Q Why is ground elder a problem weed?
A Although is an excellent ground-cover plant, the horizontal roots of ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria) grow up to a metre a year, allowing it to spread and dominate borders in the blink of an eye. The mats of fat, white rhizomes store food to keep the plant going over winter, giving it great resilience to being weakened by removing its leaves, and if broken off can grow into a new plant.
Caption: Ground elder can quickly take over borders
Q What is the best method for controlling ground elder?
A When Which? Gardening magazine trialled methods of controlling ground elder, we found that spraying the ground elder under our hedge with carefully directed glyphosate was the quickest and easiest method of reducing the time we spent controlling it. Choose a hand-triggered spray if you only have a few plants to control, or a pumped spray if you have a large area to cover. Avoid splashing plants that you don’t want to kill.
Q Are there concerns about glyphosate use?
Q What is the best organic control for ground elder?
A Digging out ground elder by the roots is the most effective way to decrease the number of plants over the summer and the following spring.