Lesser celandine

Asked May 19, 2020, 12:53 PM EDT

I have spent the last 3 1/2 years rehabbing a garden that was neglected for 15-20 years. It is really starting to look great -- all edibles and native plants and lots of new growth. We do not use any pesticides or weed killers. Last spring we had a few patches of celandine that I worked around. This year, my entire yard was consumed with huge thick patches of it. My husband and I have been digging it out by hand and trying to get all of the little bulbs, but it is grueling work, and I am afraid that it will all be back next year anyway. Do you have any suggestions of ways to make the yard less hospitable to this invasive plant?

Baltimore Maryland

2 Responses

This non-native invasive plant is a huge problem in our parks and natural areas, not to mention home landscapes.
There are no easy answers. Physical removal is easiest, if you have a very small patch or you are dealing with desirable plants. Otherwise, various tools can make the job a bit simpler than hand-pulling alone; stirrup hoes are one such tool that helps to sever the root balls of tough perennial weeds. Since celandine can regrow from small sections of root tuber left in the soil, this process will likely need to be repeated until all of it is removed.

If you use chemicals, the trick is to spray with an herbicide containing glyphosate while the leaves are still green--before it goes dormant. Here's the info: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lesser-celandine
Please read this publication for management options https://www.invasive.org/weedcd/pdfs/wgw/lessercelandine.pdf


Thank you!