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Hedge Bindweed

Calystegia sepium
Updated Feb 09, 2023
 
1

Make a Positive Identification

  • Hedge bindweed is a perennial (long-lived) plant that dies back to the ground in the winter. This herbaceous (soft stems and leaves), vining plant has white-to-pink flowers.
  • Hedge bindweed spreads by seed and root fragments. Root fragments as small as 2 inches long form new plants.
  • Individual plants spread with an extensive underground root system.
Species: Hedge bindweed
Hedge bindweed growing on fence

Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

Hedge bindweed forms a dense mat of vines and leaves on the ground. It often climbs and overtakes other plants, fences, and any adjacent structure. The photo shows hedge bindweed growing up a fence.

 

Species: Hedge bindweed
Hedge bindweed leaves and stems (vines)

"Calystegia sepium" by dhobern is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Mature plants have triangular or arrow-shaped leaves that range from 2–5 inches long. The bottoms of hedge bindweed leaves are squared off or rounded compared to field bindweed. The vines are often reddish-tinged and grow up to 10 feet long.

Species: Hedge bindweed
Pink and white hedge bindweed flowers

Hedge bindweed spreads by vines supporting flowers that are 2.5–5 inches long and 1–2 inches wide. Look for flowers in late spring throughout summer. The flowers produce 2–4 grey-to-brown-black seeds that persist for decades in the soil. Hedge bindweed also spreads by rhizomes (roots).

Species: Hedge bindweed
Hedge bindweed rhizome and root system

Salicyna, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The photo shows a hedge bindweed plant with rhizomes sprouting new above-ground shoots. Hedge bindweed’s root system may spread horizontally up to 10 feet and many feet deep. The extensive root system allows the plant to avoid drought conditions. Look for seedlings and shoots from mature plants in early spring.

Species: Hedge bindweed
Hedge bindweed seeds compared to ruler (millimeter scale)

Ken Chamberlain, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Hedge bindweed plants produce dozens to hundreds of seeds like those shown in the photo. Seeds remain viable in the soil for decades.

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LOOK-ALIKES: MORNING GLORY AND FIELD BINDWEED
Species: Morning Glory
Morning glory vine with blue flowers

YangYin, iStock

Morning glory (Ipomoea spp.) are common garden vines in the same plant family (Convolvulaceae) as field bindweed. Their flowers are larger (up to 2 inches across) than field bindweed’s blossoms. Morning glory flowers vary between white to blue or purple as shown in the photo.


Different risks or methods

Morning glory is a weedy garden plant. It doesn’t spread to new areas and take over like field bindweed and hedge bindweed.

Species: Field bindweed
Field bindweed flowers and leaves

iStock

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvense) is another weedy vine in the same plant family as hedge bindweed. It has smaller leaves and flowers than hedge bindweed. The leaves have a more distinct arrow shape that grow from a pointed base.


Take action

Solutions for hedge bindweed are similar to the control methods for field bindweed.

 
2

Hedge Bindweed Benefits

Hedge bindweed is an aggressive weed. It doesn’t have any benefits for people or the environment.

 

Hedge Bindweed Risks

  • If left unmanaged, hedge bindweed forms a dense mat of vines and leaves that smothers crops and ornamental plants
  • It may overgrow structures such as fences and trellises.
  • Hedge bindweed reduces the habitat value of an area by excluding native plants.
Risk Card
Does it cause harm?
Adults & Children
None
Property
High
Pets
None
Annoyance
High
Environment
High
Action Recommended
 
3

Take Action

If you have hedge bindweed on your property, take action to control its spread.

Do I need to take action?
Yes. Remove individual plants and small patches. Established patches require several years to control.

What if I do nothing?
If left unmanaged, hedge bindweed forms a dense mat of vines and leaves that smothers other plants. It has little food value to native animals and insects. