Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade Partial to Full Shade Full Shade
Danger: Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Herbaceous Variegated
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets) From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; direct sow after last frost By simple layering
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
This plant was in a large perennial bed of the house I bought a few years ago. It looked lovely, I thought, the first year. Turned out to be the worst nightmare that others have described with spreading and choking out all other plants around. Pulling it out didn't help, as THE ROOTS ARE ALWAYS THERE SOMEWHERE & THEY WILL GROW and I shy away from poisons. I ended up hiring a landscaper to come dig out the whole bed (plus a little extra around the perimeter) to a depth of approx 15 ". No plant life of any kind was left when they were done.
I saved as many of the desirable plants as I could (transferred to pots) and the ones that I could bare-root successfully, I re-planted in the new soil. Much more expensive route than I wanted to go, but saw no other choice that would let me sleep at night. I did this 'dig' in Nov in the Seattle area. Now, on 01 Mar, waiting to see what spring brings. Fingers crossed...
This is an awful, awful plant that will take everything over. I actually was able to quite easily eradicate a whole area by first cutting off the tops of the plants (weed eater, sheers, scissors) and 'painting' on a coating of full strength, undiluted, concentrated Round Up to the tops with a foam brush. This is the concentrated Round Up, not the ready to use type formula. By applying it to the freshly cuts tips, it soaked in to the roots very easily. It is nearly impossible to kill otherwise. The solid green does not spread as quickly as the verigated.
On May 28, 2012, digwell from Shelburne, NS (Zone 6a) wrote:
KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT !!! This plant is the cockroach of the gardening world, and should never, under any circumstance, be sold in gardening outlets. It have seen tracts of beautiful woodland taken over by this monster, with all trace of native wildflowers forever eradicated. I lost a stretch of beautiful border along a brook to this pernicious beast, and I almost cried as it swallowed a beautifully established bed of vinca, cimicifuga, and siberian iris. Those who are happy with it either live surrounded by concrete, or they have little else in their gardens that they care about. Be considerate of others, please and NEVER knowingly plant this thing. Petition all garden stores to stop selling it, too.
On Apr 27, 2012, IndyLandSteward from Indianapolis, IN wrote:
This groundcover has taken over ~6 acres of floodplain forest in Marott Park Nature Preserve in Indianapolis. At some point it had escaped cultivation from neighboring yards. It has taken over wildflower areas.
I liked the looks of this plant, but knew of its invasiveness. I got some of it a few years ago and use it exclusively as an accent in containers. It comes back every spring, I take out whatever new shoots I don't want, and add annuals to the container. It's one of the first things to come up in the spring, so my containers have something pretty in them long before it's safe to add annuals. Very pretty that way, and under control.
On Sep 5, 2011, Roxannabelle from 100 Mile House Canada wrote:
I live in the interior of British Columbia and have goutweed in a shady area. Today I was ripping some of it out as it's overgrown and choking my juniper bushes. Afterwards, my legs and arms were covered in rashes. I wasn't aware this plant did this, but from this site, it seems that many other have had similar reactions. I swabbed all exposed skin with Witch Hazel astringent and the rash calmed down considerably.
On Jun 16, 2011, Ithiel from Detroit, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:
I actually wish this stuff was more invasive than it is. I have a large shaded area in my front yard where not much will grow and it's been very slow to take off over the past year. We'll see how it does over the remainder of the growing season.
On May 31, 2011, MiniMoo from Romeo, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
Spent an entire week ~ several hours per day digging this out of a landscape bed.
I had mistakenly planted it about 3 years ago along the back edge of the bed.
This house is ours, but we are the landlords now and over the past 3 years, this plant has overtaken that bed ~ killed some creeping phlox and was choking the rhododendron! I was upset at the renter because I had specifically told her to keep an eye on it...but then I just became mad at myself...why would you trust a renter to listen and actually do what you asked?
It is a pretty plant in a controlled area, but don't let it go beyond that!!!
I've irradiated the all green version of this from the house we live in right now and it has not come back in over 2 years (knock on wood). So, as long as you are diligent with pulling this every time you see a leaf popping out of the ground, it will go away. No poisons required.
I have searched online for an hour and I finally figured out what it was I was watching take over my flowerbed.
I received a number of hostas from a neighbor a year or two ago and now they are being overrun by this invasive plant that came along! Yes, it looks nice at first. I thought it was a good plant but it is slowly spreading and killing hostas in the process. Hopefully the tips I've read on here for how to eradicate it will work!
I can't believe it is for sale in nurseries and garden centers! Buyer beware! I plan to stick to native species from now on...
On May 28, 2011, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I know .. it's 2011... but I have planted this way back in 2001 under my bay window where the plant was surrounded by sidewalk so I was not to concerned about it getting out of hand. Over the years I have now taken plants from that area and added it to 2 other areas where so far it has not really been to hard to contain. 2 are total shade and one is where it gets sun from 1pm till dusk and this one seems to be growing much faster, taller and spreading better then the 2 shade ones. I really do like this plant, it adds color, grows where you know nothing else will due to the shade and dry soil which is where all mine are currently residing. I plan on taking sections of the sun one and moving them to one side of my driveway where it's all shade, it's 180ft long strip where nothing but Garlic mustard, burdock and buckthorn along with all those other little weed trees like to grow reside. I hope it makes a nice green and white carpet to brighten up the space. Check out my photos of my sun area with this ground cover..
On May 14, 2011, canadianplant from thunder bay Canada (Zone 4b) wrote:
We moved into this house in 1989. The summer of 1990, there was this green and white plant that grew in the left side of my front yard. Its surrounded by Caragana, a cenemt path, stairs, and the portch foundation. Only today I decided to look up " snow on the mountain", and that lead me to here.
Also, about 10 years ago, we were givin done divisions of iris, and put it on the north side of the house, that had some of this in the clumps, which is almsot 100% shade.
Neither of these have spread in my area. Whether its by the way they are some what contained, or just the climate, in NW ontario, it doesnt seem to bad.
The pollinating insects love the flowers of this plant. IT hasnt choked out iris, bamboo, or bleeding heart, or the caragana ( the caragana hedge is thought to be about 50 years old).
I cant give this plant due to the fact that its obvioulsy invasive, but I also cant give it a negative, because ive had no problems in 20 years here.
On May 11, 2011, cntryrocks from Princeton, KS wrote:
This stuff is an absolute nightmare. I planted a 3 inch pot last year, and it is well on it's way to taking over the entire bed. It just overtakes anything in it's path. I hate this stuff. I've been pulling it, and am getting ready to try roundup. I would not recommend this place except for an area where you are not trying to grow anything else, or perhaps underneath a tree. Maybe it would be great in a spot where nothing else will grow. It is way to happy in the bed on the northeast side of my house.
On May 2, 2011, Aegopodiumess from None Netherlands wrote:
When I moved into my current house about 8 years ago, the garden was overgrown with nearly waist-high weeds. I had to remove everything by hand, then till the entire yard under, re-landscape, etc. But every year, even though every other weed was gone, that dreaded ground elder kept coming back - popping up between stones, through mulch, through grass, around roots, choking out the 'good' plants.
I don't know if someone planted this at some point or if it just accidentally ended up in my yard, but it's impossible to get rid of. Please be considerate of any future tenants and don't plant this plant. It's virtually unkillable and causes 10 times the maintance a yard would need without it.
On Apr 30, 2011, Greytluv from Fairport, NY wrote:
RUN, DON'T Walk, away if you see this plant or it's non variegated variety at nurseries or big box stores. Too bad so many of them sell these plants to new or inexperienced gardeners without warning them.
Just to make a distinction - the variegated form of Aegopodium is far less invasive as the green species form. That said, it's still a noxious weed that is best left out of the garden.
I'm a professional gardener and I run across this plant all the time. Control can be very difficult, but with time it can be controlled.
Aegopodium laughs at Roundup. If you go with an herbicide I recommend using Ortho's Brush B Gone. Important note: Brush B Gone and other strong herbicides travel through the soil and remain there for a long time (45 days or longer depending on product). So keep this in mind if using - you're committing yourself to not planting anything in the area for a long while.
After a few sprayings I mow the tops off the plant with a lawnmower. I then cover the area with a plastic tarp (green or brown, and NOT landscape fabric or any other porous material) and pin it down. The idea is here is to both dry out the root zone AND to let the sun cook the plant. It is a lengthy process, but it's a good start. If you're averse to herbicides you can simply mow the tops and apply the tarp - it will take longer to control, but it will help.
I planted 4 of these plants several years ago in a dry, shady area under some large poplars. The soil is rocky and nothing grows there except hosta, after digging up the rocks and adding compost. I thought an invasive groundcover might be just the thing to cover a problem area about 25'x25'. The bishop's weed has survived but it really hasn't spread. I still only have the 4 plants I started with. I think it looks fine but I'm a little disappointed it didn't spread a bit more. It also goes dormant fairly early in the fall, leaving a bare patch. I'm going to try vinca next.
On May 13, 2010, Groundworker from Portland, OR wrote:
As a beginning gardener, when I first noticed the seemingly civilized variegated form of Aegopodium podagraria growing under my neighbor's fence to fill the narrow shady strip behind my house, I was pleased. Four years later, I just pulled out a gorgeous lacecap hydrangea and two huge (5+ feet) sword ferns lost to this AWFUL plant. Actually, my husband pulled them out - I couldn't watch.
The roots of this weed, which is now almost entirely reverted to its vigorous green form, insinuate themselves in and around those of any other plant within reach, making it impossible to eradicate without also removing "good" plants. In the shade along my fence, it grows to 2+ feet, smothering anything within reach and easily surviving our Oregon summer drought.
Once a rabid "organic-only" gardener, I have been driven to drown this weed in Round-Up. Our current plan is to cover it in black plastic sunk into 1-foot trenches, topped with as much mulch as we can afford. However, having seen this plant grow right through weed barrier like it wasn't even there, I'm not too positive about our chances.
I purchased and planted this after reading all the comments about it. I specifically wanted it after reading how invasive it was, because I wanted it to cover my backyard (where it seems only clover thrives...). It has been NOWHERE as invasive as I thought it would be. It has grown, but NOT spread, and really likes to stay moist. I am beginning to believe that my backyard is doomed to be ruled by the clover, sigh...
On Apr 30, 2010, amberamber from Paulding, OH wrote:
I just moved into a house that has two small plants growing by the patio. I haven't seen it anywhere else in the area. I'm assuming that our heavy clay soil is keeping it from spreading too much. I know that nobody has lived here in a while so nobody has been trying to get rid of it. I'm going to leave it be, nothing else seems to want to grow right there. It's shaded by the house and the privacy fence, and like I said, very hard clay soil. It's pretty, it's not spreading, I'm going to leave it alone.
On Apr 11, 2010, reb75 from Bloomfield Hills, MI wrote:
This is all over our yard in patches of the grass and all the beds. I think the previous owner (we moved in last year) had split plants and that is how it got to every bed. I believe this monster could grow on cement. I've tried weedkillers, the back breaking job of digging up all the dirt and throwing it out, but it just keeps going. If you miss a half inch of a thread it will grow. I removed all the plants from one of the beds and got all the roots out I could find --- they were actually attached to tree roots, and poured boiling water over the soil. I will continue to spray weed killers, but the boiling water so far doesnt seem to have hurt the root, only the leaf and stem. I hope it works, but I am not optimistic. Good luck, misery loves company and it did help to read others stories and suggestions. Thanks
On Oct 28, 2009, 2packerfans from Hartford, WI wrote:
my friend had some by her house.
i have been fairly successful in killing it.
i pulled out what i could (bare hands, glad i did not get a skin reaction, i did not know what it was, i just wanted it gone!)
i sprayed the stems and whatever was left with Ortho Weed B Gon, for chickweed, clover & oxalis, it also says for creeping charlie on the label.
then for the large planting areas, i put several layers of newspaper down and covered with mulch.
all new sprouts that came up, either in the grass outside the planting area, or too near to the plant for newspaper, got sprayed with the ortho stuff mentioned above. be careful not to get any on your good plants!
it seems to have worked for the most part, but will see some sprouting up in the grass now and then......and i run for the ortho spray bottle! i think the quicker you can get to the new plants, the less time they have to shoot new roots out.....
On Aug 30, 2009, clairebear from Saint Louis, MO wrote:
This plant is just plain AWFUL!!!! It lives (and thrives!) in a park in St. Louis. For the last 8 seasons we have tried to get a handle on it. Repeated spraying of Roundup slows it down, but won't stop it. I am thinking that we may have to dig it all up before we plant a new garden. I heard of someone using a blow torch, it might not be the worst idea for it. Maybe if you had the luxury of 2 or 3 years and 10 or 15 sprayings of Roundup you'd eradicate it. I don't have that much time. Any other ideas out there?
On Jun 19, 2009, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:
I have no personal experience with goutweed, but many people have told me their horror stories about trying to eradicate the beast. My parents battled it for years in their flowerbed, and finally bested it by relentlessly digging out every single little piece of root they could unearth. I am astonished that garden centres here still sell it!
Goutweed is considered an invasive non-native species in Wisconsin. And yet, I still see many Wisconsin garden centers continuing to sell it!
DO NOT BUY OR PLANT GOUTWEED. It may look pretty but it is invasive, extremely difficult to eradicate when established, and will naturalize easily and over time, will choke out native species such as trilliums, jack in the pulpit. If you live near a wooded area, be especially mindful of keeping this plant out of shady wooded areas. I have lost many plants to Goutweed.
I had heard this plant could be somewhat invasive, but many around here seemed to have it at the side of their front entrance, so I purchased a small plant years ago and kept it in its container while I tried to decide what to do with it.
The opportunity finally arose when I noticed that the uncovered roots of our large silver maple were being damaged by the lawn mower. I partially encircled the maple with old stone from a barn being dismantled nearby and made shallow planting patches over the exposed roots. That left me with a bare spot on the shady side of the tree, facing our path to the back of the house. I literally placed the little plant between two large roots, and filled in the rest of the space between the roots with some loose soil I had saved from other gardening projects, patted it down firmly, and left the plant to its own devices.
That was quite a few years ago. The plant has remained in the shade of the maple, and now covers an area about two feet by one and a half feet. I suppose it might eventually move into one of the two raised garden areas adjacent to it, but so far it has not done so. If it does, however, it has only hard, dry, packed clay soil full of maple roots to explore beyond that, so I think it will go no further. It looks quite nice in the dark spot it occupies, and since it supposedly helps in some way with arthritis I have been doing a bit of research on it. The reports of how it causes rashes have given me pause, however.
On May 12, 2009, rubygloomrox from Red Wing, MN wrote:
There are ground covers and then there are ground covers. I consider my vinca a ground cover. Although they have been known to choke out a couple astilbe plants and perhaps a helleborus, for the most part they have a place where they stop. But with this bishop weed, it keeps going and going. I've put in a barrier, and I try to keep up with the seedlings. That's the best I can do. The root system spreads and spreads, whether in the full sun or some shade. It was here when I moved in and will probably be here long after the house is sold. It's a nightmare.
On Mar 23, 2009, kljflower from Tipp City, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have been fighting this plant for many years now - will never be able to get rid of it because the neighbor has it across the fence. I've considered pounding in a barrier down a foot into the ground but then it goes to seed also. I've given up on using the area for growing anything else and mow the stuff.
As others have mentioned, out of consideration for others, PLEASE don't plant this plant. I'll bet the folks who say they use it between other perennials are now sorry they did so, because the roots spread underground and go right for the base of other plants. You end up having to remove the "good plant" and wash every bit of dirt off of it and examine closely for root fragments. I wouldn't even use it as a woodland filler because it would choke out anything native. Anyone who loves this has a very unusual situation and I bet their neighbors hate it.
On Jun 9, 2008, hamptonguy5 from Southampton, NY wrote:
I would first say thank you for the warning of potentital skin rashes because I do have Bishop's Weed on my property and I am always spreading clumps around the property. I have been spreading this tenacious plant for the 8 years that I have owned this house and I am very positive on this plant (variegatum) because I live on a half an acre that is very wooded with many deer in the area. This is a very good ground cover for naturalized woodland gardens and best of all the deer stay away from it. If you don't want invasive ground covers don't go with it, but that's what ground covers are supposed to do-cover the ground. And in a wooded area like I have it works well with Hostas and ferns.
On May 20, 2008, hunztiger from Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:
I planted this in an iris bed and love the combination. It comes up very early in the spring and fills in nicely. It hasn't been as difficult to control as I'd feared. It's tough, and I like the variegated leaves. You just have to keep an eye on it.
On Jun 11, 2007, Kerb from Watford United Kingdom wrote:
Ground elder came with our house when we bought it. (In the UK). It is rampant and completely takes over where it can, smothering my Bluebells and Pieris, and invading the lawn. Although I dig out the roots whenever the leaves appear, it seems to grow back with even more vigour the next time. The only solution, given to me by a friend, is apparently to carpet the area (seriously!), using old offcuts. You have to leave the carpet down for at least a year or two and it should die off. It will look ridiculous. And of course everything else in that bed will die off too, and if there are neighbours with Ground Elder it will come back - but I'm going to try it anyway!
On Apr 15, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:
though it is invasive, if you want a fast spreading and beautifull ground cover that wont fail any whare. bishops weed is that plant. has wonderfull flowers in summer. after flowers fade cut the flower stalks back for a better looking ground cover.
It is totally irresponsible for catalogs, nurseries, and landscapers to promote use of this horrible "groundcover". I have been fighting it for 12 years now, but it's a losing battle, since neighbors at 3 sides have it, and do nothing to control it. The only reason I don't have it on the 4th side is because the street is there! However, I'm fully expecting it to eventually show up 20 years from now, via underground stolons from a mile away. If one had an unlimited budget, I suppose you could hire a landscaper to remove every valued plant from the infected area, store them for 2 years while you Round-Up/plastic mulch, & install a submerged 3 foot depth steel barrier around the property. One little leftover rootlet would be enough to start it all up again, though. I HATE this plant: reason it's called GoutWEED.
2008 UPDATE - 3 years after digging it up as completely as we could, and 5+ years after first hitting it with herbicide, I STILL find sprigs of it poking up not only where it was originally, but in another bed 10 feet away and ACROSS A SIDEWALK. The stuff is awful!!
It's not as if there isn't enough warning about this thing, but I have such dislike for this plant that I had to weigh in. Add north-central Montana to the list of places where it can become a nightmare, at least in watered lawns and gardens. We have heavy clay soil, very dry air, and have been in a 6-year drought (though lawns are watered, of course, providing sustenance to the thing).
Our goutweed came with the house - had been variegated but had partly reverted to green, which is apparently even more aggressive. It was marching out into the lawn, sprouting up 10 feet from where it was "supposed" to be. We dug it all up to several inches deep last year, after I had been at it by pulling it, spraying with Roundup and Weed-be-Gone, dousing it with vinegar, and whatever other tortures I could find for 2 previous years (hadn't thought of the propane torch - that will be next!). It is like the monster in a B movie - it keeps coming back! Every time a stem or leaf pokes it head up through the black plastic and 4" of mulch we laid down, I hit it with whatever herbicide I can find.
Someone did quite a sales job several years ago in my small town. I walk around and watch the lawns all over town being literally taken over by this incredibly invasive pest. One front yard is literally half goutweed now despite repeated mowing by the owners; it started as a tidy border along the house less than 5 years ago. My neighbor (across the street, thank goodness) planted a handful of sparsely spaced sprigs late last summer - I shuddered to watch - and already the first of June she has a deep, heavy, continuous border of goutweed there. Thank goodness for the 30 feet of pavement between us!
I would beg of those of you who like it: Please, please consider the next person who might live in your house, as well as your neighbors, before you ever plant even a molecule of this thing. You might be sentencing someone else to years of strife unless you plant it somewhere that is absolutely, fully, 100% contained (like surrounded on all sides by bomb shelters). I would also strongly urge nurseries and other suppliers to provide this plant only with a big red warning tag, so people know what they're getting into when they purchase it.
On Apr 30, 2006, glogal from Gloucester, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I find this plant to be a refreshing color addition to my shade garden. When it begins to get too invasive, I paint the leaves of the plants overtaking the edge of the border with round-up. Using a one to two inch paint brush, I paint the round-up only where I want it to go. This allows me control of where the liquid migrates. The plant has been successfully kept at bay for ten years though I admit the area is fairly dry in the summer.
On Apr 28, 2006, fourfairies from Cooperstown, NY wrote:
This plant is a beast! I can't believe people would actually plant this monster. I have a beautiful peonie garden that is is invading. I have spent 4 years trying to get rid of it but do not want to move the peonies. Because I can't spray here, I've found aggressive weeding is the only thing that works. I am going to try the roundup method in another area where I would eventually like a perennial garden.
On Apr 22, 2006, LANMgarden from Los Alamos, NM wrote:
I LOVE this plant! It looks so cool and inviting in the summer with the varigated foliage. It's one of the few plants that actually survive under our huge maple tree - filling gaps between hostas, several hardy geraniums, meadow rue, campanulas, daylilies, akebia vine (trellis) and lady's mantle. It does very well in the dry shade of our high altitude area and only requires water maybe twice a week in the hottest part of summer. I've never had a problem with it overtaking any other plants except pansies but it does tend to spread (invade) rather well. I started with 4 plants ten years ago and they've spread probably 30 feet. I can definitely understand why other gardeners may not like it but in my case it is just fine. Kept in bounds by a garage on one side, a concrete wall and edging timbers. Does spread under pavers, low rock walls and boulders.
On Apr 15, 2006, jaynemae from Craig, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:
As an inexperienced gardener, I planted this pest to fill in as a ground cover. (yikes!) The plants spread like wildfire and I am still trying to kill them off. The plant smothered out all of my desired and/or treasured additions. I have tried digging it out - it just comes back with vigor. Last fall I sprayed the entire bed with Round Up. This spring - there are still patches popping up. I will continue to spray until I feel it is gone. Then perhaps I can reconstruct a beautiful bed. BEWARE - this plant is a pest!
So far this has not been a problem for me. It is in an area of poor soil, little water, a garage on one side, a high traffic path on another, and a rabbit runway where the rabbits can eat it as fast as it grows on another. It may change in the future, but as yet I get the pretty without the pain.
On Jul 15, 2005, krowten from Greensburg, PA wrote:
My parents have both this and the green variety growing at their place. It apparently started about 20 years ago when friends donated plants. The green form seems to be significantly more invasive.
Make no mistakes, this is a serious pest for any climate that gets regular rainfail or moisture. Even if you think you have it contained, over a few years it will find a foothold in lots of places. It will escape and take over. This is a gradual, but relentless, process.
Several years ago, I took over the outside work, and started to wage a campaign against this weed. It is everywhere, and there are places in the lawn where it has destroyed all the grass.
This year, I have finally found a strategy that eradicates it from specific areas here, but since it is so omnipresent at my parents', I doubt I will ever eliminate it from the whole property.
To kill it, start in the spring after the plants have emerged but before they get to full size. Use Round-Up, the formulation that spreads through the plant and attacks the root. Spray weekly (and throughly) for several weeks. Do not pull or disrupt the plants for the first two weeks. After two weeks, which gives the Round-Up a chance to circulate through the plant, I use a weed-wacker to take the plants down to the ground. I then wait at least several days, then when new growth starts, apply Round-Up again. A couple of cycles of this should eliminate most of the plants. I then till thoroughly and apply Round-Up about a wekk after tilling.
I have one bed this sumer that is now free from this pest, and so far it has not come back. Of course, this would not work if you have other plants in the area you want to clean.
