Calystegia and Convolvulus Bindweeds some control stategies

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

I am going to post and share some control strategies regarding invasive species of Calystegia and Convolvulus which are sometimes commonly known as 'bindweeds'...

I will revise and update this information as I am able to...but please don't expect 'instant' answers...

There are some 'natural' biological methods of deterring the growth of Convolvulaceae type bindweed(s),but they are slow in comparison to non-green methods and are usually only partially effective...

This is a very rough complilation of information...I am not endorsing anything,just shareing information that I have 'collected'...

Here is the list of chemicals that have been used to partially or fully eradicate bindweed infestations

Treatment Rate Comments

Glyphosate 3 lb ae/A Apply at full bloom

Dicamba 0.5-1.0 lb ae/A Apply in fall

2,4-D 2-3 lb ae/A Apply at bud stage or in early fall

Metsulfuron 0.6-1.2 oz ai/A Apply at full bloom

Glyphosate + 2,4-D 0.38 lb ae/A + 0.63 lb ae/A Fallow treatment

glyphosatefosamine ??? ???

The best average control (86%) was quinclorac at 0.375lb/A plus glyphosate at 0.38lb/A plus 2,4-D at 0.67lb/A with Sun-It
surfactant at 0.25G (the wheat injury was 13%). Quinclorac was not used alone.

Some herbicides , including 2,4-D, paraquat (Gramaxone), and picloram (Tordon)
are restricted or prohibited in some states (William et al., 1997).

These treatments work best when applied to actively growing, healthy bindweed with 6-18 inch runners.
Plants grown in low light, high humidity conditions are more susceptible to glyphosate, while older leaves
and those grown under high light conditions absorb less glyphosate.

When bindweed is under drought stress, the effectiveness of these treatments will likely be significantly reduced.
Where annual rainfall is low to moderate (27-50 cm) plants acquire attributes that deter absorption of
herbicides, such as: lower leaf area, thicker cuticles, greater cuticular wax content, slowed biological
processes, small leaf/root ratio (Meyer, 1978)

Wiese et al. (1996) suggest that drought (e.g. in the Great Plains) may decrease the effectiveness of
herbicides, perhaps because droughts or frost may cause plants to become dormant or semi-dormant
(Callihan et al., 1990).

Bindweed suffering drought stress and plants grown from seed (instead of vegetative propagules) are more resistant to
glyphosate (Dall’armellina & Zimdahl, 1989). Control efficiency may depend greatly on the relative
humidity. While 2.24kg/ha glyphosate reduced infestation levels to 24% under conditions of low humidity,
in humid conditions control was only to 60% (Westwood & Weller, 1997).
Some biotypes are resistant to glyphosate.

When bindweed is under drought stress, the effectiveness of these treatments will likely be significantly reduced.
Rashed, M. H. and L. C. Haderlie. 1980. The relationship between anatomical and
physiological aspects of field bindweed under water stress conditions. North Cent. Weed Control Conf. 35:26.
Stahler, L. M. 1948. Shade and soil moisture as factors in competition between selected
crops and field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis. J. Am. Soc. Agron. 40:490-502.

Investigators advise spraying plants just at or during first bloom
when the root carbohydrates are at their lowest (Latshaw, 1927; Alcock & Dickinson, 1974; Callihan et al.,
1990; Kogan, 1986; Gigax, 1978).

In early spring the plant draws from its root and the majority of
translocation will be from below to above ground.
Once above ground growth is vigorous, translocation is primarily from the shoot to the roots and herbicide application should be done at this stage to ensure it is
moved with the sugar to the roots and root buds (Callihan et al., 1990; Dunn & Datta, 1956; Gigax, 1978).
In addition, full-grown vines will have a larger surface area to absorb the chemical (Gray, 1917).
Application to developing leaves is not effective because photosynthates are transported to these leaves
instead of to roots.

Repeated use of the same or similar herbicides can result in herbicide resistant strains of bindweed,
which can be difficult to control (Whitworth, 1964;

machinery removal -

Mowing generally has little or no effect.
Bindweed responds to plowing, discing, and rod weeding by increasing bud formation just below the tillage layer. New shoots rapidly emerge and carbohydrate reserves are replenished in a few weeks.
Hoeing or grubbing is more effective.
Flailing or cultivation at intervals of 10 to 14 days can be effective, but 2 or more growing seasons of diligent effort are needed to achieve stand reduction
Always clean tillage equipment before moving to new fields.

