Morning glory bindweed eradication is possible.
Morning glory bindweed is a difficult weed to remove. But it is possible to control bindweed. And the best ways to get rid of bindweed is organically. So if you’re looking for how to get rid of bindweed, we’ve got lots of helpful information. In fact, we’ve included what to do to get rid of bindweed. And we’ve added suggestions for what not to do to get rid of morning glory weeds.
And you may be able to eradicate bindweed. However, there are a lot of myths about ways to get rid of bindweed. And those will likely end up causing more harm than good for your garden. And they aren’t likely to get rid of your morning glory problem.
But we’re here to help you with methods to make managing bindweed a little easier and more successful. And we’ll also get into methods to avoid when trying to get rid of bindweed. Plus, there’s even a beneficial insect you might want to attract to help beat back your morning glory bindweed problem!
Can I use boiling water to kill bindweed or other home remedies?
Unfortunately, boiling water won’t eradicate your bindweed. Moreover, most home remedies aren’t going to get rid of bindweed. More likely they will leave the bindweed behind. And they”ll probably damage your garden soil, flora and fauna instead.
- When you use boiling water to kill bind weed, it will wilt top growth a bit, but it won’t kill the roots.
- If you use salt to kill bindweed, salt won’t kill your morning glory problem. But, added salt and salt water will just add problems to your soil.
- Vinegar may kill bindweed leaves and stems a bit, but it won’t destroy bindweed roots. so you’ll still have a morning glory weed problem.
- And for goodness sakes, don’t use bleach to get rid of bindweed. That’s because bleach will do some nasty damage to the earth.
Can I smother bindweed with black plastic?
Covering bindweed with black plastic to smother it isn’t something we’d recommend. That’s because bindweed will just move underground, under the plastic to pop up somewhere else. Plus, the plastic will do damage to the earth below as well.
What about using herbicides to kill off field bindweed fast?
While we aren’t fans of using herbicides to get rid of weeds, we have tried some of the chemical techniques bantered around for bindweed. But, none of these got rid of morning glory bind weed:
- Spraying it with herbicide in spring, summer or fall didn’t work.
- And cutting the off the ends of the vine and soaking the tips in herbicide failed.
- So we quit wasting time, energy and environmental integrity doing this.
- And we returned to manual removal.
Understanding bindweed is a key to beating it.
Unfortunately, it’s going to take time and patience to beat back an infestation of unwanted field bindweed. But, going after it the right way, at the right time, can make all the difference. And, understanding how the plant grows seasonally helps unlock keys to eradicating this plant.
Morning glory bindweed is an herbaceous, perennial that hides from view in winter. This means its top growth dies back for winter (in the northern hemisphere). And as it does this, it sends all of the nutrients from the top into the roots in fall. This keeps its roots fat, strong and growing underground in winter. And its roots spread deep, far, thick and wide. Then, right around the beginning of spring, it begins to send up shoots. And those shoots grow upward fast. Moreover they seek out anything they can climb and strangle with their twining stems. Meanwhile, the roots continue to travel underground. And as the roots travel, they send up more shoots. Plus as those stems reach sunlight, they further strengthen the roots.
Moreover, it only takes a tiny piece of root to grow a new plant. So if you break a piece of root, you’ll get a new morning glory bindweed shoot.
Unfortunately, birds spread its seeds. And that creates new plants too.
All of this enables morning glory bindweed to take over a garden bed fast.
And while there is a beneficial insect that eats morning glory bindweed, it doesn’t eat enough of it! But we’ll get into more about that morning glory bindweed eating bug in a bit.
So…what’s the best way to beat this powerful weed back?
- The most important thing is to dig out all of the roots.
- That’s because even a tiny bit of root left behind will sprout anew almost instantaneously.
- So if you see a shoot coming up, don’t just rip the top off.
- Instead dig down and find the source root and continue to follow it in the soil to pull as much as you can.
- And use garden weeding tools such as pairing a garden fork and a hori-hori knife.
- Lay what you pull onto a tarp or plastic sheet in the hot sun to cook it to death.
- Then don’t put it in your compost.
- Burn or trash whatever you pull.
- And continue to watch your garden for new shoots.
- That’s because they’ll probably emerge again soon.
- Then you’ll need to repeat your hand removal work.
- And whatever you do, don’t let it bloom and spread seeds.
- Or you’ll have even more patches of morning glory bindweed to contend with.
And when is the best time to dig up bindweed?
- The best time to dig up bindweed roots is usually late winter or early spring.
- That’s because this is when soil is usually moist and easy to dig.
- Plus this weed is either still dormant or it has begun to emerge just a bit for spring.
- Too other herbaceous and deciduous plants are also likely still bare.
- And that means it’s easy to spot the bindweed.
- However if you want until late spring, it’ll be more difficult to work around other plants.
- And if you postpone starting until summer, borders will be lush and soil may be drier.
- However if you see it twining up any time of year, get after it fast.
- Moreover come autumn, the plant will be withering to hide in earth for winter.
- But if you mark your bindweed patch location in autumn, you may be able to dig up roots all winter.
- That’s because the ground will be more bare again.
- However if it is frozen, you may need to wait until spring.
What if bindweed roots are entangled in desirable plant roots?
- In the blink of an eye, bindweed will climb your shrubs and trees.
- And when it engulfs the tops of your favorite plants, carefully unwind the vine from its branches all the way to the ground.
- Then dig out as much root as possible.
- Moreover if bindweed roots are mixed in with the roots of perennials, you may need to dig up everything.
- Then rinse soil thoroughly from the roots.
- And hand remove all of the morning glory bindweed roots before you replant your perennials.
- As well you not want to transplant any of those perennial divisions elsewhere.
- That’s because it only takes a tiny bit of missed bindweed root to move the bindweed along with your divisions.
- And if you have patch of land full of bindweed and you want to plant a garden into it, be sure to clear the bindweed before you plant.
When will my field bindweed finally be all gone?
Unfortunately, once you have an established bindweed patch, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be fully rid of it. This plant is a powerhouse. But, if you get after it early and often, managing isn’t impossible.
But, seriously, tell me more about this beneficial insect that eats bindweed
- There is a golden tortoise beetle that feeds on morning glories.
- And that includes bindweed.
- But the damage it does is fairly insignificant.
- However anything that puts a dent in bindweed is worth supporting.
- So before you decide to apply pesticides to bindweed, remember, you may have a crop of overwintering golden tortoise beetles.
- That’s because they like to spend winter in bindweed patches.
- But it may be tough to know if you have these beetles in your garden.
- That’s because their shiny golden form is fleeting.
- And their larvae is illusive.
WSU Entomologist Sharon Collman spoke to me about the golden tortoise beetle…
The adult (golden tortoise beetles) show up in fall and overwinter so they are found again in spring. When the eggs hatch, small “windows” appear in leaves where the larvae scrape away all but the upper epidermis of the leaf (adult eats clean holes in leaves). The larvae look like a piece of soot on the leaf because they cover themselves with frass (bug poo) and hide beneath it. When an adult dies, the structural integrity of the wings changes and they loose their liquid gold color and fade to orange. Alas no earrings from these.
Need help managing other garden weeds?
The best way to learn about all things gardening with us is to join our online group garden coaching club and enroll in our online gardening classes. This way you can interact with our great garden coaches and grow your gardening skills fast. So sign up to be notified the minute we open our next enrollment period. That way you’ll be first in line for our limited programs.
As well you can read through our A-Z weeding guide anytime.