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7 Ways to Get Rid of Bindweed Organically

Ever wondered how to get rid of bindweed organically? Is there even such a thing as natural bindweed removal?

We have a world class collection of bindweed plants in our quarter-acre yard, so I’ve been on a mission to find ways to deal with it without using harmful chemicals.

Bindweed is one persistent and pugnacious plant, with many characteristics that make it tough to remove. For instance, its seeds can last up to 50 years!

Keep reading to learn how to get rid of bindweed, plus some fascinating facts — including one very redeeming quality about bindweed plants.

A patch of flowering bindweed.

In our yard, the weed seems to especially enjoy growing in the vegetable gardens, but it also likes to twist its tendrils around the flowers and choke them when I’m not paying attention. It climbs up fences.

Bindweed growing up a fence.

It grows up in the most inconvenient places, like smack in the middle of the creeping wooly thyme.

Bindweed and wooly thyme.

Give it the slightest little space, like the 1/4 inch gap between the raised garden and the paving stone, and it will creep in like a bad boyfriend.

Bindweed grows up a wall.

What’s the deal with bindweed, anyway? Why is it such a pesky weed?

Well, garden trivia enthusiasts, allow me to share…

8 Fun Facts About Bindweed

  1. Bindweed has a fancy side. It also goes by the names of “Wild Morning Glory” and “Creeping Jenny.” No offense to my readers named Jenny.
  2. Field bindweed produces a tap root which can penetrate up to 10 feet in depth. So to get to the end of the root, you’ll simply need to dig a hole in your garden roughly the depth of a Cadillac. Is that going to be a problem?
  3. The multiple roots that grow laterally from the tap root can extend as far as 30 feet. To put this in perspective, imagine George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Henry Cavill, Jon Hamm and Gerard Butler lying head to toe in your garden.
  4. Bindweed can serve as a host for several viruses that affect potatoes, tomatoes and other crops.
  5. As you probably know if you’ve tried to pull it, bindweed stems break easily. When fragmented, the underground plant parts will produce new, adorable little infant plants.
  6. One plant can produce as many as 14 precious little shoots in one year, each of which grows 1 ½ to 4 ½ feet in the first season.
  7. Each plant is capable of producing 25 to 300 cute little seeds.
  8. Due to an extremely hard seed coat, the seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 50 years. It’s sobering to realize that my bindweed seeds will likely outlive me.

Whew, that’s one feisty weed. So naturally, I wondered if this tenacious weed could have any lovable qualities.

If you share the view that each and every living thing on earth has its place and purpose, you’ll probably smile when you read about one of bindweed’s most important roles. Allow me to present:

1 Cuddly Fact About Bindweed

Which is why I’ve generously opened our back yard to all scientists who need more bindweed samples.

Free bindweed billboard.

That’s just the kind of selfless, philanthropic person I am.

Aside from finding willing takers or digging to China to reach the end of your bindweed roots, what’s an organic gardener to do?

Two readers asked for my advice about dealing with bindweed on my frugal gardening post How To Avoid $100 Tomatoes, and I’m glad they did because it made me feel, for a few moments, like Dear Abby or Dr. Phil. My readers think I know about such things! I thought to myself.

It was a delicious moment that ended too soon after I decided that I, a Gardening and Weed Expert, should probably go water my parched garden. Which is when I discovered that a new plant had quietly begun its sneaky, determined climb to overtake the garden faucet.

bindweed growing by the hose connection.

Time’s a-wastin,’ my friends, and your bindweed has probably grown another ten feet while you’ve been reading this blog post. So without further adieu, I present you with:

7 Natural Ways to Control Bindweed

  1. Discourage it young. Young seedlings can be destroyed when cut several inches below the soil. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the weeds are pre-teens.
  2. Get heavyhanded with mulch. Bindweed likes sunshine, so mulch can discourage it.
  3. Till it. Hoeing, digging, or tilling more mature field bindweed every one to two weeks for several seasons can reduce plant vigor.
  4. Torch it. Some gardeners have had luck zapping bindweed with a weed torch, which sounds kinda fun. It’s a propane tank with a little torch that burns up the weed.
  5. Attack it. My sister, who has a small farm and very green thumb, told me about bindweed mites – blessed little bugs that eat the plants. Some states have programs where you can obtain the mites for free; check with your county extension office.
  6. Fry it. Our reader Eileen has a unique way of dealing with the weed. She reports: ”I push short lengths of garden cane into the soil next to the shoots and wrap the stems around the canes. This stops the bindweed from entwining itself around other plants. I then cut off the bottom of 2 liter plastic water (or juice) bottles and remove the cap. I pop the bottle over the cane and weed and spray into the neck of the bottle with a concentrated salt mixture. I then replace the cap. Before you know it the plant has shriveled and died as the heat in the bottle ensures the salt burns it very effectively.”
  7. Carefully douse the plant it in boiling water. This is the method used by some professional large scale weed removal services.

