Do you have a remedy to get rid of ‘Bishop’s Weed’?

Asked August 19, 2018, 12:57 PM EDT

IZhave been fighting this weed for over 20 years! It has been a pain, but by digging down to get to roots, I was able to make it manageable. But every year it came back stronger and I am getting older! This year, especially, even before all the rain, this weed is over running the pachysandra on the entire side of my house. It has become an unwelcome ground cover under an eight by four foot stretch under my bushes. It has taken up residence in the back of my yard, in and behind the hydrangea making a carpet of about :10’ x 5.’ It has come up within my very overgrown liriope. My attempts to spray it with Round Up, dig it up and put newspaper down helps a bit, but it finds a way out. I have had landscapers help, but they just pull it out, which doesn’t help. Please tell me you have a magic trick to get rid of it. One comment I read said, “Just move!” Best regards, I have been fighting this weed for over 20 years! It has been a pain, but by digging down to get to roots, I was able to make it manageable. But every year it came back stronger and I am getting older! This year, especially, even before all the rain, this weed is over running the pachysandra on the entire side of my house. It has become an unwelcome ground cover under an eight by four foot stretch under my bushes. It has taken up residence in the back of my yard, in and behind the hydrangea making a carpet of about :10’ x 5.’ It has come up within my very overgrown liriope. My attempts to spray it with Round Up, dig it up and put newspaper down helps a bit, but it finds a way out. I have had landscapers help, but they just pull it out, which doesn’t help. Please tell me you have a magic trick to get rid of it. One comment I read said, “Just move!” Best regards,

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1 Response

It appears that there are few desirable plants worth saving in these beds (except for the hydrangea.) To be done with the bishops weed once and for all, we'd recommend removing any small plants you want to save, shaking off ALL soil and being extremely careful to get remove any bishops weed roots. Pot the plants or relocate. It may be a year or so before you can plant anything in the bishops weed beds. Then apply the systemic herbicide glyphosate. (Glyphosate is a total vegetation killer, so shield your hydrangea with a cardboard or plastic shield.)

Early fall (beginning now) is a good time to spray glyphosate because plants are getting ready for winter and translocating chemicals down to their roots better than at other times of the year. If one spray does not brown all the foliage, wait 3-4 weeks and spray again this fall.Many tough invasives require two spraying, one after the other.

Timing is crucial when tackling aggressive invasive plants like bishops weed. Read through the following fact sheet very carefully: https://www.invasive.org/weedcd/pdfs/wgw/goutweed.pdf

You'll see that cutting, smothering and spraying are more effective at particular times of the year.

In addition to what they recommend, you can cut, spray and smother in spring. Or, spray and smother in spring.

Approach this like a military campaign. Be absolutely vigilant and persistent for at least one year.

ECN