How to Eliminate Bindweed from my Garden


Hi there,

I currently reside at the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto. In the past few years, we have been fighting a losing battle with bind weed. This weed is in a flower bed that is in full sun all day. I’m not quite sure how we got this, perhaps, when we purchased soil from a garden supply store or from the boulders that came from a farmer’s field? Would you know how to eradicate this weed? Thank you.


You are correct that dealing with bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a battle.  Many of us have been fighting bindweed for years. It may be that the best we can do is control bindweed rather than completely eradicate it.  I have copied below instructions from an earlier post on the best method for controlling bindweed in an existing bed.  This is the method I have used with some success.

Bindweed sends out a huge maze of roots that spread and pop up at new locations.  The roots have been known to go as deep as 20 feet underground.  The roots are fairly fragile and designed to break when dug up. Each break in the root system will create a new plant, so the more you dig, the more you get.

There is no quick solution to bindweed.  The best way to attack it is to cut off its source of light and nutrients to deprive it of energy.  Three ways to do this are:

  1. Cutting the plant off at ground level consistently and repeatedly over time can start to slow the bindweed down and decrease it growth.
  2. Mulching a pre-cleared spot will also cut the plant off from the sun and slow it down.
  3. Other healthy plants growing in the garden will compete with the bindweed for nutrients and shade the ground depriving the bindweed of the sun.

Keeping the ground covered either by densely planting or mulching will also prevent bindweed seeds from germinating. Bindweed seeds remain viable in the soil for many years and are only waiting for enough light to get going. Good luck!