Bindweed Organic Weed Control


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.

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 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, bright light.

Root System: Bindweed has both deep vertical and shallow horizontal rhizome roots. Vertical roots can reach to 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 no deeper than 1 foot. Roots store carbohydrates allowing new plants to grow from roots pieces left in the ground.

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.

Range: Throughout the United States, except Florida and extreme southern areas of Texas, and Southwest.

Botanical Name: Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis; Hedge Bindweed, Calystegia sepium

Four Quick Ways to Control Weeds:

  1. Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
  2. Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
  3. Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
  4. Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.


Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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