Galium Odoratum becoming Invasive

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Hello,

I planted a bunch of galium odoratum beginning of '12. Now that it's had a full two seasons of growth, I'm beginning to get uncomfortable with its aggressive nature. It's planted around Rhododendron and other shrubs and I'm concerned that it will choke them out and steal all their water. I'd like to remove most of it. What would be the best way to get rid of it given that it has formed a dense root mat of 1-2" deep and the Rhododendrons have shallow roots? I was thinking of smacking it with some Roundup once it poked it's head through the soil. I know a lot of people don't like Roundup but I'm a fan. Any suggestions??

Thanks.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Lol. could send to me....

Try pulling and thin it out a bit...I don;t think they are aggressive enough to choke out the Rhodies or shrubs..

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Send it to me too. A friend has given me lots of it and it won't establish.

Roundup is fine if you are careful. I don't spray it. I get a small bowl of it and an eyedropper so I don't risk other plants.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm so jealous! I can't keep mine alive. They've dwindled down to almost nothing after 2 years.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I seriously could send out mats of it for sure. I didn't really think this through much though because I've already mulched the one bed that it's in. It's in another bed too, I could probably pull from that. I was just thinking of taking a gardening knife and cutting the mats.

SSG: really? Oh my, mine has been so easy. I really haven't done a single thing to it. It looks great in the spring but then gets leggy and the inevitable summer drought usually makes it look ugly.

I was also thinking of trimming it down to a nice 2-3" after it was done flowering. It truly does look beautiful in the spring though.

This message was edited Mar 19, 2014 6:47 AM

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

How funny! One man's trash...

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Sequoia, it's such a weak grower for me. It barely blooms, even. :(

The hellebores next to the sweet woodruff are very prolific growers. I wonder if it's too dry for them.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Here are some pics of our Galium last year. The pink rhodi in the first and second photo has bit the dust...possibly by the drought we had last year. When I dug it out, a circle of Galium came out with it. Last fall I planted some anemone in where the galium. Word has it they are garden bullies as well so it should be fun watching the showdown.

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Looks Beautiful!! Smells good too.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Gorgeous, Jeff!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Thanks :)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Over the weekend I cut out a 2x10' section of the Galium and removed it. Some of the larger sections I was able to keep and transplant elsewhere. I installed black plastic edging with the top of the edging just above the soil line. Hopefully this will keep the Galium from finding its way under it to the other side. I'll have to keep it trimmed so it can't hop over the top. Anyway, the goal was to make a cut out so that I could grow other cool stuff. I think I've succeeded. It's like a garden within a garden :)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I have the same surplusage as sequoia. I don't know what makes it happy -- ssg, you are a much more attentive gardener than I am. But your yard is sunnier than mine -- maybe that is what is key.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Yeah it definitely like the shade and it hates drying out in the summer. Mine has dried out both summers it's been planted and each time it goes dormant but comes back great the next year. I'm told that if I would keep water on it, it wouldn't go dormant.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, the ones in mostly shade and wet soil are doing much better and actually spreading a bit.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Hmm. I very a very dry parched area by the house for which I had been thinking of using Sweet Woodruff. Guess not. Thanks for the reminder that it likes moisture. Mine will be happy today!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Great, glad to hear you are having some luck with them SSG.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I'm glad too. A friend gave me a bunch of it and it has all disappeared. But she gave me Geranium Bevan's Variety and it has multiplied so gorgeously, but not invasively, that I have it in several places in my yard and got her permission to pass some of it on to a new acquaintance who is just starting her garden and asked for suggestions for plants.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Speaking of that Bevan's Variety, I think it was on your pictures of it that I decided to have it for my own and bought a 50ct flat of plugs this spring. All our delosperma under a spruce in the back died over the winter so the Bevan's took it's place. I hope it fills in nicely.

