Stop Bindweed From Taking Over Your Garden

Updated: Sep. 16, 2021

Learn how to win the battle in your backyard against bindweed. Follow a garden expert's tips for controlling this difficult to manage weed.

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How to Stop Bindweed

Field BindweedAli Majdfar/Getty Images

“How do I prevent bindweed from taking over a garden bed?” asks Sue Gronholz of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

As you have probably discovered, bindweed is a persistent plant that’s very difficult to control. It has flowers like a morning glory, and a deep root system, which makes it drought-tolerant and difficult to eliminate. Your best bet is to keep pulling the weeds as early as possible when you see them growing. Mulching will help prevent seeds from sprouting.

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You need to be diligent to win this battle. Bindweed’s roots grow up to 9 feet deep and 20 to 30 feet wide, allowing it to survive adverse conditions and normal weeding.

Pull or till the soil every three weeks for at least three years to manage the pesky weed. Continue monitoring the garden, as any piece of the root that’s left behind can regrow in several weeks and seeds remain viable for up to 50 years.

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Repeated applications of a total vegetation killer is another control option. Apply carefully, following package label instructions, as these weed killers can destroy any plant they contact. This will minimize the amount of chemicals used and reduce risk to other desirable plants and the environment.

Next, learn how to manage cinquefoil and helleborine in your yard.