Bonus tip: Embrace your bindweed. Train it to grow on topiary forms, and tell your neighbors it’s your prized Creeping Jenny.

Bindweed at Happy Simple Living blog

While bindweed is a constant challenge, I’ve taken a different view about the yellow dandelions that sprout up in our yard and provide pollen for the bees. You might enjoy this dandelion history lesson, written from the future.

How about you? Is bindweed a problem in your garden, and have you found an organic way to control it? Drop a comment below!

Happy hoeing from your Gardening and Weed Expert!

A flowering bindweed plant and a bindweed vine climbing up a wall.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

80 thoughts on “7 Ways to Get Rid of Bindweed Organically”

  1. How well-written – better than bindwind deserves! Good news about the anti-cancer properties.

    Now, to gather my salt (maybe w/vinegar?)and that bottomless popbottle….

    Any chance the rabbits will devour it? Or that it will reach up and trip them? Can always hope……………..

    • Great idea, Carolyn. If rabbits could develop a taste for bindweed, I think the world would be an infinitely better place! 🙂

  2. For better or worse, in No Cal we don’t have many weeds this time of year. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much rain either. Pros and cons no matter where you live!

      • I bury small jars with weed killer then feed growing strands into it and put a tile over the top. A few days later carefully lift the jar and get rid of the dead remains of the bindweed. Weed killer isn’t great but I only use it for this purpose – it targetted and it’s very effective.

  3. Thank you soooo much! I’m kinda thinking that perhaps I need to explore the nuclear bomb option. 🙂

    My problem is that the previous owners of this house never watered, and I, ahem, don’t do such a good job myself, so the bindweed is firmly established throughout the entire yard. I’ve had moderate success by digging up the turf – digging at least a foot down and removing as much of the roots as possible. Then I plant either vegetables (in back) or low water plants (in front.) Of course it still comes back, but it’s much more manageable.

    I’m thinking the bindweed mites might be my solution – I wonder if they eat other plants too. I think I’ll do some research. And the weed torch sounds incredibly satisfying… that might be worth it even if it all grew back – at least you’d have the satisfaction of watching it go up in flames. Burn suckers, BURN!!!!!!

    Anyhow, thanks so much for this post… at least I have some new options to try in the endless battle of the bindweed!

    • HaHa! I think the torch sounds like fun, too! Too bad we’re not next door neighbors – we could share one and create a No Bindweed Zone.

      • or burn down the fence…
        repeated spraying with white vinegar will kill it in a few weeks, no water. i am working in my greenhouse. jp

      • I’m sure you’ve seen them – they grow along the fence lines, in the cracks of the sidewalk, along the foundation and anyplace else that the seeds settle. They’re usually infested with some sort of bug.

        OK… did some research, and it turns out they’re actually called Siberian elm:

        If you’re never had to contend with these guys, consider yourself very lucky!

        • what do you want to do with them? hydrogen peroxide will kill the elm tree beetles which will help the tree. chainsaws work well, then burn the cut up wood. after cutting they will come back, turning into a bush which i turn into a sculpture each year. making a triangle, a cube… jp

  4. One of the best things I’ve read for yonks – and yes, you guessed it, I have a garden choked with bindweed. Over the years I’ve given up expecting to get rid of it, now I just set myself challenges to see how long a tendril I can pull out, or accept weeding as a meditative practice. But I like the ‘frying’ idea – just to add a little drama to proceedings. Thank you!

    • I hear you. At least we know we’re not alone with our bindweed battles, and I thought the frying idea sounded strangely satisfying, too!

  5. I have something similar in my yard, but not exactly that. It is also a creeping \ covering vine, but it roots itself every 2 feet or so, then sprouts out again from there. And it is fairly thin, such that it breaks when you pull it. Very hard to get rid of. I’m going to try some of these ideas to get mine under control.

