Skunk smelling ground cover

Asked July 21, 2019, 4:11 PM EDT

This aggressive ground cover appeared in our shady backyard and has taken over. It looks nice and grows well but stinks. What is it and how do u get rid of it?

Spokane County Washington weed issues weed control weed identification

2 Responses

Thank you for contacting us with your question, and with the great pictures!

It looks (and smells) like you have Herb Robert, sometimes called Stinky Bob. You can probably tell where it got the name. Herb Robert is an invasive ground cover, considered weedy in home landscapes. I've added a link below to more information about controlling this weed, including organic and chemical management: http://hortsense.cahnrs.wsu.edu/Search/MainMenuWithFactSheet.aspx?CategoryId=6&ProblemId=2086

It sounds like it may have gone beyond the time when you could hand-pull the plants. These are annuals, meaning that they reproduce by seed. That means that you will probably have more of them next year, and maybe the year after that.

Step one of weed control is to get rid of the plants (see link above for recommendations) but just as important is step 2, which is keeping it from coming back. If you are able to plant the area with something more desirable, it will crowd out the Herb Robert and keep it from coming back year after year.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We can give you suggestions for replacement plants, or answer any other landscape questions you might have. You can email us directly at mastergardener@spokanecounty.org or call 509-477-2172.

Good luck getting rid of Stinky Bob!

THANK YOU for your thorough reply. Yes... I will try to get rid of Ole' Stinky Bob! I knew it wasn't good when it started "growing like a weed". Thank you again!