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Managing Weeds: Yellow Archangel

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Is yellow archangel weed (aka Lamium or Lamiastrum galeobdolon) taking over your garden beds?

Yellow archangel used to be for sale in many nurseries. But now yellow archangel is recognized as an invasive weed. Fortunately, we’re seeing less and less of this Class B Noxious weed is being sold these days.

But, yellow lamium is still taking over garden beds everywhere. And, we’ve dealt with it as an on-going urban issue. That’s mostly because we can’t always control what happens on the other side of our property lines.

Yellow Archangel Gone Wild

A lesson in what we can’t control: Lamium or Yellow Archangel left untended in an adjoining neighbor’s side bed.

Can Yellow Lamium (aka Lamiastrum galeobdolon) be useful:

Like the bindweed and blackberries and holly that the renters next door do nothing about, they also allow yellow lamium to thrive through neglect.

To them: “Yellow lamium is pretty when it blooms yellow, and those silvery leaves brighten up dark corners.”

To us: “It’s a non-native that spreads fast even in deep shade. Plus, it can easily smother out native plants. Oh, and it stinks!”

And for some, yellow lamium is an herb worth cultivating. But we’re not going to get into that here.

As well, yellow archangel does flower to feed pollinators. And it can be pretty. But there are other more worthy plants to cultivate instead of this bully.

How to Eradicate Yellow Archangel

Here’s how to get rid of yellow lamium weeds:

If you’ve got yellow lamium in your garden, get it out from the roots sooner rather than later. That’s because once it creates a dense patch, it can be difficult to remove all of the roots.

And if you’re going for it, find a clump and dig out the entire root. As well, if it has sent out runners — above ground or under ground — follow those runners to then next clump. Then, remove everything.

In fact, using a garden fork to loosen moistened and drained soil around a big patch first. Then follow with a hand tool. This makes getting all the roots out easier.

And don’t skip the part about moistened soil. That’s because you’ll probably leave some roots behind if you’re pulling from rock-hard Earth.

Finally, once you’ve removed this plant, don’t put yellow lamium into your compost. That’s because it will easily resprout and take over your compost pile.

4 comments on “Managing Weeds: Yellow Archangel

  1. Angela on

    I have been dealing for years with this on our property. The other thing to mention is what to do with it once you have gotten it up: throw it in the trash and take it to the dump. Don’t move it to a compost pile, it will keep living if there is any soil on the roots, and it will spread from any spot you move it to. The other way to deal with dense patches is to smother with cardboard, then cover the cardboard with a thick layer of mulch. Remember to monitor all spots you have removed the archangel from, it takes years to really be sure it is gone. It is possible, it just takes vigilance.

  2. Garden Mentors on

    Agreed about not putting it in passive, home compost Angela. But, I hope you’re able to send it to an off-site composting facility like Cedar Grove composting rather than add it to the trash.

  3. Mary Carney on

    After removal of this yellow archangel invasive plant, what would you recommend putting in its place to help fight off any further appearance of this noxious weed?

  4. Garden Mentors on

    Mary, thanks for asking about ways to keep yellow archangel at bay with new plantings. Unfortunately, site unseen it’s tough to know what might or might not work as a replacement planting for your garden. Soil, sunlight, shade, heat, cold, moisture and more go into determining right plant for the right place. And, that darn yellow archangel is a tough nugget that grows in a wide range of habitats.

    One thing that may help is keeping a deep layer of arborist chips over the area where you have pulled out the the plant. This may help keep any new seeds from germinating. However, it will not stop shoots arising from any roots (or stems that can grow roots) that are left behind. It may slow their progress, but it’s important to stay on top of any new shoots coming up. If you keep pulling those, eventually, you will probably starve out the problem plant. And, ideally, eradicating it completely before replanting may be desirable. If you haven’t fully eradicated the problem, it will insinuate itself among the roots of your new plantings.

    Good luck!

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