I have also noticed that it is helpful to keep the area that you are trying to cleam up as dry as possible.
This stuff is found in most yards as a weed throughout my area. I see it everywhere, even at places 100's of miles away. In my opinion, having seen this plant at work over some time, this pest is not controllable over any extended period of time. Please be environmentally responsible and do not plant this anywhere. Take the test: If you think this is contaned at your place, try removing it for a season. You will find it growing someplace you did not think it was, and you will find that you did "not" remove it when you thought you did.
On Jun 5, 2005, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
One of the two most beautiful and most invasive weeds in the garden. You should be forced to sign a waiver when you buy it releasing the nursery from any responsibility for losing your mind trying to get rid of it. It's lovely looking in the shade but a plant that should be put in a cement lined pot and then planted, surrounded by more cement.
On May 12, 2005, mainegrdner from Mariaville, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:
ok, folks, I am a professional gardener in eastern maine. Though I would love to tell you that there is an easy fix to this intolerable, noxious, nasty, horrendous (and oh, so innocent looking) weed, so far, I have found nothing, except alot of patience and time on your knees pays off. I have a client that, when I took over the account 3 years ago, was infested with this--- I have turned the gardens on their heads, weeding the rootballs of the plants,( the root of this weed is easy to spot) and after 3 years of diligence, I am happy to report that I am winning the battle. If anyone wants to try this, here are a few tips.... keep in mind that aegopodium likes to grow in the top 4 inches of soil, so don't dig too deep when getting it out. you will undoubtedly miss a few rootlets, just dig them out as they show up, and be persistent! Edging does help, as it will allow you to work smaller areas at a time without worrying about re-infestation from surrounding areas (nothing is easier than nice fluffy soil) I am going to try a heavy dose of round-up just before dormancy, that may be the key. Oh, yeah.... don't try to compost this stuff, it will spread, no matter how deep. DROWN IT! put it in a barrel, cover with water, do not allow light.... stinks like crazy but is the only sure way to kill it Good luck!
On Dec 28, 2004, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:
I'm gonna go neutral on this plant. It certainly is beautiful, and it adds alot to a landscape. I can definitely see that it spreads, but so far it's been planted for 3 years and not caused a big problem.
Toughie to get rid of and it most definitely caused me to break out in a rash. I have severe allergies and did have areas of skin above where my gloves were that broke out. I had no idea what caused the break out the first time I tried to go after this plant. Now I know. I had to expose myself to this plant again when it resprouted after I had tried to dig up the area in which it had been growing. I got that horrible rash again. No where near as bad of a rash as what one would get from Wild Parsnip but bad enough to make one totally miserable. By the third time I went at it, I had made the connection that the Aegopodium was causing me to break out in a horrible rash. I lubed the area of my arms above where the gloves were with a product called "Oak-N_Ivy Tecnu". I went at the Aegopodium for about an hour, came in and added more Tecnu and rinsed thoroughly and had no outbreak. If anyone chooses to go after this plant by pulling it up, you might want to consider Tecnu for any exposed areas of your skin.
Digging out the entire area in which this plant was growing followed up by hand pulling any resprouts should eventually get it.
On Oct 20, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:
My garden came with the non-variegated form of this invasive pest. I have failed to eradicate it with hand pulling, multiple applications of Round-Up and competitive invasive plants. My best effort was in a bed I hit with Round-up repeatedly, killing everything vegetative, then mulched heavily. It still resprouts, but at somewhat controllable rates. It has spread everywhere in my garden and lawn where the soil has been disturbed. It will not grow in undisturbed hard-packed clay, however. Surprisingly, it does not grow in the woods where I cast uprooted plants. The sheer volume of biomass this plant produces are impressive. The flowers are pretty, and I try to pick every one to prevent spreading by seed--which is prolific and has a high germination rate in my beds. Sometimes seeds form on the cut flowers in vases! It also spreads by massive quantities of crisp white runners proliferating even under boulders and other inhopitable obstacles, to whatever depth the soil has been worked. It sprouts in the middle of hostas, daylilies, etc. and wraps itself around iris corms. When I have divided perennials, it hitchikes on the roots and sprouts from miniscule overlooked threads. The runners soon result in new corms or nodes that send out new runners that can grow several yards in a season. It thrives in sun and shade and especially in moist places, even infertile ones. It resprouts after the first hard frost and before the spring bulbs are in bloom. Handpulling it only reinvigorates it. Do I sound embittered and battle-weary about this one? I am!
I absolutely love this plant. My mother grows it beautifully and under control in Michigan. I took some from her garden to grow in my Monterey, CA garden in late July. So far it is doing pretty well. I had one plant turn brown so I cut it down about a month ago. It is now showing new shoots. It is also starting to spread. I plan to plant more along the sides of my house and backyard fence as a border.