Get a competitive, healthy, crop stand established
Incorporating winter annual cereals into the rotation will increase competitive suppression
Any lax in management for even one year may allow bindweed to rapidly recover
Intensive cultivation was historically used for bindweed control. This entailed cultivating at least every two weeks to exhaust carbohydrate supplies in the roots. This type of tillage strategy is not recommended, due to the increased potential for erosion and soil moisture loss.

Other intensive mechanical strategies include hand pulling or grubbing. These must be done repeatedly to be effective.

The stems of field bindweed can live up to fifty years.

Roots: The roots of field bindweed, reproduce seeds and horizontal roots. A two or three year food supply is stored in an under ground root system of the plant. (1) The roots can grow up to five meters deep in the soil. Field bindweeds tap roots extend more than 3 meters in the soil. It also has an extensive system of lateral roots. (2)
Some rhizome biology -
Root starch reserves are highest from mid-summer through early fall, but then decline rapidly with conversion to sugars. Root carbohydrates are lowest in mid-spring before flowers develop. Maximum translocation of carbohydrates from shoots to roots occurs from the bud to full flower stages. Conditioned roots can survive temperatures as low as – 6º C. Most new shoots appear in early spring

Seeds: The seeds of field bindweed stay viable in the soil for up to 40 years. They reproduce by seeds and rhizomes

When dealing with bindweed, the farmer, land manager or home owner must recognize that there are no "quick fix" solutions to eliminate it. It is possible to bring bindweed to a manageable level, but it requires intensive effort and a watchful eye. Additionally, even when infestations are reduced to a minimal level, care must be take to prevent reestablishment from seed, which are capable of persisting in the soil for 30-50 years.

It cannot be stressed enough that bindweed management must be practiced on a continuous, year to year basis, even with the above herbicide applications.
No single treatment will eradicate bindweed.
However, these treatments will suppress bindweed populations to a manageable level.

Following is the experience of a person who found that soaking the above ground vegetative parts in jars of glyphosate was much more effective than applying the glyphosate only to the ground...

"...Disappointingly they accepted in most cases that it could never be fully eradicated. Not the news I wanted so I set out to find my own solution. The main problem with bindweed is the massive deep root network, so if you kill that the result should be good. Glyphosate weed killers (like roundup) are taken in to the roots of weeds and kill them, so I tried them first and discovered that they didn't have lasting effects on such a large plant. The quantity absorbed by the foliage isn't enough to kill the main root system, it's just too big, and increasing the concentration of glyphosate would cause the foliage to die faster and quickly cut off the absorption. What you need is slow poisoning, that way the plant and it's vast roots will absorb as much glyphosate as possible before it becomes terminal.

I collected the long strands(how long?) of bindweed and wrapped them up in balls(how big?) that I placed inside old jars and tin cans(what size). These I filled with a glyphosate based weed killer, but I mixed it with about 1/3 more water than the instructions suggested, then I covered them over with plastic which I taped down firmly to keep animals and rain out. Do be aware that if these are knocked over and spilt on to plants you want they will die, so it's advisable to keep them at a distance and partly bury them in the ground for stability. It takes time, but I could clearly see the level in the containers reducing as the plant absorbed it. This seemed to work faster in the hot weather as the plant would be drawing more water, and also not removing the new bindweed shoots as they emerge since their growing is causing the plant to soak up more weedkiller, and also these shoots will be your next place to attach another can of solution when the old ones die off. For the first couple of months I saw no effect, although the bindweed had sucked in several pints of weed killer, but then it started to slow down, and after a while I noticed the new growth was an unhealthy yellow colour with holes in the misshapen leaves. About four months after starting this the main root system must have collapsed as the plant just withered away, even the bindweed across the road died (must have been one huge plant under the garden/road). It did continue to sprout the very occasional sickly yellow shoot, but a quick spray of weedkiller dealt with them nicely.

