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The Joy of Gardening

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Controlling Bindweed


There is a little vine that has begun to crawl all over my shrubs, and other perennials. It has been around a couple of years, but now seems to be trying to take over the place. It has little white morning glory-like flowers that are pretty. But I can't seem to get rid of it. I've tried pulling it out, and spraying it with Weed-B-Gon, which won't kill it off. Now I see it popping up in the lawn. How do I get rid of it?


The plant you are describing is most likely bindweed, also known as field bindweed (Convolvolus arvensis). Many times it will be referred to as morning glory due to its likeness; however it is not a true morning glory (Ipomoea). Morning glory is an annual climber and bindweed is a perennial climber; both have similar white, attractive moon flowers. Bindweed is a widespread, prolific weed that is difficult to control. Ensure proper ID of the plants prior to applying any control measures. Bindweed has extensive root systems and it is thus difficult to control by physical hand-pulling once the weed is already widespread. Ensure that the chemical product you are using is a post-emergent, systemic herbicide. Bindweed is fairly resilient to numerous herbicides and therefore most products that are effective against it, contain a combination of different products. You mentioned you had tried Weed-B-Gon and that it was ineffective. I would recommend trying Weed-B-Gon MAX, as this also contains an additional chemical that is effective against bindweed, quinclorac. When applying herbicides in close proximity to shrubs and trees, be sure to spot treat plants to avoid any spray contaminating desirable plants. Weed-B-Gon MAX can be applied in lawns as it is a selective broadleaf herbicide, and will thus not affect your turfgrass. Autumn is an excellent time for applying control measures. To avoid future problems be sure to hand pull small seedlings as they emerge, and also practice good lawn care so that turf grass can compete with the bindweed.

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