On Jun 16, 2004, Dahlia_19401 from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Horribly invasive! I believe the previous owners of my home planted it. They had a lot of various groundcovers around the property, but his one is by far the worst!!!!!!! I've been trying to get rid if it for 3 years now with no success. If anything it keeps coming back stronger and more numerous!
I've read online that there is a vegetation killer called ARSENAL HERBICIDE that should be able to eradicate it. Is anyone familiar with this product? It is manufactured by BASF Corporation.
The chemical compound is:
2-(4,5-Dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl)-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid with 2-propanamine (1:1)
I'm not advertising this product and as of yet I'm not familiar with it. I'm just desperatly frustrated with the goutweed and am looking for help of getting rid of it.
NEGATIVE: I have also found it to be true that goutweed will re-establish itself from the smallest piece of the plant left behind. The plant is virtually impossibly to remove by pulling it by hand. I have found the underground shoots spreading at a depth 2 feet below ground surface. I am planning on trying the vinegar to kill it.
POSITIVE: I have only found mosses growing beneath goutweed once it has become established. A neat and tidy line is easily kept when goutweed is used as a bordering groundcover to a lawn...the repetative mowing keeps it from spreading into the lawn. I have not observed it spreading by seed, but vegetative propagation is easier than willows.
NEUTRAL: The straight species will overtake and crowd out the variegated cultivar.
This monster has taken over all my perenial beds and no matter what I've tried I can't get rid of it :( We have dug up entire beds in the fall poored tons of lime onto the soil and tarped them over all winter long, poored gasoline on them in the spring and actually set fire to them only to have the bishop weed come back again. It's now two years later and I have pretty much given up. It has just about taken over my entire garden. I will say that the variegated version is much prettier and seems to be less invasive (I think that's the only positive thing I can find to say about this species). If there is anyone out there who knows how to get rid of this pest, please post your findings. Thank you.
On May 12, 2004, ZaksGarden from Winston Salem, NC wrote:
Yes this little guy can be quite invasive, but I have him in a corner of my garden where it can roam free. You do have to keep your eye on it, and under control or it will spread throughout your garden. But for me as long as you keep it under control it is an okay groundcover with beautiful foliage.
On Oct 28, 2003, pancha from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:
I found this plant to be a beautiful answer to the erosion of a client's driveway. It must be regularly watered in Oklahoma (U.S.) to survive the summer heat. Growing only in shade and in moist soil, here it isn't a problem to get rid of. The lush brightness of the foliage does light up a dark and woody area. I can definitely understand how it could be a problem in areas with high moisture.
I can attest to the fact that goutweed can cause severe skin irritations and rash. I was thinning out my flower beds; the next day I had a severe rash on my neck and face. The second day, my arms were severely broken out with blistery bumps and areas that looked and felt like a severe burn. It has been very painful and looks terrible. It looks very similar to poison ivy; however, there was no poison ivy anywhere near where I was working. I won't touch the stuff again!
On Sep 1, 2003, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I'm so surprised to hear this is invasive. I have it planted in two different areas - one in dappled shade, that has spread maybe a few inches in 2 years, and the other in morning sun and afternoon shade. It has spread about two feet in two years. I love the color and it is such a pretty groundcover, adding a nice bright spot to my gardens. I guess it truly does depend on where it is planted, or perhaps slugs like to nibble on the rhizomes?
The beauty of the flowers sparkling in the morning sunshine outweighs any negatives for me. My plants grow in semi-shade in a wooded area that would otherwise probably be covered with Burdocks! In this instance, I can just mow it off if it dare invade the grass. It just depends on the climate.
On Aug 26, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Positive with qualifications! I know it can be very invasive, but for me in the Pacific Northwest it is about the only plant that looks good by late summer in dry, dry shade. It is only spreading rather slowly for me in these conditions. It could be the extremely dry western summer climate that keeps it in check, as opposed to the humid eastern summers with more rain.
On Aug 25, 2003, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:
I'm almost feeling sorry for the poor little Bishop's Weed! So much negative press. Here in Southcentral Alaska, it has been a nice addition in less that productive areas. It asks for little and really hasn't become aggressive. In one semi-shaded bed, it has fallen prey to an aggressive lamium and hasn't multiplied at all. In another bed with more shade, it has spread about a foot in 4 years. I think your climate will surely determine whether this is a pretty variegated plant for shadier areas, or a spreading monster!
I am aware of the invasive nature of this beast. It is my impression that it 'spreads' underground as opposed to seeds. I'd like to know how deep the spreading roots are, as I plan on encasing my area with a type of flexible plastic border approximately four inches wide.
