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How to Kill Bindweed

By Jay Golberg ; Updated September 21, 2017

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a noxious vining weed common in the U.S. It resembles a morning glory vine because it has tubular purple or white flowers. However, bindweed can live many years as a perennial and continue to grow underground during the dormant season. Bindweed can be controlled by constant hoeing or pulling the weed. Herbicides, including those containing glyphosate, must be applied several times to the same plant as it regrows in order to be effective. However, covering bindweed with landscape fabric covered with thick mulch prevents the growth of new plants by depriving them of sunlight.

How to Kill Bindweed

Chop bindweed at the ground level in affected area with a sharp hoe, being careful not to damage shallow roots of desirable plants. Try to chop through the vine in one pass as fragments of the vine are known to root wherever they fall. Try to chop down bindweed before seeds form so the seeds are not scattered when you remove the vine. Untangle the vine from around any plants that may be covered with bindweed. Put removed bindweed in the trash or burn pile. Never put bindweed in your compost pile even if it looks dead.

Rake area smooth and remove all weed fragments.

Cover area with landscape cloth leaving 4 inches of soil uncovered around base of shrubs and other perennials. Overlap sections of cloth by 4 to 6 inches until entire area where bindweed was growing is covered. Although it is covered, the bindweed will grow under the fabric for several months seeking daylight.

Spread hardwood mulch over the landscape fabric to a depth of 4 inches. Be sure all areas where you applied the landscape cloth are covered with mulch. Leave a one inch gap between the mulch and the trunk of shrubs or trees to prevent mildew from spreading from the mulch to the plant as the mulch decays.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Landscape fabric
  • Mulch
  • Hoe
  • Rake

Tips

  • Constant vigilance is required to control bindweed in areas not covered with landscape fabric and mulch.
  • Young bindweed plants are easy to pull up by the roots. Plants over six months old cannot be pulled and must be dug out or chopped and covered with landscape fabric and mulch.

About the Author

 

Jay Golberg is a certified Texas nursery professional and professional project manager. He has 30 years of business and farming experience and holds bachelor's degrees in English writing from St. Edward's University and finance from Lamar University.