Irises forum: Bind weed

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Name: Lynn Golovich
Wyandotte, mi (Zone 6b)
"It's never to late to be what you
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LynnG
Sep 11, 2016 7:46 PM CST
Everywhere I look in my Iris garden I have bind weed growing! I pull it, I dig it and it keeps coming back. I have even used round up outside of the beds on it and it comes back anyway! Anyone have any success with getting rid of it?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Sep 11, 2016 7:51 PM CST
I think round up is too *strong*, try using something that just targets broad leaf weeds....2,4D.....(Trimec, Ortho Weed b Gone, or something similar. Bind weed roots go several feet into the ground, and it will take some "doing" to get it all killed ! The 2,4D is a steroid that causes the weed to actually "grow itself to death".
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Winter Sowing Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Sep 12, 2016 5:43 AM CST
You have my sympathy, Lynn. It is fiendishly hard to get rid of! Grumbling

Fortunately, I only have it in one spot and I just pull it as soon as I see it above ground. But that only works with a few plants, not a lot. Best of luck! Crossing Fingers!
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Sep 12, 2016 6:51 AM CST
I had it in one bed, and the only way I could get rid of it was to remove everything from it, and hand spade it removing all the root system. They have deep roots too. Then let it empty for a while and watch for any new ones coming up, and dig those out. After I replanted it, some still came up, but I dug those out right away too. Now it's gone from that area. It's a big task. I didn't want to use chemicals, because I didn't want it to affect the other plants near there.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Sep 12, 2016 9:01 AM CST

Moderator

Bindweed, assuming you are referring to Convolvulus arvensis, is one of the many species of plants that have developed resistance to glyphosate (Roundup) in recent years. It used to be possible to control bindweed by spraying it with Roundup in the fall, but that probably won't work now. Bindweed was naturally able to survive spring and summer applications of Roundup even before the development of Roundup Ready corn and soybeans. Once Roundup started being applied to crops on a large scale, bindweed quickly developed complete resistance.

2,4-D will make the leaves curl up and turn brown, but it won't kill the plant. In spite of its very common use as a dandelion killer, 2,4-D is basically useless against most perennial weeds. It may kill the top of a plant, but doesn't stop them from resprouting. Mostly, what 2,4-D is "good" for is damaging or killing non-target species like tomatoes and grapes.

Picloram (Tordon) will kill bindweed. It doesn't kill irises, but it does distort their growth for a year to two after application. However, picloram is also both persistent and highly mobile in soils. Consequently, it should be used only with great care.

Pulling or hoeing bindweed can work, but requires incredible persistence and you have to be vigilant about removing it immediately when it re-emerges.

The simplest way to get rid of bindweed is to plant something that grows tall and has an aggressive root system to out compete it. Big bluestem and indiangrass are my favorites for this purpose, but any tall rhizomatous grass should work. Of course, you have to be able to tolerate tall grass growing in that area, which may or may not be acceptable, and it requires patience since it will take four or five years to get rid of the bindweed.

[Last edited by KentPfeiffer - Sep 12, 2016 12:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Barbie
Northwest Florida (Zone 8b)
Garden Art Irises Vegetable Grower Keeps Horses
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QHBarbie
Sep 12, 2016 10:43 AM CST
If I'm not mistaken, I have had good luck with Crossbow on plants like that one. I keep a small squeeze bottle (like the ones some hair dyes are mixed in) around for killing random plants in close proximity to my flowers. Mix the chemical a little stronger than directed and put it directly on the plant. That way I avoid getting it on the "good" plants. Spray tends to drift and get unintended plants.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 12, 2016 11:14 AM CST
This is the perfect time to kill bindweed. The plant is pulling its resources back to its roots to over winter.

@KentPfeiffer, Kent, you have more experience and knowledge about botany than I do and can understand the "why" of how my experiment worked, but I managed to kill off an invasion of bindweed from my neighbor's garden by just using Round Up in the fall. I have no doubt that it was bindweed.

All I did was take a few soda cans and filled them with concentrated RU and stuck the end of a trailing bindweed vine in it and over a few days saw the vine dye back. Then I did it to a few more vines. I eventually had a field of cans with RU and bindweed vines soaking in them. I allowed each new plant to grow long enough to be able to get it into a can that had RU in it and they all died back. Next spring, none of them came back.

I no longer have bindweed in the garden.

I think by not touching the roots, which I have been told can stimulate new plant growth, if disturbed, the RU was effective, but that is just a lay person's theory.

I've used the same method on poison oak and vinca. I have found it only works in the fall when the plant is pulling its resources back to the roots for winter. I do live in a zone where plants do die back or go dormant during the winter months. I don't know if that makes a difference.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Sep 12, 2016 7:05 PM CST

Moderator

Well, like I said, it used to be possible to kill bindweed with Roundup in the fall. If you are lucky enough to find non-resistant individuals, you still can. Unfortunately for those of us here in the Corn Belt, or anywhere near it, non-resistant bindweed plants are about as common as unicorns. Shrug!
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 12, 2016 9:21 PM CST
I guess I am almost as far from the Corn Belt as you can get ... and I live up in the mountains ... Shrug!
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Lori Morrow
Enid, OK (Zone 6b)
I want them all!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Oklahoma
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enidcandles
Sep 30, 2016 9:41 AM CST
I had massive amounts of bindweed when I first started gardening here. I have pulled and hoed, pulled and hoed and so on for 5 years and am now seeing the end.

I know that is not very encouraging but hang in there, you can get it!

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