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Ground Elder

Our neighbours have lots of ground elder which comes up in ourgarden. Any ideas how to get rid of it.


  • My sympathies are with you. I've dug up enough to start a cottage industry if only I could find a use for it, and there's plenty left! Glyphosate will do it but it may take 2 or even 3 goes. But you need to tackle the source. You could offer to spray your neighbours' weeds too if they don't want to do it themselves. Otherwise, a physical barrier along the boundary like heavy-duty polythene to a depth of about 22cm/9 inches would work if the boundary is short enough to make this practical. And constant vigilance - it's very persistent! Or maybe a narrow strip along the boundary that you can keep an eye on and spray as and when. I don't like using chemicals but glyphosate breaks down to carbon dioxide and water on contact with soil so should be safe and is useful for spot-killing. I keep the top half of a plastic drink bottle (2 litre) to spray through, to avoid spraying my precious plants. Woody shrub stems aren't affected by glyphosate so shrubs along the edge might help, as long as you keep it off the leaves.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  • I moved to a neglected garden. Aside from weeding out as much of the roots as possible I used roundup weed killer. Where the elder was around plants I did not want to disturb/spray I'd soak cotton wool and wipe the leaves, this also proved more economical. Eventually after 2-3 years I became elder free. Now organic in another garden I have weeded the roots as much as possible and mulched thickly with wood chippings. As the elder appears I will weed it early in the hope of weakening it and killing it over time. It is important to trace as much of the root as you weed and not break it off where possible. Perserverance is key..........Regarding your neighbours I would have a kind word that their neglect is causing you problems and perhaps offer to help weed it out initially (I did this with another weed problem). I actually find Ground Elder an attractive plant and like its flowers - it may be that you could find a way to accept it as a plant to be kept in check along your boundary rather than considering it a weed? Alternatively you may have to resign yourself to another garden chore that needs to be kept on top of as ground elder will creep.............The polythene sounds a good idea though and growing to love weeding helps too!

  • Thanks.Will trythe polythene way.

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