  6. Hmm – nasty stuff isn’t it? Nature is pretty powerful really. 10 feet down and 30 feet along. Mind you the burning trick sounds neat. We haven’t had it much over here – yet!

  7. I don’t think it’s bindweed, but I have some sort of choker vines that are always wrapping around my trees in the backyard. There are annoying and seem to wrap their way onto everything. I’m always hacking them down.

  8. When Life gives you Bindweed make BindweedAide!!! I Love Field Bindweed!!!! You are going to think I am crazy but I have 3 Russian Tortoise and they can’t get enough of it. They eat every leaf and flower and only leave the stringy part. So Sadly my yard is Void of any Dandelion or Lovely Field Bindweed plant and I must go forage for my Tortoise in other places. 2 other benefits of Bindweed is its a wonderful Bee Forage Plant for producing Honey and the flowers smell wonderful! This was pointed out to me by my 9 year old Daughter. The flower smells like a Faint Honeysuckle. I would love to put them in a Carrier Oil. I now look forward to Bindweed in my yard. Signed Sadly Weedless in Colorado

  9. Oh Mousefeathers, I would love to give you all my bindweed. Having just figured out what it is today, I am even more discouraged about getting it out of our yard. Silly question, but has anyone decided to just give up and embrace it as a groundcover? I’ve considered this, as we have a dichondra lawn, but maybe I’m just crazy.

  10. If I find bindweed growing in concrete cracks I spray weed killer on – straight and undiluted. It NEVER comes back.

  11. We’ve all but given up on bindweed erradication, it has taken over the property. It came as a “gift” with a cheap aeration treatment for the sad looking lawn. After years of pulling, spraying and stomping on it we look at it more philosophically. Bindweed is not trying to choke our plants, grass, trees, flowers, shrubs on purpose, it is only trying to get ahead in life at ALL costs. We
    still make futile attempts to not let it infest the neighbor’s yards; for the record, nothing worked ever!!

    • “It is only trying to get ahead in life at ALL costs..” ha ha, that’s a wonderful and philosophical way to look at bindweed, C.M. Love your attitude!

  12. You can use an organic vinegar wweed killer if you spray it on the bindweed when it is in active growth. I have tried to mulch to prevent it but it still grows through the mulch but it is easier to pull that way as the mulch keeps the ground moist so the weed pulls easy. If you till it out of the garden you need to try to get as much of the the weed and roots raked out of the soil and burn them as even just as small portion of the root can regenerate new growth or baby plants that grow extremely fast kind of like Kudzu in the southern states which can grow at least a foot a day easy covering anything it grown by. With persistence you can slow it but you can’t let it go or it will come back just as bad or worse. I did learn something from the blog I didn’t really know before that the roots run that deep but I’m not really surprised. I wonder though if you get the roots pulled out clean down to one foot below ground if the soil will block out the light like a mulch and keep the roots below that level from regrowing? I do like the method of the plastic bottle method for killing the weed think that might get down to the bottom of the main root to kill it especially if you get it in late season before it goes dormant. Happy Gardening!

  13. I researched this online earlier and will try boiling vinegar – a combination of two recommendations. I would love to attached my picture of the greatest infestation of bindweed but I don’t see it gives me that option. But I think also I might try just burning it as recommended here. It covers my burn pile already. And yes free bindweed to all who want it!

    • Bindweed should know that rose bushes are the wrong place for weeds to climb, Franki! 🙂 Ours likes to sneak in at the stem of the pumpkin plants.

      • No, not wrong. The bindweed grew and climbed up my climbing rose bush every year. It will grow near to anything it can climb upon.

  14. I am trying to cover it with card board. We get a lot of heavy card board. I have tried the boiling water with dish soap to make it stick. It kind of worked.

    • My neighbour covered here garden patch with several layers of cardboard last year. And it appears to have the problem under control. Not just the bindweed, but ALL weeds.

      I tried garden fabric cloth a few years ago. But the bindweed roots grew underneath it “very well” and continued growing until they reach the light. I’ve had bindweed roots that were so long, I could have used them as string…lol! (Easily 10 feet long, growing under the garden fabric.)

      Thank you for your advice, Eliza. I’d like to find those Bindweed Mites. The local Canadian Master Gardeners have never heard of them (here in London, Ontario). Do you know if they will work in my cold climate? Are they available anywhere in Canada? Or can they be ordered from the USA? Bindweed is all over my yard, in the grass and garden beds.

