boiling water (organic) and non-selective herbicides (chemical) can be used to get rid of bindweed. Both of these options can kill any plant where applied. These methods are ideal for areas where bindweed is growing but there are no other plants you wish to save. These would be areas like driveway cracks, empty vegetable beds, and vacant lots.

To use boiling water to kill bindweed, simply boil some water and pour it on the bindweed. If possible, pour the boiling water about 2-3′ (5 to 7.5 cm.) beyond where the bindweed is growing so that you can get as much of the roots as possible.

If you are using an herbicide, apply it heavily to the bindweed plant and re-apply every time the plant reappears and reaches 12 inches (30 cm.) in length.

Repeated Pruning to Kill Bindweed

Another popular method for controlling bindweed is to prune the vines back to the ground repeatedly, whenever they appear. Take a pair of scissors or shears and snip the bindweed vine off at ground level. Watch the location carefully and cut the vine back again when it appears.

This method forces the bindweed plant to use up its energy reservoirs in its roots, which will eventually kill it.

Controlling Bindweed with Aggressive Plantings

For as stubborn as bindweed can be, it has a very hard time competing with other aggressive plants. Often, bindweed can be found in poor soil where few other plants can grow. Improving the soil and adding plants that spread densely will force the bindweed out of the bed.

If you have bindweed in your lawn, dethatch the lawn and apply fertilizer to help your lawn grow more compactly, which then makes it far more difficult for bindweed to grow.

Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are more environmentally friendly.

Chemical-free ways to eliminate field bindweed

Bindweed's flowers, with their pink-striped undersides, are pretty, but the weed is very difficult to get rid of. Bindweed can twine its stems around garden plants, killing them. Pam Peirce

Q:My backyard is being overrun by field bindweed. I've tried digging it out, but not only are its roots devilishly deep, it seems that a new plant can generate from the tiniest scrap of root I leave behind.

Would it work to cover it with black plastic weighted down at the edges? Would that take months or years to work, and wouldn't it just send up its sprouts outside the tarped area?

I'm very reluctantly contemplating Roundup, but this is an area that I want to use for vegetables and I don't know how long it would take for the soil to be safe for them. (I've read that Roundup is not as safe and biodegradable as it's portrayed.)

What about burning up the emerging shoots with one of those little torches?

A: Rare is the California gardener who will never encounter field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis). If you are hoping to get rid of this very common weed, as in never again see its little arrow-shaped leaves blighting your garden, you are in for some serious effort.

This weed, like perennial garden flowers, builds up a root system that lives from year to year. The roots, though thin, run all over the place. They tend to go straight down for 6 inches or so and then run horizontally, connecting many above-ground plants.

If you try to dig it out, but miss pieces of root, these can indeed resprout to form new plants. The leafy stems grow quickly, blanketing the ground or twining up to several feet tall on plants, fences, trellises or other upright structures. They kill other plants by blocking them from light.

Field bindweed flowers look like small white morning glories, with pink markings on petal undersides. Gardeners sometimes find the flowers pretty enough to be lulled to inaction until it's too late for easy control.

The best control would be to pull out any small bindweed plant growing from a seed that found its way into your garden before it could form all those stringy roots, but you, like most who have this weed, have missed that opportunity.

For established bindweed, some gardeners depend on pulling off the tops repeatedly. If you can pull any leafy stems by the time they are 3 inches tall, the plants will eventually die. This strategy can be combined, especially in a vegetable garden with its ever-changing plantings, with digging for roots whenever you're preparing the bed for a new crop. (I use a shovel with a 2-foot handle, so I can work sitting down, rather than repeatedly digging and stooping.)


I thinks it's dig out what you can then spray what comes back MMD. I live with it to some extent. You'd never start planting if you waited for it all to be gone.

Plus, the world is held together with bindweed and if it all went we'd be in trouble

Garden was totally infested with the stuff when I moved here,oh, 18 years ago. I dug out miles of root ( easy to spot as it's creamy white ) but then my soil's very light and free draining, if yours is heavier, then that is hard work. Now I get the odd whispy bit erupting, which I nip off on sight, thinking chlorophyll deprivation will continue to knock it back.

I think a similar approach to your brambles is the way to go, some folk recommend sticking bamboo canes in the ground to encourage it to twine and grow, then bruise the foliage and zap it with glyphosate.

I had a lot of Bindweed in my garden, it was coming up everywhere and the fence in my back garden would be covered in it. I used Roundup weed killer. If it was close to other plants I would paint it on to the leaves, if it is away from other plants I sprayed it on, and as I was digging the soil over at any time I would pull out any roots I found. It didn't go overnight, it took a year or more but it was worth the wait because now I don't have any. It is a war you can win, you just have to stick with it and be patient. So go get it Mummy muddy paws and take no prisoners. Good Luck

Yes, glyphosate/Roundup or similar then leave it until it's dead and really withered. That way you know the stuff's gone down into the roots. If it reappears bruise the leaves and spray or paint with more glyphosate.

We had the big white stuff all over the last garden - it went right up into the gutters of the single story extension - we got rid of it by doing as above, but every Spring I went around the bottom of the fences bruising and spraying the leaves of shoots as they crept in from next door.

Wonder if the new people are doing it this spring

“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

How to Control Bindweed In The Garden

Every gardener, no matter how tenacious, has to battle weeds at some point unless they want them to take over the garden. There are many ways of controlling weeds such as spreading plastic or other material below the mulch to keep weeds from sprouting. Remember, not all weeds are created equal. Today, we’re discussing how to control Bindweed. It requires diligence and hard work, but it will be worth it to be able to sit back (at least for a few hours), have a glass of lemonade (you earned it), and enjoy the sight of your labors in your now beautiful flower garden.

