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Controlling Solomon Seal

I have a large patch of Solomon Seal, which has been there about 30 years. I have tried chopping bits off the edge but the roots go down a long way. They look like several layers of dense crossing giant pasta. The root mass has risen above the general soil level, and the active shoots look like they are in the top layer. Will it be sufficient to cut off the top layer? Or do I need to get the roots out right the way down ? Will it spread from any deep roots left in the soil?  Once I have cut it back to size, I intend putting a barrier around to stop it escaping again, but wondering how deep I need to make it. Thanks for any advice.


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,657
    Crikey, that sounds like quite a problem. I knew it could spread as I once saw a large clump of it at Iford Manor in Wiltshire.  I only have a very small patch sandwiched between a dwarf box hedge and a slate square, so I do hope it doesn't get as big as yours. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your queries, but at a guess I would just dig up as much root as you can get at all round the plant and keep doing that every year to keep it in check. I don't think you are going to be able to put a root barrier around it very easily and you would need something very tough like roofing felt or pond lining. Best of luck! 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    in generally total removal is a lot easier than control, as you just use weedkiller.
    however, if you wanted to stop it spreading you need to dig a trench where you want it to stop then you line the inside edge of the trench with a double layer of weed suppression fabric, slicing through the roots won't do it any harm, (just make sure you burn or bin the roots as they'll grow in your compost bin) and refill the trench,
    if you cut the top layer off you might remove the majority of the actively growing plants (the rhizomes below are used for storage not active plant growing) so you might be better top dressing the area in winter with a layer of mulch
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