Whats this?

Asked April 22, 2020, 12:41 PM EDT

Hi, This weed has aggressively been in my garden for some years, can you tell me what it is and what can be done to prevent its return once weeded?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This is a very invasive plant called garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). It is a biennial plant -- the first year it just grows low leaves and in the second year it grows tall and blooms with white flowers. It spreads very effectively by seeds and the seeds can remain viable in the soil for ~10 years. Because of this, it may take several years to get it under control.

Pull out all that you see and dispose of the plants in the trash before the seeds develop. Limiting seed dispersal is key. On our website you will find details about garlic mustard and how to manage it, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/garlic-mustard. Michigan State University has good information too. https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/invasive_species/garlic_mustard/about_garlic_mustard

Also, here is our video about garlic mustard, https://youtu.be/WvJMab8b7PQ.

Christa