      • I use Bindweed Mites here in Colorado. I suggest searching for an Insectory in your area – we have one here in Colorado, and every year I pay about thirty bucks to have some mites delivered in the fall. They seem to keep it down to a much more manageable level than I had before I used them. And they survive the winters here in the 5a zone I am in.

  15. I am experimenting with Tagetes Minuta (Mexican Marigold) which apparently has roots which exude a chemical toxic to bindweed – I have grown the plants from seed and am waiting for a sunny day (here in the UK that’s quite rare!) to plant them out. I had a good go at the shrub beds at the weekend and got as much root as I could out – it looked like spaghetti there was so much of it! Am hoping now the roots are a bit damaged they might succumb more readily!

    • What an interesting idea, Philippa. If you have any luck with your experiment, we’d all love to hear back from you.

    • did the taggetes work? They r back with a vengance this year,but am going to try white vinegar. I prefer a natural remedy if possible,but my son just bought a weed burner from wilkos for about £8 minus gas ,so that may be on the agenda too!.

  16. Such a fun blog! I have bindweed everywhere…garden, yard. Would like to try the mites. Thanks for adding a bit of humor to a humorless plant.

  17. Well, our block just got letters from the Weed Patrol about our bindweed problem. We, personally, use a lawn service that has worked wonders for our bindweed problem, but neighbors on both sides of us are having to face the problem now. I have heard that pouring boiling water on the plant can kill it. Has anyone had any luck with that? I see that someone above mentioned putting dish soap with it. Or vinegar? We have a time limit to getting rid of these weeds, so any information to get this weed taken care of quickly will be very much appreciated!

  18. For those growing bindweed as a tea, food or scented ornamental be aware that just about every state in the US has every form of it listed as a noxious weed. That means it’s illegal to let it grow. As a strict organic gardener I’ve used highly concentrated vinegar, orange concentrate and salt in the sun to control it. After 30 years in one garden I was able to stave off large areas but there are certain patches that remain that must be dealt with.

    • Yes it is a noxious weed where I live, and if we don’t control it along our fence lines and on our alley sides, the city “Noxious Weed Control” people come along, and recommend us for fines.
      What is “orange concentrate”, where do you get it, and how do you use it?
      Do you use regular white vinegar, full strength?
      “Salt”, is that rock salt, Epsom salt, or regular salt? How much and how often is it applied, and with or without water?

    • Please can you give more details about the orange concentrate. Essential oil? What sort of quantity of salt and oil and vinegar? Did you brush that on the leaves? I would love to hear more detail., how long did it take to work?

      One year I thought it was pretty so let it grow, it does not need much of an invitation to go mental and take over ( combined with huge clumps of sedge and creeping lawns into the flower beds, there was not much space for the poor flowers). . There is not much left in my flower beds except bindweed roots and a couple of brave bluebells and one tulip where there were many.

      Thankfully it did not extend into my veg patch on the other side of the garden. I am super greatful for that.
      Has anyone had success with the cardboard and thick mulch idea? Is it best to dig most of the roots out first? Once the mulch is applied it would be really hard to dig roots again. Thanks.

  19. Hi! from Northern England – I re-married 17 years ago and my new wife when looking at my garden saw that I had Bindweed and warned me of the consequences. I laughed this off and told here she made it sound like ‘Day of the Triffids’ and now in October 2016 it certainly looks like it and I am currently battling to get ride of it?! It’s even growing up and inside my garden shed – I’ve tried digging it out, weed killer and now I might try the vinegar idea (seems to be a remedy for everything!) Driving me crazy?!

  20. I read where boiling water would kill the bind weed. Could you not just use the hot water from the wash machine spigot and run a hose to the garden?

  21. so glad to learn there are so many other bind weed sufferers. I am about to try another battle with this green beast. Thanks all for making me smile as I go to pull bindweed for yet the 4th time this year…. it is the project that never never ends. At least I am smiling today!

    • “The project that never ends” – ha! Made me laugh. I guess it keeps us out of trouble, right, Cyndi?

  22. I have started calling it Borg weed after the Star Trek aliens because your garden/yard will be assimilated, and resistance is futile. A neighbor told us about bind weed gall mites. So I was doing some research. Thanks for your post. Oh and bind weed makes good chicken feed. We feed them buckets full of it in addition to their regular feed.

