Getting rid of lily of the valley

Asked September 13, 2018, 3:01 PM EDT

Lily of the valley has spread through ground cover and in and around plants where it was never intended including a small tree. Do I cover the broad leaves with weed killer which I hope won’t kill anything else? Do I just cover and smother the area with newspaper and black plastic and start over? Everything is growing together, some of which I would like to resolve now instead of in the spring. Your help will be most appreciated. Thank you.

Wayne County Michigan

4 Responses

The best option is to pull the unwanted plants out by hand. Keep pulling every time you see a new one. A weed killer like glysophate will kill everything if sprayed unless you find a way to shield the plants you want to keep. You could paint the leaves of unwanted plants with glysophate with a small artist’s type brush. All of the methods are labor intensive. Starting over is another option. Sorry I don’t have an easy answer.

Hi - thanks for the prompt response. I have not found that pulling each plant works because there are always roots remaining that bring up more. Will have to decide whether to do the painting thing or harvest ground cover and smother all the lily of the valley. Thanks again. Linda

Good luck to you. Keeping beds with only the flowers we want is a hard job.

Thanks. Yes it is a challenge. I have my work cut out for me.