On Jun 4, 2003, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:
Goutweed certainly deserves my kudos. Yes, it is invasive, if you let it ramble. But it is also a great groundcover and edging material. It requires little care and is not affected by pests. I interplant it with Daffodils so that when they are done flowering Goutweed overwhelms the otherwise unsightly leaf straps of Daffodils. I also blend the variegated Goutweed with Pachysandra to soften its monotonous appearance. I deadhead the flower stalks before they bloom to give the mound of foliage a tidy look. Initially I had some rust problems but by removing the affected leaves immediately before rain and wind can spread the spores I have completely eradicated rust. To prevent its rambling, plant it where it can’t get away, say, between the driveway and sidewalk, or next to a lawn-mowing edge. If it gets leggy just mow it and new foliage will re-appear in five minutes! And, if you still need a reason to plant Goutweed, this 'queen of weeds' will overwhelm any of your true weeds!
On Jun 3, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:
Not much to add to what everyone has said about this plant other than to say again how invasive this plant is. It's a shame because it's an attracive plant & can brighten up a darker area in the garden if only it was better behaved & knew it's place! Beware ....stay away from it or it will own your garden!!!
Avoid this plant like the plague. Here in the UK if you are unlucky enough to have this plant in your garden it is considered a curse. We can't believe you guys actually PLANT IT ON PURPOSE - this is UTTER MADNESS!! Be warned. And YES, it does spread by seed too.
On May 27, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
This plant "came with" my home purchase. The only way I was able to remove it completely was to take full chunks of soil about 6" deep, with the plant, and line it up on the driveway root side up for the summer, effectively drying everything! I would only recommend this plant be used in a completely restricted area (like a parking lot island).
I don't know how this plant got into my garden. Now it is trying to take over my beds and the lawn! I have tried to smother it, and I have dug it out (but not well enough.) This year I plan to be more aggressive - elsewhere I learned to wait until the plant has grown foliage, then spray and pray. :)
On Jun 13, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
In my densely compacted clay soil, this plant hasn't spread an inch in 5 years. About the only thing tough enough to survive. In looser soil, impossible to eradicate: rhizomes sneak up to 2' from parent. Thoroughly strangle other perennials with the roots.
On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:
Also called 'Ground-elder' in the UK, creeping underground stems spring up, making a new plant at a distance from the original, and lead gardeners many a chase. Often a persistent weed, Ground-elder was formerly cultivated as a pot-herb and used to treat gout and arthritis.
On Jul 12, 2001, Briggs from Gillett, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Genus of about 5 species of ground covering perennials, with invasive rhizomes. The alternate, toothed, deep green leaves (4-8in long) have 3 ovate leaflets, margined and spashed creamy white. The many-rayed flat umbels of white flowers are borne on branching, hairless stems. Very invasive; plant either in containers or as a groundcover in poor soil in a shady site, where little else flourishes and where they cannot spread into other plants. May be cut back completely in summer to produce fresh growth. This grows to an indefinite width.
Deadhead before the flowers set seed.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (4 reports) Anchorage, Alaska Bear Creek, Alaska Juneau, Alaska Del Rey Oaks, California East Richmond Heights, California Basalt, Colorado Colorado City, Colorado Craig, Colorado Atlanta, Georgia Chicago, Illinois Downers Grove, Illinois Jacksonville, Illinois Lincoln, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Bremen, Indiana Columbia City, Indiana Inwood, Iowa Mission Hills, Kansas Princeton, Kansas Ewing, Kentucky Mc Dowell, Kentucky Parkway Village, Kentucky Bar Harbor, Maine South China, Maine Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Princeton, Massachusetts Springfield, Massachusetts Detroit, Michigan Hamilton, Michigan Howell, Michigan Laingsburg, Michigan Romeo, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Tustin, Michigan Wyoming, Michigan Minneapolis, Minnesota Red Wing, Minnesota Shevlin, Minnesota Piedmont, Missouri Choteau, Montana Helena Valley Northwest, Montana Sparks, Nevada Nelson, New Hampshire Rindge, New Hampshire Hoboken, New Jersey Ramblewood, New Jersey South Plainfield, New Jersey Los Alamos, New Mexico Bolton Landing, New York Buffalo, New York Fairport, New York Garden City Park, New York North Sea, New York Southold, New York Windsor, New York Durham, North Carolina Belfield, North Dakota Broughton, Ohio Bucyrus, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Grove City, Ohio Hilliard, Ohio Lakewood, Ohio (2 reports) Tipp City, Ohio Enid, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Hood River, Oregon Mill City, Oregon Portland, Oregon Lower Allen, Pennsylvania Malvern, Pennsylvania Norristown, Pennsylvania Osceola, Pennsylvania Port Matilda, Pennsylvania Sayre, Pennsylvania Lesslie, South Carolina Lebanon, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Austin, Texas Grand Prairie, Texas Montpelier, Vermont Gloucester Courthouse, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Lexington, Virginia Kalama, Washington Lake Goodwin, Washington Millwood, Washington Navy Yard City, Washington Ridgefield, Washington Seattle, Washington Falling Waters, West Virginia Ellsworth, Wisconsin Hartford, Wisconsin Kewaskum, Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin Porterfield, Wisconsin