  23. Where we live Creeping Jenny is a completely different plant. A quick google search will show you this. Im not sure if thats a name someone in your area gave the plant, or mistakenly identified it. But you should look it up, because creeping jenny here is not an invasive plant. It does serve as a ground cover and spreads but not invasive (no 30 year seeds, etc)


    • You are 100% right, Jen. In fact, I have some of the pretty Creeping Jenny plant you’re referring to. Its Latin name is Lysimachia nummularia, and it’s a non-invasive groundcover here in Colorado. The other Creeping Jenny’s Latin name is Convolvulus arvensis, also known as bindweed (also known as the plant that makes some of us cuss and holler while we’re digging and yanking!)

  24. I enjoyed reading the comments here so much!! I have 2 acres of bindweed. Here are the things I have tried: roundup–I have used roughly 30 gallons of roundup and bindweed is STILL thriving. It works briefly. Ground Clear kills it, but you can’t grow anything there for a year or more. Tilling–what a giant mistake that was. A neighbor told me to till, so I did and so did my neighbor. Every single little piece of that tilled weed made new ones sprout. It made the problem worse. Then I read that yes, you can till it out if you till every 2 weeks FOR 5 YEARS!! Landscape fabric–they just grew along underneath until they found an opening. Cardboard–same as the landscape fabric. Vinegar–different strengths, temperatures, with soap, with salt and whatnot–didn’t even make it turn brown. Boiling water–just made them happy. The ONLY thing that I have had luck with is 2,4-d–the active ingredient in Weed B Gone. You have to do due diligence with it too, but it works. It is used on pasture grass to control weeds and won’t harm your lawn. I don’t use it around my flowers or veggies at all though. The weed burner works. The heat makes the cell structure burst–3 seconds on each plant. It is not a good choice for large areas though because propane can get quite expensive. There are weed torches that use the little 1 pound bottles that are light and concentrate the heat in a small space. I would suggest the investment in one of those if you are going to try it. The large burners that attach to your propane tanks have big flames and go through a bottle of propane in short order. The state agricultural school did not return my calls for the bindweed mites. They have not published any articles about it for several years that I could find. People I know that tried them had some success, but they are (apparently) difficult to get in NM. I have read that the mexican sunflowers really work but are also very hard to kill off. At least they are quite pretty. I have read from a number of people that said planting pumpkins has been very successful for helping control bindweed. I tried that this year, but the squirrels ate my pumpkin plants (and have been stealing my watermelons!). I don’t like the idea of spraying down my whole place with 2,4-d, but it really seems to be the best thing to get it under control so that some of the other options are viable for maintenance. So…that is my experience with bindweed and some of the remedies for it. I might have to check into getting some of those turtles……

  25. Thank you for one of the most delightful posts I have ever read. Having dealt with bind weed, it was good to laugh and get some excellent suggestions. As someone who prefers the easiest possible organic approach, the mites and Russian tortoise sound fantastic!

  26. I am trying black plastic. I’m covering the entire veg. garden with it to solarize it. It may creep to the edges but I can easily pull at least that much out. The person that had the garden before me tilled it, thinking it would get rid of it.

    NEVER EVER TILL IT! Tilling it is like reproducing it at 1000x what it was! Biggest mistake ever! You cannot pick up every tiny piece of broken root from tilling and if you don’t find every broken root from tilling… you take one plant and turn it into 50 more!

  27. Hi there! I actually have a weed pulling business and bindweed is my nemeses. Thanks for all the information and suggestions regarding this devious predator.

  28. I actually used heavy cardboard on a hillside and covered it with mulch. It has helped, however, now the bindweed just grows in the mulch layer. After 3 years, the cardboard is disintegrating and I am sure I am in for one fun summer of spraying it daily! I did create a little tube from cardboard and put it over the bindweed shoots prior to spraying a large amount of double strength RoundUp on it. That saves the nearby desirable plants. Good luck all, the bane of our gardens will be here when we no longer are. Maybe bindweed was actually the serpent in the Garden of Eden?

  29. Bindweed. What a nightmare. I cursed it but then remembered that everything is here for a reason. Looked into it and came across the medicinal properties. anti fungal antibacterial, anti cancer, anti diabetes antidepressant. So many things it treats. Maybe it is trying to tell us something. Its certainly potent stuff. I JUST DO NOT WANT IT IN MY GARDEN!!!! It even cleanses and brings back fertility to fields that have become toxic with pesticides and adds goodness back into the soil. How farmers can grow anything in a place where it has taken a hold i just do not know but there we go.