I dreaded the next year as I thought it would come back just as bad, but actually I only found three or four small clumps of bindweed and they were quickly eradicated with a few more pots of weed killer. The third year I found none. Of course seedlings will be a problem if you have neighbours with it in their garden, but they're a million times easier to deal with than the mature plant. More often than not I've just pulled them out and they never came back.

Anyway... I wouldn't wait for the plant to develop better before I treated it. Starting early and being persistent worked well. If you just kill the top foliage and not all the roots then, well, don't worry there'll soon be plenty more foliage to stick in weed killer!

You really can't tell what's connected to what and there will be a number of different plants overlapping each other. Since it makes long strands I just gather up as many as possible from a wide area and stick them all in the pots. More pots and more strands is certainly better, but you have to limit yourself to some extent as it's very time consuming. I also cut the ends off as I figure a cut end will asorb more.

As for my own garden, it's been several years since I did this treatment and the bindweed has never come back like it first did. The first year after doing this I was almost 100% free of it, the second I saw a little that was easily removed. Now, it's been 3 or 4 years and the bindweed is starting to grow again in bigger quantities. A reasonable number of little shoots dotted around the place, they may be seedlings from other big plants which are in neighbour's gardens, or perhaps the main plants from several years back left some roots and they're reviving now. It's very persistent stuff, I wouldn't be surprised if pockets of root that didn't die the first time are comming back now. I intend to spray them with glyphosate, if they're seedlings they should die from this alone. If they don't I'll assume they're from a larger root system, either traveling from neighbour's gardens or left over from my own, and I will get out the cans again.

One other thing I used to have problems with was the lawn, it would grow out of the lawn all over in huge bulging masses. After treating it for several months with combined broadleaf weed killer and lawn feed the bindweed stopped growing out the lawn. Interestingly it would thrive right next to it in the flower beds, but never straying in to the lawn again. These broadleaf weed killers work well, they are long lasting and bond to the soil so they cannot wash out the lawn and damage your other plants, thus with regular treatments the soil for several inches under your lawn stays permanently inhospitable to broadleaf weeds like bindweed. While you might not be aware just how much bindweed is living in and under your lawn as regular mowing chops it off, I'm sure that a large percentage of the root system will be living under the lawn, which is why I suggest anyone who has large problems with bindweed starts their lawn on these chemicals. It's a quick and easy way to damage the root system in a large area. Every time the bindweed tries to grow up though my lawn it hits the treated soil and dies, so it's actively depleating the root system all the time. Some digging to plant a tree in the lawn recently exposed withered bindweed shoots that never made it to the surface."

Another gardener had shared with me the effectiveness of injecting the glyphosphate directly into the base of the plant stem by hypodermic needles acquired from a veterinary supplier and/or feedstore...

"It is kind of difficult to get the poison injected into the tiny bindweed stalk, but it is do-able. You need a small needle, no bigger than a 20 guage, preferably a 25. But to get through tough blackberry stalks (if you have the big guys), you need a bigger needle. I have used an 18 guage with some success but prefer to use a 16 for the tough ones. Another method that I like to do on the blackberries is to actually cut it short first, let its juices drain for a few minutes, then inject down into the cut rather than clog my needle with the stalk skin. Needle lasts for more stalks that way. The injection should be done near the roots rather than out at the ends."

I hope this collection of information regarding control of 'bindweeds' is helpful...
I have shared the particulars of what was shared with me and in some instances the exact amount of the controlling substance was not provided,so I am unable at this time to provide any more exacting information time I may add the biological control methods that have been used with partial success...

Please feel free to share your experiences with the methods mentioned above and any other methods that you have found to be effective in controlling bindweed...



Birmingham, United Kingdom

Within a controlled setting in a garden the best method is to remove the vine from the structure and make sure it is still attached to the roots. Wrap the stems with leaves in a bag and spray inside the bag with Glyphosate, this is systemic and will absorb into the entire plant, the longer you can leave the bag the better. You can use it to 'murder' other vines and morning glories should you choose. As you can appreciate this would be impossible in an agricultural setting but idea where spraying could kill off plants where the bindweed has wrapped around.

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