Learn how to tackle ground elder in our expert guide.
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Ground elder, Aegopodium podagraria, is an invasive perennial weed that quickly forms a mass of leaves that out-competes other plants growing nearby. It's particularly hard to remove as its roots can creep between other plants. It's also capable of re-growing from only small pieces of root, making weeding it out even more tricky.
Find ground elder on
Established flowerbeds, freshly dug soil, cracks in paving, lawns.
Organic methods of dealing with ground elder
In existing flowerbeds, the best way to eradicate ground elder is to dig up all the plants and wash their roots to tease out the cream-white roots of ground elder. Did the soil and remove all signs of ground elder before replanting the plants. Regular cutting of the foliage, just below ground level, with a hoe will gradually weaken the plant, but this needs to be done every 7-10 days, as soon as regrowth appears. Alternatively, fork through the soil every 10 to 14 days, removing every piece of ground elder root that's found.
Chemical methods of dealing with ground elder
Apply systemic weedkiller to the foliage as soon as it appears in spring. Re-apply throughout the growing season at four- to six-week intervals, or as soon as any re-growth appears.
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