  30. Just in case you though Bindweed was all bad news. Look at this.

    Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

    A plant that is considered a bane to agriculturists can also have multiple health benefits and medicinal uses. Some of these are as follows.

    The roots of bindweed act as a good purgative, and if used in right doses, it can be effective even in children.
    Native Americans would use the plant as an antidote to spider bites, and the leaves of the plant were believed to enhance the secretion of bile.
    The extract of bindweed is believed to arrest the growth of tumors, and its anticancer properties are presently being researched.
    Bindweed also exhibits actions similar to that of anti-diabetic medications as it is considered to inhibit the action of beta-glucosidase and alpha galctosidase. This, in turn, aids in lesser absorption of carbohydrates into the intestine, thus checking the blood sugar levels. Similar to sweet potato, the insulin-like compound in bindweed aids in effective diabetes management.
    Bindweed, especially its flowers, is believed to exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties against a broad spectrum of microbes, including E. coli, salmonella species, and candida albicans.
    Bindweed also finds its therapeutic use for treating the effects of stress in individuals. Bindweed can be used to soothe and calm the mind and nerves. It helps bring about a feeling of being at peace with oneself. However, similar to other tranquilizers or antipsychotic medications, bindweed should be used with caution for treatment of depression, anxiety and stress.
    Other Uses

    As mentioned above, bindweed is a boon to agriculturists. Most of its other uses can be found in this industry. Some of the common uses of bindweed are as follows.

    Bindweed finds other uses in restoring the fertility of agricultural land that has been subject to the extensive use of chemicals and pesticides. It is researched and believed to eradicate chromium, copper, and cadmium from the soil.
    Bindweed also exhibits properties similar to that of nitrogen fixing plants. The presence of calystegins in the roots of bindweed act as a source of carbon and nitrogen to the rhizobacteria that is responsible for nitrogen fixation. Thus, the fertility of the soil is enhanced for agricultural use.
    In certain parts of Asia, the tender shoots and leaves of the bindweed plant are also used for culinary purposes.
    The strong twining vine can also be used for weaving or making strong ropes.

    • I’m going to try a goat. One of my staff’s daughter has a goat who will eat anything green! I’ve spent hundreds of dollars
      hiring someone to pull out the bindweed, keeping coming back. I refuse to use toxic chemicals as I am a health care provider. I could get more customers I suppose if chemicals make someone ill.

  31. I used boiling HOT water and edible citric acid. you could smell the leaves boiling. Worked great. Then “they” must have had a secret underground meeting and went mad spreading everywhere. Getting out the torch next!

  32. here in South Wales I have been digging bindweed out of my potato patch until 10 pm this evening. I can clean up about a yard an hour and love digging up the Devils Guts as we used to call them. This is the third time I have dug this patch over but I am determined to have it clean by next year. The plants give themselves away with there unique shaped leaf and are easy to fork out of cultivated ground. So far I have taken ten wheelbarrow loads of bindweed root away. I do not expect to find them all in one go so I will be at it all summer if we geta summer. Very cold here now

    It is good yo hear they are useful for something but there is plenty of places for them outside of my vegetable garden.
    One lesson I have learned is never rotate where there is bindweed.
    By the way what is tilling?

  33. Very interesting ! Your blog that is. Thank you for the witty humor included with the information given. . Bindweed your heaven sent-because without you there’s not a minute of fun & relaxing moment spent today. I almost forgot my real reason for reading your blog. Thank you for the info, I’ll try them except for tilling (or rotating), I tried that a loooong time ago and …… voila, they are indeed having a meeting down under for a mega comeback.

  34. Oh, Bindweed Fighter Friends (BFFs)! We are a die-hard clan. Love all the upbeat banter going on here.

    I have a question and a story. Has anyone come across actual evidence that bindweed dives down nine feet? Could this just be an urban legend? It makes no biological sense to me that a plant would expend so much energy to go 9′ deep, if it can get all the nutients and water it needs within about a two-foot depth, although I have witnessed it’s incredible horizontal growth.

    It would be really cool if it does have anti-cancer properties, because it’s own growth is so cancer-like. I’d love to donate it to science!

