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Advice please on 'Bindweed' problem.


I have a small area in front of my home that's just under my window that has some Honeysuckle and Geraniums there which were there when I moved in. I recently planted a Berberis and a Mahonia bush there back in March as a little security measure. Hoping it will grow nice and big and stop any would be robbers (it faces a public area )  In April I  planted a Lilac  next to them and then it seemed like overnight after all the rain we had, I had bindweed! and not just a little bit. it was all up the drain pipe and in my wrapped around my honeysuckle etc, it was even inside my gas meter box! :(  A friend and I managed to pull it all out and get some of the roots out but of course it grows back. 

Now my questions are:  Any tips on how to remove bindweed from a very spikey Berberis without stabbing my hands to death, even with gloves those thorns are needle sharp and go right's not to bad with the Mahonia. 

Also, has anyone used weedkiller gel by roundup? I want to try and kill it off without hurting my bushes and was thinking that might help or maybe just using a small brush to brush on some strong liquid killer on leaves near the ground?  

Allso.. if I can only manage to keep it at bay till it dies back in winter, will my bushes survive being strangled by it when they are bigger? because I have no idea how I'm going to keep them clear of it when they are. 

TIA :) 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    I'm not up-to-date with the product names, but I'm pretty sure Glyphosate painted on the leaves when they are growing actively will kill the Bindweed provided it's painted on carefully, should not harm your choice plants. 
  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,604
    I have tried the gel after struggling to remove bindweed by constant weeding and failing dismally. I applied it 2 weeks ago and it’s starting to work. I would say it’s not cheap but it’s easy to use and apply without affecting other plants but it’s not quick so be patient. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,313
    push canes into the ground so the bindweed can climb up free of your shrubs and then it's much easier to treat. 
  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,604
    Yes that’s excellent advice from hostafan. It’s a long job I am afraid 
  • mullyminxmullyminx Posts: 3

    I did put one bamboo stick in and it totally ignored it and went around my Berberis. I will put in a couple more and see if that helps.I'm sure the thing has a mind of it's own!  It's difficult to get to it under that shrub because of all the thorns so i might put some mulch under there to smother it? or just risk dabbing on a little gel and hope none of it goes to my berb.  I've got some metal tongs today, so  I will try to use those next time to get it out from there. 

    I've heard that the gel does work but it's slow going, so thanks for confirming that  I don't mind how long it takes so long as it kills those dam roots, so I will get some. I do have some strong weed killer with Glyphosate  but it's liquid and I don't want to risk it getting on my other plants. I'll try the gel first purely for ease of use. 

    So far it hasn't been able to flower so I'm hoping at least there's been no more seeds this year.

    Thanks everyone for your help, I appreciate it :) 

  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    If you can get a decent length of plant, cut the bottom off a plastic bottle  - 2 or 4 litre milk bottle gives you more space - thread the ends of the weed through the neck and if possible stick it into the ground around the spot the weeds are appearing. Don't chop into the roots, you want to keep it growing.  Then spray inside the bottle with a good systemic weedkiller. If you can't get the neck of the bottle into the ground due to lack of space, just lay it down facing away from your shrub. The bottles might look a bit untidy but they will direct the weedkiller to the problem. When you see that the bindweed is at least wilting you could carefully remove the bottle but its it's best to leave them as long as you can as it is then possible to top up with weedkiller if necessary. The heat which is sometimes generated by the 'mini greenhouse' also helps the weeds to die. Bindweed is a bit like an iceberg, there's a huge amount underground, the roots are very brittle and every tiny piece grows a new plant, so getting everything out is important. It would be so nice if some of our garden plants were so accommodating! 🙂
  • SandygardenSandygarden Posts: 119
    I have lots of bindweed and just pull it off every week, I can’t be bothered with glyphosate. With a shrub like the Berberis, just get on your hands and knees and pull it out at soil level, you will be able to see where it grows from in the shadow area under the shrub. It’s a pain, but I’ve learnt to live with it and it least it doesn’t scratch or sting!
  • Mike AllenMike Allen Posts: 207
    Oh Deary me.. Bindweed.  Convulvus.  Yes this has become a monster of a problem.  Bindweed, bellbind whatever it has now reeach epidemic status.
    In brief.  Bindweed, bellbind etc. Calystegia sepium has become one ofthe most difficult of weeds to tame.  Who knows, perhaps some day a new film will be released.  'Day of the Bindweed'.  Joking apart.  This specimen truly has become the arch enemy for gardeners.  Please allow me to explain.

    So you now have a new and unwanted plant in your graden.  Bindweed/Bellbine.  It grows and climd at supersonic speeds.  It twinsitself around anything, i'ts flowers are white,trumpet shaped and can apeal to the public.

    So ytou don't want it near your plants.  So out come the weed killer spray.  You sprayvthe foliage and yes given a day or so, the plant wilts.  Here lies a question.  This weed killer contains glysophate.  This is  a powerful systemic chemical.  Applied to plant life.  The plant absorbs it and the chemical reaches the plants basal plate.  Now what?  In the case of onvulvus. This plant species has a much difrent root system.  In most cases, cut off the top growth and soon the root will die.

    Sorry in this case, no go.  Yes you can kill the upper growth but down below,the root lives on.  Sorry but I am tired and need to rest.  I will continue if wanted.
  • mullyminxmullyminx Posts: 3
    Well thank you Mike.. 

    I hope you've had a good rest  :)

    I have been doing my own research on this persistent weed and have decided to call it Bellend, because even though it is actually a rather interesting, pretty and tenacious plant (it could probably survive a nuclear bomb drop along with the cockroaches) it is a total twat that is wholly annoying. 
    I accept that I may never be able to get rid of it completely but I will do everything in my power to keep it tamed.  It will get harder to do once my bushes are bigger, especially the Berberis as I wont be able to get in or under there without becoming a bloody colander but I hope that by then they will be mature/big enough to withstand sharing their space with some of it for a few months of the year.  Until then I shall continue to fight the good fight and pull it out from the sharp branches with my metal tongs, unwrap it from my honeysuckle and poison it as and when I can. 

  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,604
    I loathe the thought of poison in my garden and tried for weeks to dig up the bindweed but have had to admit defeat and use gel. It has been 2 weeks and it’s starting to die off. I am hoping that once about 50% is gone I can hand weed the rest to keep it under control. The gel works but it’s slow, be patient and leave it alone which for me is very difficult. You need no rain forecast for at least 3 days after application. Good luck 
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