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Seq: The Geranium Bevan's Variety will look beautiful there. Even though it is supposed to be good for dry shade, it'll spread much faster if you water it. (I've been trying to spread mine, which is how I know.)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Good to know. I'll definitely keep it watered this summer when it needs it. That tree is limbed up pretty high (about 15') so water does get down there. I don't like to do a lot of gardening under that tree because of it's shallow roots.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I find it an almost miraculous plant. Full sun to full shade - it looks sensational. You are right, Hap - leaving it unwatered in the shade does slow it down. I'm experiencing that weird phenomenon in which the species maculatum appears in my garden now that the soil is being cultivated. I moved some of it to a cultivating bed, but these have popped up in about 20 locations in my yard! (I love it!)

And when they "grow up" they look like the second picture, which appears to be the same wild geraniums I see growing on the trails.

So I moved it in the bed with the Bevans and they are growing side by side, and they are very distinctly different.

This message was edited May 16, 2014 8:34 AM

This message was edited Jun 5, 2014 12:22 PM

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Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

So pretty Donna, I'm excited for mine to grow up and have little volunteers all over.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

This is the original one. Two years ago. There was ONLY one. It was next to a chain link fence, and it was so beautiful I decided to move it. Of course, when I moved it it fell apart, so I put it in different places around the yard. I was mystified by it's failure to multiply, but then as I kept digging in the yard it started popping up. And in the original spot, a new one is growing. The previous owners were not ornamental gardeners, so they allowed creeping charlie, lily of the valley, violets and lemon balm to fill the yard. And they used only leaf mulch, which while it is very nice for the soil texture doesn't, from what I've read (and seen) add much nutrition to the soil. Once I started throwing compost everywhere, things started popping up.

It's great, because I thought it was so beautiful, although possessing a shorter season of bloom than the cultivated ones, that I was going to BUY it.

It's very easy to move, by the way.

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Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Well it looks nice even when not in bloom. Sounds like you had your hands full with that yard when you first got it.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Did I mention the ditch lilies?

Yes, I really think it's gorgeous. I just went out to take a picture of the species and the Bevan's Variety. One of the most significant is the very large size of the species' leaves.

You can really see the contrast in the second picture, with the Bevans and their darker flowers to the right.!

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Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh wow! I like how their foliage compliments each other. Very nice!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I've been planting more things in and around my Sweet Woodruff. I took a hedge trimmer to it in one area and cut it down to about half size from where it was after flowering. It looks good. The main reason I did this was to provide air flow to my fall blooming anemones, which were having a tough time with fungus due to (what I'm guessing) is lack of air flow. Then I planted some Chelone, Physostegia, Spiderwort, and Lobelia amongst it. It should look really nice when it's all established and blooming. I will say though that I'm no longer intimidated by Sweet Woodruff as it's very easy to dig out and remove. Even if its roots get entangled with others, it's really easy to just yank the stems out.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Just amazing. A friend gave me a TON of sweet woodruff, I installed it, and this spring I have one plant. ONE!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Wow, just one??? That's crazy. My soil is nothing fancy. In fact, two of the big chunks I replanted elsewhere, I scratched up the soil in the one spot and the other spot had an indent from a patio paver I removed. I just laid them there and both are still kicking. I have been giving them some supplemental water though. Lol...it's just like sod.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Donna ~ If you keep it well watered, it will spread. Is it in sun or shade? Mine is in mostly shade and it is all over the place.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

It's in mostly shade. With geraniums and epimedium and oakleaf hydrangeas and ferns. I water them all.

I think it doesn't like me. I think I got too excited about the geranium Bevan's Variety and blabbed about it too much in the presence of the sweet woodruff and it's payback time.

Yes, literally. One plant!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Haha! So funny Donna :) There are plenty of plants that don't like me.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Quote from DonnaMack :

I think it doesn't like me........Yes, literally. One plant!



Donna ~ Would you like me to send some to you in fall? It is getting hot now and I don't want to take the chances for shipping now.

Evelyn

P.S. It did not used to like me either...now I water the shady gardens every day and they are happy.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

This is very sweet of you! Perhaps if I gave my one plant some company it would be happy. And let's talk about what I can send to you!

Donna

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