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Ground elder control

SueAtooSueAtoo DorsetPosts: 237

Has anyone tried using Tagetes Minuta (Mexican marigold) to control/kill ground elder? Sarah Raven has said it seems to work so, having bought and sown a packet of seeds, I'm hopeful.


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,982

    I thought about it, but decided there was no point!

    The ground elder was here before I was and is all over my acre + garden.much of which is semi or even wholly wild. It is only really a nuisance in the perennial borders,everywhere else it either gets dug out regularly or fits in with the other wild things. The flowers are as pretty as the other umbels  (and prettier than the Tagetes!) and the leaves not unattractive. You can even eat it, though I haven't tried, as I don't care for the smell of it.

    Even if it did work, the cleared area would soon get re-invaded from neighbouring ones, by seed as well as roots, which is probably even more frustrating! When conditions are right,  just after a shower is perfect, I quite enjoy tracking down the roots and clearing a patch of border with a sharp pointed trowelimage

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,368

    This question of Tagetes minuta and weed control has been asked before, though last time it was bindweed it was supposed to kill.

    The consensus was that it's useless. I think if it worked we'd all know about it by now.

  • I bought the seeds, planted two batches in the greenhouse in a headed propagator at a minimum of 20 c and none have come up - the seed supplier said they could be  difficult to germinate.   Any ideas?

  • I find that Ground Elder is quick to take over and chokes plants. When I moved in the whole garden was covered in it and some of the established shrubs were sickly. After realising what it was I dug it all out by hand for it to come back again. I then got hold of some Glyphosate 360 and set about painting it onto leaves once they established. This has done wonders for control to the point where there is hardly any coming through now. The established shrubs have recovered and are thriving after a good mulch and a year of being weed free.
  • brupatbrupat Posts: 1

    I read this thread and also some others online when I was researching how to get rid of ground elders in my garden. Although the best solution seems to be digging them out (and ensuring all the root is removed) we had some in a rock garden and other areas where it wasn't possible to dig deep to remove them all.

    So, I bought some Targetes Minuta seeds, propagated them in trays in a south-facing window, and planted them out next to all ground elder stumps in the garden. And it really seems to have worked. The elders mostly seem to have gone black, dried up, and died. Prior to planting Targetes I would pull the leaves off ground elder stumps regularly in the hope of weakening them, but I haven't needed to so for weeks now, these formerly vigorous weeds seemed to have given up.

    Unless it's too early to judge and the ground elders come back again next year, I would declare the Targetes my new favourite plant! They haven't yet flowered but they are getting very tall, however they aren't necessarily ugly, and as annuals they will die off, hopefully having done the job I got them for. 

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829

    Better luck than we had. When we tried the ground elder choked out the Tagetes without any trouble at all.

  • RueberueRueberue Posts: 9
    Before planting out the germinated Tagetes did you clear the bed of your favourite plants - or leave them to see how they too responded to the plant along with the ground elder?

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