Bindweed is a perennial vine with round white blossoms. There are two common species of bindweed: field bindweed and hedge bindweed. Bindweeds look somewhat like morning glories.
Botanical name: Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis; Hedge Bindweed, Calystegia sepium
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Bindweed description and life cycle
- Field and hedge bindweed have stems 3 to 10 feet long.
- Stems are smooth and climb or lie prostrate on the ground.
- Leaves round or heart-shaped early, arrow-shaped at maturity, with long, parallel sides.
- Leaves alternate on the stem with simple smooth margins.
- Flowers are white or pink funnel-shaped with 1 to 2 inches across, flares at the top; field bindweed has smaller flowers than hedge bindweed.
- Blooms in summer.
- Reproduces by seed and creeping roots.
- Prefers rich soil, good drainage, and bright light.
Bindweed root system
Bindweed has both deep vertical and shallow horizontal rhizome roots. Vertical roots can reach a depth of 20 feet, but more than 70 percent of the plant’s lateral roots are in the top 2 feet of soil, and most are no deeper than 1 foot. Roots store carbohydrates allowing new plants to grow from root pieces left in the ground.
Bindweed organic control
- Continually cut the plant at the base to weaken it.
- Dig out roots to eradicate the plant; repeated removal of roots is required to weaken and finally kill the plant; this may take more than one season.
- Mulch with black plastic sheeting and cardboard or hay on top for a year to eradicate.
Throughout the United States, except Florida and extreme southern areas of Texas, and Southwest.
Four quick ways to control weeds
- Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
- Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
- Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
- Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.
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