Invasive vines


My neighbour did some work in his garden the summer of 2020 and since then invasive vines have shown up in my side garden and middle garden . He hasn’t done anything about this and I don’t know what to do about it. I have sent a picture of the vine the location of which is next to my back deck I have more vines in my middle garden and side Garden and even popping up through my lawn.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. From your photo I believe that the vine in question is field bindweed Convolvulus arvensis. This plant is an aggressive invader of disturbed sites as a result it is not surprising that it has shown up after your neighbour’s garden renovation. Field bindweed can grow horizontally across the ground or climb other plants.

Many of us gardeners have been fighting bindweed for years. It may be that the best we can do is control bindweed rather than completely eradicate it. We receive numerous questions on how to control this invasive weed. I have copied below instructions from an earlier post on the best method for controlling bindweed:

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.

The key is not to let this plant set seed. By continuously cutting off the vine at ground level or with your lawn mower will eventually deprive the roots of nutrients; this will slow down its growth and the vine will eventually die.

You may wish to have a conversation with your neighbour concerns your concerns and pass along the above suggestions as to how to control this aggressive weed.

Good Luck

Sept. 28, 2021