Morning Glory Stuff - how do I get rid of it?

clematis_cottageMay 23, 2007

A few years ago, my next door neighbour put up a chain link fence and planted some kind of perennial morning glory vines along it for privacy. It has big white flowers. I was ill the last couple of years and not able to do much in the garden. Now I find that this stuff is EVERYWHERE in my garden and I can't seem to get rid of it. I have sprayed it where I can and keep pulling it up everywhere else but it's impossible to get rid of. Seems to grow about a yard a minute and is trying to strangle everything. Most of it I can't even spray without killing my other plants. Also, I hate using sprays. Any ideas short of shooting the neighbour?

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It is horrible. If you pull it every little piece of it grows. You have to go out early in the spring and paint the very early shoots with Round Up and it will carry it to the roots. I dont like to use any poisons but this is one exception. Good luck. It is an ongoing battle. THROW ALL THE PIECES AWAY DONT TRY TO COMPOST.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:21AM
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sea_jen(Zone 8, Seattle)

I bought a house with a back yard previously covered with morning glory (I think it's technically a false morning glory or bindweed). After five years of persistent work, I've now reduced it significantly but still have many vines growing in from the abandoned lot next door.

Some key things - 1. don't chop it up. It will then sprout new plants from every tiny chunk of root. We had our yard rototilled our first year here and that spread stuff around badly.

2. I second the previous poster on this being an appropriate use of selectively-applied RoundUp. I've heard conflicting advice about when in the plant's lifecycle to do this - some say when plants are really little while others say wait until they're at the end of the season so that you do the most damage. I personally would do it whenever I had the motivation.

3. Persistence, persistence, persistence. Pull it whenever you see it. It's ideal to dig out the roots, but they break easily and it's impossible to get them in dry soil. Just by sheer biology, if you always pull off the leaves at the top, the root will eventually not have enough energy to try again (or so I like to believe).

And if you can, convince your neighbor to plant something else there. I've just planted a kiwi vine -- many of the same fence-covering properties but without the ramant invasiveness.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:34AM
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daphnexduck(Z8 Tacoma, WA)

The white flowered morning glory is a noxious weed particularly abundant in the PNW, and I doubt your neighbors planted it. It likes to spring up anywhere the soil has been freshly dug, especially where a long line of soft soil makes a nice, straight pathway for the long roots.

I've fought morning glory in my garden for over 15 years. I've pulled and dug up and sifted soil, and nothing seemed to work. I try very hard to garden oraganically, but I give up when it came to morning glory.

Caseron is a granular, pre and post emergent, and works quite well against the dreaded morning glory. It is not supposed to harm ESTABLISHED, woody ornamentals (like roses and rhodys), but read the directions carefully.

About 8 years ago, a garden helper used caseron on a raised bed of mine that was loaded with morning glory, and it just seems to be coming back now. The success in this bed led me to try Caseron elsewhere.

I have a berm that is planted with landscape roses (and morning glory). Last fall I dug up all the morning glory I could, mulched with compost, applied caseron, mulched with bark, and waited. NO WEEDS this spring! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

I also used it along my fence, just tossing it under the bottom rail where I can't dig. The morning glory is much reduced this spring.

Good luck to all morning glory sufferers.
Daphne in Tacoma

Here is a link that might be useful: Weed Wizard, general weed control information

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Same problem in my yard. The best advice, a slow but sure solution, has been to remove the vines at ground-level (just pinching them off). If you do this consistently the plant can't photosynthesize and will die. Consistency is the key. Good luck - this is a doozy of a plant that chokes everything in sight.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:56AM
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tweety65(Rogue OR 7B)

I had hordes of this in the Willamette valley. IT was a nightmare. IF possible, cover with black plastic. All other plants will die back and the roots (rhisomes)will come to the surface, they look like spaghetti. You can also solarize the soil by covering with clear plastic and water through the hot summer months. Unfortunately it is hard to get rid of it without killing off everything else in the process. The plant is at it's weakest blooming, that is a good time to spray all of ones you missed earlier. The roots can grow up to 20ft, so you have to keep at it. It's possessed I tell ya!

Grants Pass, OR

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:45PM
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As others have said, persistence is the key. I have minimized my morning glory by always distroying it when i find it. Always. Whether it be to dig it up with its roots or just rip it from another plant it is choking, i am always vigilant. This has greatly minimized its return year after year. I have never and will never use a non-natural weed killer in my organic oasis, and i have managed to control this beast thus far....

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:25PM
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hostaguy(USDA 8)

I've heard of a way to get rid of it. I'd like to see if this works for someone or not, I don't know if it really works - but it seems logical. Someone do an experiment and report back

If you take a container with a lid (like a coolwhip container) cut an opening at the top, fill the container with Roundup and put the vines (still connected to the roots) through the hole in lid into the solution. Put lid back on to deter animals and let it sit for a few days. You should see a population of morning glory dead.