Bindweed vs. Morning Glory

Before you go into battle, know your enemy. Bindweed and Morning Glory are very similar to one another. Bindweed is a fast-spreading, tenacious, deeply-rooted garden pest that will strangle any plant it touches, and the plants it likes to touch include your vegetable garden and flower beds. With roots that extend into the soil up to 10 feet down and 30 feet wide, and a stem that breaks easily when pulling, leaving the root to quickly re-grow, bindweed is hard to kill. Bindweed can flourish in the tiniest cracks between pavers and railroad ties, and the grass below a raised bed.

While often confused one with another, bindweed and morning glories are two distinct plants. Some gardeners consider morning glories as unwelcome as bindweed because they also climb other plants. However, unlike bindweed, some gardeners actively cultivate morning glories because of their beautiful flowers. The main difference is in the color of the flowers which are white on bindweed and have a variety of colorful flowers like purple, pink, and lavender for morning glories.

Controlling Bindweed

Once you have identified your enemy, now you can move in for the kill. The deep and wide system of roots on the bindweed makes it hard to kill and it will not go easily — you must persist in order to make progress and guard your yard against any outliers.

A simple, non-chemical method to control bindweed is to use boiling water by pouring the water on the visible plant and in a wide area around the shoot to help kill the branching roots below the surface.

Another popular non-chemical method of fighting bindweed, which also requires diligence, is to repeatedly prune any bindweed down to the soil. Every time you see a shoot, clip it off. Because the plant will eventually die from having to expend the energy to re-grow time and time again.

There are other spreading ground covers that will choke out the bindweed. Because, although the bindweed is persistent, it is not able to compete with other aggressive plants or certain types of grass like Zoysia which grows a network of interlocking roots preventing weeds from growing.

Just remember, there are many yard battles with various weeds and other undesirable plants when cultivating flowers or vegetables. It requires hard work and a time commitment, but in the end, it is all worth it.

1552 – Bindweed Control in Lawns

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a common problem in Colorado lawns. Bindweed and other common weeds don’t like the competition they face in a dense, healthy, well cared-for lawn. But this deeply-rooted perennial member of the morning glory family will quickly take over the unhealthy, malnourished lawn, or those lawns suffering from drought stress or poor irrigation coverage.

Bidding farewell to the dreaded bindweed

CORVALLIS. Ore. – The white, trumpet-shaped flowers called bindweed that seem to bloom everywhere can be one of the most frustrating weeds for home gardeners.

This invasive perennial makes itself at home by sinking roots as much as nine feet into the soil and can stay on as an unwanted guest for up to 20 years. Known to weed scientists as "field bindweed" (Latin name: Convolvulus arvensis), it is in the morning glory family and often is confused with wild buckwheat and morning glory, which are summer annual plants.

The field bindweed species is native to Europe and now is distributed worldwide, according to Andy Hulting, an Oregon State University Extension weed specialist.

"It is considered to be one of the most noxious weeds in the world because of its yield-robbing practices in crops such as wheat, potatoes and legumes (beans and peas)," he said.

Spreading by seed and through a deep, extensive horizontal root system, field bindweed seed can persist for many years in typical garden soil. "Although its roots can grow deep, most of the horizontal roots colonize the upper two feet of soil," Hulting said. It tolerates poor soils but seldom grows in wet or waterlogged areas.

"The lack of effective herbicides and soil cultivation in perennial crops, gardens and flower beds results in rapid build up of the species,” Hulting explained.

But strategies to curb this botanical trespasser do exist. Mowing isn't one of them.

Bindweed grows along the ground until it contacts other plants or structures and spreads over anything in its path. Much like pole beans, bindweed's stems rotate in a circular pattern until they attach to a solid structure (fence posts, other plants). The stems wrap around the object as it grows.

If you want to avoid using herbicides to control field bindweed, plan to pull out or plow up all the bindweed for three to five years, Hulting advises. Persistence and dedication are needed to get rid of bindweed roots left in the soil after cultivation will regenerate in about two weeks.

Be prepared to pull it all up every three weeks. Repetitive cultivation throughout the growing season for at least three years should deplete the root system and provide control.

"Use the deepest cultivation implements available, such as a garden fork," Hulting said, "and be aware that root fragments as small as two inches can generate new shoots. Make sure as much of the root system becomes desiccated as possible."

Glyphosate herbicides (such as Roundup) are an option, as long as you can keep the herbicide spray or drift away from other plants in your yard. These herbicides are absorbed by foliage and move throughout the plant to kill roots and shoots. The best time to control bindweed with glyphosate herbicides is when the plants are flowering.

Repeated applications of herbicide will be necessary to control bindweed. Its root system can be so immense that not enough herbicide can be absorbed with a single application.

"In addition, the texture of field bindweed leaf and stem surfaces forms an effective barrier to absorption and translocation of many herbicides," Hulting explained. "Use repeated applications, but allow the plant to grow and produce flowers before each subsequent application."

Identifying field bindweed can be tricky. Its arrow-shaped leaves grow opposite each other along each stem. When juvenile stems are broken, they exude a milky sap. The flowers are white to pink and trumpet shaped, and produce indeterminately throughout the year.

For more information on how to identify and manage field bindweed, check out publication PNW 580, Field Bindweed Biology and Management, in the OSU Extension Service online catalog.

Also, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has an active and ongoing biocontrol program for large acreage infestations of field bindweed. Visit the ODA biocontrol website.

Watch the video: Qu0026A How do I get rid of this morning glory so I can plant bulbs? I have sprayed and it returned.