    We dig it up at our house, and sift the soil to pick out as many rootlets as possible. Our neighbor makes no effort to control it, so it dives down from his yard below the one-foot deep steel sheets I buried along the fence to thwart it. That worked for a couple years and now it’s gone deeper and is headed west. We are not going to let it take over, so will try an even deeper barrier next. I may also try that orange concentrate (what’s it called?) along the bottom edge of the root barrier to repell it.

    The story: I joined an iris club years ago because it was the cheapest club to join here in Missoula, Montana. Members were not into the old-fashioned iris and shared those rhizomes freely. I was gifted and then planted a pale yellow old-fashioned iris that way, and I named it “Conostoga Wagon.” The rhizomes came West from Connecticut in a conostoga wagon all the way to Nebraska back in pioneer days. By the 1930s, however, the Nebraska farm this family homesteaded was ‘ruined by bindweed,’ and they had to abandon their farm. They moved here to Montana, bringing the iris starts while thankfully leaving the bindweed behind.

    With it’s astounding capacity to proliferate, bindweed has to be one of the most amazing plants on earth. Good luck to us BFFs!!

  35. Here’s a link to a lots of science-based info about bindweed: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mtpmctn13106.pdf

  36. I can think of only one benefit for bindweed, one of the three big B’s in my garden (the other two are mentioned below. The stems when thin and green make for great ties on staked plants (think tomatoes, dahlias and lilies). At the end of the growing season they’re dry and dead so can be put on the compost.
    Any other parts, when removed from the garden, go into paper bags ready to be burned in the fire pit in the fall. Got a nice stack in the shed already.
    Another bane in my flower beds in buttercups and blackberries, they get bagged an burned too. When my chipper/shredder was working I didn’t mind putting said big B’s in the compost, it was hot enough to kill the plants.

  37. Dealing with bindweed can be a real pain. Do you wonder why their roots can go so deep? Maybe they are what is know as a frontier plant like comfrey which can also grow very deep roots. So deep in fact that they can reach as deep as 30 meters.

    So what is the purpose of plants that have such deep root systems one might ask?

    Well for starters they reach essential minerals that are deep below the surface that your normal plants are not able to get to. They bring those minerals to the surface depositing them on the ground when they die back. This allows other plants to grow in the nutrition provided. So that is a benefit of bindweed. Grrrr just stop strangling them.

    That brings me to the question why don’t I see bindweed in forests? What is special about them that bindweed avoids them? In the main why does it only live on the outskirts of such places?

    They also have one of the prettiest flowers of all the weeds that grow in wild places as well as infesting gardens. As mentioned by Mousefeathers about honey from bindweed. Not certain that I want a huge amount more to make honey, though my bees might like it.

    Humm wonder why bindwed is so attracted to our gardens especially as we wage war on them, ZAP gottcha errrk whats that tangling my legs, Oh nooo its grown again.

    Currently have about quarter of an acre that needs to be dealt with. Going to get some of those Mexican marigolds. They seem like they could be a natural organic answer to the problem.

    Came looking for ideas on how to deal with it. Oh well in the mean time back to the triffid killing. 🙂

  38. Thank you so very much for ideas to get rid of this horrible weed that exploded in my yard this year, and keeping safety to the cats in m neighborhood in mind (including my own that likes to get out once in awhile!)

  39. How refreshing to read your post. I loved it. I needed some humour as I struggle every year to control my bindweed. From what I have heard and read I think I will just need to live with it and dig out my vegetable garden every year and snip off throughout the year. I am praying that something will come along and wipe it out (one can only dream) 🙂

  40. My wife and I bought some land and large parts are smothered in this stuff. Other parts are fairly free of it and I’m thinking those areas have probably been weed killed and that’s even worse as far as I’m concerned because I want to grow food. A tractor came in and raked over the land. Bindweed came back so fast and is now flowering. The fact that it hosts viruses is also pretty depressing. There are machines that can spray boiling water that would kill it, but it’s too expensive an option for me. It’s going to be a challenge that’s for sure. Please don’t use glyphosphate. It’s a dangerous chemical known to cause cancer.

  41. About five years ago, I put black plastic over about 100 square feet of my back yard and left it for July and August. The bindweed is only now starting to creep in around the edges of that area. My back yard is about 4,000 square feet. If the bindweed would kill off the other weeds I’d leave it.


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