You may want to find the mother vine. lol - good luck

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Sigh. You've all confirmed what I suspected - but I was really hoping for a magic bullet here! Thanks for all the suggestions. I just might try that cool-whip thing and see how it works. A friend here also suggested cutting the bottom off of a large pop bottle, sitting it over the sprouts and spraying down into the bottle. It's supposed to concentrate the weed killer and also keep it from touching the leaves of the surrounding plants. I'm gonna try both this weekend and see what happens. At this point, I've got nothing to lose - my sanity went years ago.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 9:06PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Field Bindweed is a nightmare to get rid of. I've been spraying the stuff in my neighbor's yard with Round Up for years as it comes through my cedar fence and tangles up with my Clematis vines and the bird netting they are growing on.

The neighbor probably thinks it is pretty......

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 12:38AM
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Decided not to try the cool whip thing - I'm a little scared of the dogs and cats getting into it. I'm sure a whole dish full of it wouldn't do them any good. But I am going to try the pop bottles and see if that works. Trouble is there's so darn much of it. I go out every evening after work and yank it but it's a whole lot faster than I am these days. Maybe if I can get one patch to stop growing for a while, I can move on to the next. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'll let you know if the pop bottle trick works - at least it won't be able to touch anything else.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 1:36AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I'm trying something new for this in my veggie garden which is infested with it after the rotovater spread it around: I've started a lasagna garden -- basically covering the ground, weeds included with cardboard and piling leaves, grass clippings etc. on top. I made it almost 2 ft. thick. It is now sinking down but I have planted tomatoes and squash in it but so far no weeds, no morning glory/bind weed. If this works I am going to increase the lasagna garden by a patch or two each year until I get rid of the nasties in my garden. I got the info for this from the soil forum on G/W.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 10:50AM
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This stuff will stay around forever. It's famous for growing through red clay tennis courts and running tracks years after they've been laid. Since Round Up doesn't work any better than pulling and it's a serious poison for the soil, not to mention plants, animals and people, how about just breaking the vine off at the soil? Not pulling it out, which stimulates root growth, just breaking it off at the surface. Just one more way to care for your garden, nothing to get upset over is how I look at it - keeps my blood pressure in normal range. ;-)


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 1:16PM
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I Moved into my new house last spring and in the summer after planting a garden behind my garage (very sunny)I found that a morning glory had overrun my garden killing everything I had planted.
It has purple and pink and light purple flowers on it and the leaves are smooth and shaped like a heart.
I think it is so pretty but I want to plant a butterfly garden back there this year and I don't want all my plants dead by summer because of it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 3:45PM
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westgate(8b Brit.Col.)

We had a piece of ground in our local Arta Centre garden that was full of the stuff, and nothing seemed to stop it. We finally hired someone to dig up the entire thing, take out soil and roots, and replaced with fresh soil. this worked 100%. However, when I saw the pile of roots I was amazed, it looked like a mountain of spaghetti.... I had no idea that the underground was a sold mass of the stuff. So, if you have a large area, it can be a real problem. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 1:39PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Just wanted to report that I did not have any morning glory grow through my lasagna garden last year! And, in the parts of the veggie gardenthat were not cultivated, I ran a lawnmower over it regularly and the mg population is greatly diminished. As is the deadly nightshade, and other nasties I have. I will keep it up this year and hopefully will see a lot of iimprovement.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 5:33PM
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My father in law passed on march 30th and I now need to take care of the grounds. The backyard is covered in what I beleive to be Morning Glory's. They are absolutly everywhere. HELP!!!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 4:31PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Ortho Brush Killer and Crossbow work a lot better to kill blackberries than Roundup. I don't even bother using Roundup on blackberries anymore.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:13AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

.......Or Morning Glory. Sheesh! The above post was for the blackberry thread.
I needa cuppa cawfee. Looks like it's going to be Hebrew coffee. If my wife makes it, we call it Shebrew.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:10AM
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Noni Morrison

Beware of importing "Top Soil" from small local distributors. That is how I got the darned stuff years ago, and I know of another local composting business that is literally covered with the stuff. Mine was at least confined to a garden in the center of my driveway circle. It is now covered with landscape cloth and a greenhouse in the center. I still have to pull it out of the fence and the raspberries. but will not use a poison there. I try to get it out before it blooms and spreads seeds across the drive.

And i have a new supplier of compost who is well aware of the problem and I have never gotten an invasive species from his compost. Know your source!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 11:36AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

It isn't just small suppliers.
I had 20 yds of 5 way topsoil delivered for a seeded lawn from a major supplier in Woodinville once. While spreading it out I picked out a lot of broken glass. Some as large as a dinner plate. I then raked it out, seeded it, and then lightly watered it. Glass showed up all over! Customer was NOT happy! I filled up two five gal. buckets and brought it back to the supplier and asked that they deliver another ten yards without glass for free so I could cover up what was already spread out. They refused. Things deteriorated into a yelling match and I was physically thrown out into the parking lot by a couple of truck drivers the dispatcher called in. I had to buy additional topsoil from another company on my own dime to complete the lawn and you can be sure it wasn't Pacific Topsoils. I promised them as I left that I would bad mouth them as long as I lived.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:18PM
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If you read about the seeds for this stuff they can live for up to sixty years in the soil. I have the problem in a flower garden that has some very nice established plants, but you can buy a spray that you paint on the plants early in the year called chickweed, buttercup killer. It works apparantly after around 3 applications... however you have to be vigilant even after. I as well use the concentrated and mix it stronger when applying it by paint brush. Nothing is an easy fix with this weed, I curse it constanly!!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 3:05PM
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