invasive flower, lesser celandine

Asked April 8, 2020, 2:39 PM EDT

I am trying for a backyard habitat certificate, but I have been over run with lesser celandine. I am digging up much of the back yard but have several plastic bags full of plant and soil and a lot more land to go. I find the roots actually attached to the roots of some of our trees. I am trying to peel them away, but the bulbets and tubers drop off. (I need a garden vaccum). My first question is : once I clear around a tree, will mulch help against lesser celandine for next year? 2. I read where glyphosate will help, but I am worried about the other vegetation. your thought? 3. Could I dig a big hole, line it with plastic and bury the celandine? I dont have the capacity to dispose all these plastic bags of celandine in the garbage, and I read where you should not put it in compose. 4. What native plant can I plant that would help me take back my yard? My back yard is about 2000 square feet.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

There aren't any natives as aggressive as lesser celandine (Ficaria verna, (formerly Ranunculus ficaria L.) It may take several years to eradicate. One of my neighbors has this too and I have to be vigilant to make sure it doesn't spread into my yard. Mulch will help some and what I would do is lay four to six layers of cardboard and then cover that with two to four inches of mulch/wood chips. It will break down over a couple of years, but what you are trying to do is prevent the plant from photosynthesizing (growing) You will need to keep the cardboard/mulch several inches away from the tree trunk and that is where you will need to watch for emergence. If you can, you could cut back all the leaves and flowers, it is especially important to not let this plant go to seed. As far as disposal, if you have it in black plastic bags, you can hold on to it and dispose of some as you can. You may also want to contact your waste disposal company and ask for options as you are trying to be a good steward.

Glyphosate is an effective tool for managing plants but is more effective as the upward growth slows. You can use cardboard as a shield to protest plants as you manage this issue. It's doubtful it will cause a problem for your tree, but please be sure to read and follow the directions.

for a moving section, you can try black plastic for about six weeks. Again, it's about blocking photosynthesis.

Good luck.