What's the best way to kill off Blue Star Creeper?

olympiceagleSeptember 6, 2008

Am seeking advice on the best way to kill off a patch (about 500 sq. ft.) of combination blue star creeper and Irish moss.

When we moved into our new home some 12 years ago, we put in a few sections of grass close to the house, but wanted something different directly in front of the house. Don't ask me why (we hadn't discovered this forum yet), but we decided on mixing blue star creeper and moss. So here we are, 12 years later, and we're giving up on that section. It doesn't look good, the moss has been totally swallowed up by the bsc, and if it weren't for the driveway and a walkway, I'm sure the bsc would be all over our place. So we've decided to convert that section to, yes, grass.

With apologies to the anti-chemical folks, I've used Roundup on the section but notice that the bsc isn't giving up quite so easily. I've seen the crazy root system of the bsc and want to make sure they are zapped forever before putting down any grass seed.

Any suggestions and recommendations, in terms of both products and/or procedures? TIA

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

To maintain an even covering it's usual to have to lift, divide and replant Iris and Scotch moss periodically anyway. Both it and the creeper like it moist. A bit late for this year but I imagine allowing the area to dry out in summer could be enough to cause both of these to diminish and die out even without herbicidal sprays. If you want to get your lawn in and you have gotten rid of most of the groundcover by now probably just need to dig the rest out by hand.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 3:19PM
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annzgw

No need to apologize to me.........I use the stuff all too often!

Whenever I come across a mixture of plants I want to get rid of, I use a mixture of Roundup and WeedBGone. It's never failed me!

Some of your problem may be the dilution of Roundup. Are you using the premixed stuff or the concentrated?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 6:09PM
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olympiceagle

I'm using the Super Concentrated RoundUp, but admit that my mixing is purely by eyeball, so I might very well be mixing it a bit too thin. Thanks to both annz and bboy for the replies. I haven't had the time I thought I would for this project, so I might just worry about clearing the section this year and do the seeding next year. We'll see. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 9:19PM
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JudyWWW(z7/WA)

I had never planted blue star creeper until this month and now this thread is worrying me. Is it a problem? Can it be invasive? I do very little watering and I know that keeps some plants in check. Please let me know if bsc is a problem so that I can remove it before it gets established. Thanks! jwww

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 10:41PM
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plantknitter(8)

"depends what you mean by "best""

agent orange,
2,4 d;
2,4,5,T
weed and feed,
propane torch, etc,etc.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 1:40AM
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olympiceagle

judywww: As you might figure from my question, I'm quite a novice at gardening, so my comments here need to be taken in that light. Most of the references on ground covers that we checked did not describe the invasiveness of bsc. We wanted something low, attractive, and steppable, and it is all of that. When it encroached a small maple tree, I went to pull it back, only to find a massive and thick mat of intertwined roots below ground surface. Pulling off the tops just will not do the job. Reminds me of an iceberg - 90% of it is subsurface. We never watered it, and we also live in the rainshadow of the Olympics and get only 17 inches of rain a year, but perhaps the 12 years of growth is what did it. I would suggest continuing to seek out the opinions of others. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Should be able to get it out with forks.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Mystery_Gardener

Hi:

Lasagna gardening. Several layers of newspaper should do it, then your grass soil and finally your grass seed. This seems a bit ironic, we have been going the other way for years (slowly converting grass to flower gardens).

Cheers,
MG

Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:09PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

My problem with it is that it smothers other plants. It does not just creep nicely along the ground. It grows up into my dwarf conifers and heaths and heathers and is difficult to remove. It shades them out and causes bald spots.

I planted it around the edges of several small ponds to soften the rocks and it does a great job at that. There are large patches of bare soil that it is ignoring in order to grow up into other plants.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:50PM
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blumz(8a)

I innocently planted an entire flat of BSC here at my brand new home in the spring. I sang it's praises for a while because it has bloomed for me all summer and spread well. HOWEVER, in the past few weeks I have realized that it is a BULLY and a real garden THUG! It is now encroaching on our expensive Zoysia Z52 lawn (hubby is having a conniption!) I have it in several different places. Only yesterday I dug up an area of it that was already reaching the edge of the grass. The roots are juicy and prolific. They have traveled deep under a flat solid paver border that edges the flower beds.

In the spring when I first planted it, I had a few plugs of it in one place and decided to move them a couple weeks later. The original place now has as much BSC as in the place where I moved it ... if that tells you how quickly the little boogers can deposit their hungry offspring. I'm sick about it and wondering how in the world I'm going to get it out of my hosta, hydrangeas, veronica, daylilies, salvias, and other perennials.

I've been gardening for 25 years, and am really disappointed in myself that I didn't check it out more thoroughly before planting it. You'd think I would have learned my lesson about garden thugs by now! It is certainly mis-named. It should be named BLUE STAR LEAPER!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 11:01AM
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olympiceagle

blumz: Thanks for commiserating! Get it now; don't wait 12 years. I have a hard time imagining how to attack those roots mechanically and still get them all so they don't lie dormant for a while and pop up later. That's what led me to posting this in the first place. So far, I've put down THREE applications of RoundUp, each one week apart, and the little boogers,as you politely name them, still show signs of some life. Comatose maybe, but I cannot yet pronounce them dead. Everything else was totally dead after the second application. I've found a product called Ortho Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer that contains 8% Triclopyr. Haven't tried it yet, but I understand that it would be comparable to killing a gnat with a sledge hammer. Also I would need to wait a month or two before planting the grass, as opposed to several days for RoundUp, but I'd be willing to wait. As for what has already encroached into your "good plants", I don't have much to offer. One approach, however, might be to zap them all in order to get the BSC, then start anew. I think the military calls it "collateral damage". Hopefully, someone else can offer some useful suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 3:01PM
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JudyWWW(z7/WA)

I am so sorry that the two of you are going through this hassle. I really appreciate your posting. I take it as a very serious warning and will remove the 3 plants I set out a couple of months ago and watch it for any resprouting. jwww

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 1:51AM
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lisaonbainbridge

Is pratia angulata--the larger-leaved white flowered one--just as invasive? Will it cover the larger plants around it? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 4:18PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Mine is Pratia pedunculata 'County Park' often sold as "Dark Blue Star Creeper" but I have no experience with the white one, sorry.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 1:03PM
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briegirl

Blue star creeper has overtaken my front lawn! My husband sprayed a safe for lawn weed killer but the BSC is unfazed. It keeps fighting back and we are at our wit's end as to how to get rid of it without have to dig up the lawn and reseed. We are talking about 2,000 sq feet. Every nursery should be required to label invasive ground cover as such. The BSC has caused us much grief. If we had known about its highly invasive nature, we would have confined it to an area away from the lawn and other delicate plantings, or to a pot. I don't care about how it displays a beautiful "carpet" of bluish white. After 15 years of struggling with it, I wish I had never come across it. Garden invaders!!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 3:48PM
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bobb_grow

This has me worried. We planted something labelled "Blue Star Creeper" between pavers just a few weeks ago. Its latin name is isotoma fluviatilis. Is it the same plant that is causing the havoc for others on this forum?

Thanks

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 12:30PM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Yes, Isotoma is the old name for blue star creeper.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 10:51AM
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Peduncle72

I wonder about just covering the area with a tarp, or thick 5 mil plastic for a week or so?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 10:49PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Since the above thread is four years old I assume the problem was solved long ago.

As for mine, it actually all died out on it's own when I didn't water it in summer.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 2:20PM
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