Ground elder

Ground elder

Learn how to tackle ground elder in our expert guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do not Time to act in January

Do not Time to act in February

Do Time to act in March

Do Time to act in April

Do Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do not Time to act in December

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.

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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.

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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.