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I'm starting the battle of trying to get rid of as much alkanet as possible. 

Can I put it on the compost heap ?  I'm thinking no, but maybe my garden waste recycling might be better suited.  Have just filled two thirds of a bin in about 15 mins... otherwise I see a few trips to the tip ahead.

Any advice, how to get it under control ?


No peanuts burn it!. Alkanet is a perennial weed, never put perennial weeds on the compost heap, unless you are using a hot composter.

thank you.  If I take it to the tip I assume the compost there will get hot enough to get rid of it. 

On the other hand the coarse leaves will make quite good compost. If you can bother to separate the roots from the leaves and dump just the former.

Council compost heaps generate huge amounts of heat peanuts, far higher than most of us can manage. You can of course, if you have the cash, splash out on the ones in the current GW mag. Those will compost a human body!


I live on Cape Cod Massachusetts USA. I get the impression that alkanet is an invasive weed to be avoided at all costs. I googled it but could not see a reference for such a weed. Please elaborate. Thank you, jagdoran


Hi Jagdoran 

Green alkanet is a native British plant - on some soils it can be extremely invasive, on others it is not a nuisance.   I have no idea whether it grows in the countries of Northern America.

It's edible and in the past has been used as a wild vegetable - the flowers can be used in Pimms instead of borage flowers. 

I have happily composted it, and it does make really good compost - but first I do what I do with all perennial weeds, and remove flowering tips and roots - they go on the bonfire or in the council bin - I only compost the lush green leaves and stems.


So thats what its called !  I only ever knew it as "the thing that looks a bit like a forget me not with bigger leaves"

Heather Michaels

I've got a lot of forget-me-nots growing in my garden right now. Or have I?! Now I'm wondering if its Alkanet. I'll have to get comparing!


If the stems and leaves are bristly then it's likely to be alkanet rather than forget-me-nots. 

Steve 309

...and alkanet's MUCH bigger

I did as you advised trillium and composted the leaves and stems and the rest will go to the council.  I filled two thirds of a compost bin. Amazing what I found hidden underneath them, bluebells, primroses.  Yeah ! Now to plan what I can fill the gaps with. 

Oh I take it the alkanet will come back, I took out as much root as I could but it breaks off easily.  If I just keep attacking it, will it eventually give up and go away ?


You can paint any new leaves with a glyphosate weedkiller, then leave it to be absorbed into the roots - glyphosate is pretty effective with alkanet and it won't affect any other plants if you paint it on. 

Glyphosate? And have you got any idea what this does to thanks, I'd rather live with green alkane. I find that any domineering weed eventually disappears and leaves place to something else...The beauty of Nature

What is it with anti-Glyphosate fanatics today?   

I wish someone would tell my ground elder, bindweed and brambles to pack up and disappear of their own accord, not to mention the Japanese Anemones pushing up the slabs in my front garden 


My garden is now full of alkanet, it grows in an area where nothing else will.  The bees seem to love it so having read the above I am reluctant to treat it with weedkiller, but I am losing the battle.   I keep trying to dig it out, but the roots are so deep and if they break off it just seems to keep coming.   Help............... Marion

Blue Onion

Could you submerge the entire weed in a large bucket/trug of water for a month or two?  Then dump it over the compost heap?  I assume that would kill off the seeds too?  Use the liquid as a plant feed.  


I just discovered what the plant was yesterday when I finally decided to find out if it was comfrey. As soon as the flowers go away or we get to late spring when there are lots of other flowers about (for the bees' sake), I'll be snipping the stem to prevent seeds forming and chucking that in the council bin.

I am now also going to PREY upon the plants for their leaves to compost. I read elsewhere that they are rich in nitrogen- similar to comfrey, which makes sense. Like comfrey, the deep tap root can extract nutrients from far down. From now on, the green alkanet will be my compost supply of green leaves- if it wants a place in my garden, let's see if it can afford the cost in leaves.


Hi all, just joined up.. Sorry to drag this two years plus thread up again, I've just discovered what this bloody nuisance is that I have sprouting up all over the place. My Mum had it in her front garden and I have it in mine. Those roots are unreal.. I've not got the bottom of any of them. I'm reluctant to use the recommended weed killer as it is harmful to bees, they have a tough enough time as it is without adding to their woes. 

Anyway, I'm going to have another bash at getting rid of some of it today, along with some brambles and buddleia.. Oh happy day..! 😢

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