Quick facts and control methods

Sunset  – September 7, 2004

Also called wild morning glory, bindweed grows in open areas ― usually in loam to heavy clay soil ― throughout the United States. Its 1- to 4-foot-long stems crawl over the ground and twine over and around other plants. Bindweed is deep rooted, so pulling usually doesn’t eradicate it ― the stems break off, but the weed returns from the roots. To get rid of it, you’ll have to dig the roots out repeatedly (persistence is required). It’s important not to let bindweed set seed, since the hard-coated seeds can sprout even after lying dormant in the soil for 50 years!

For chemical control, you can use a pre-emergence herbicide containing trifluralin around ornamentals. In midsummer, when bindweed is at the height of its growth season but has not yet set seed, spot-treat isolated patches with glyphosate, taking care to avoid contact with desirable plants. If the weed is twined around desirable plants, detach it before treating. Repeated applications are usually needed to destroy the root system.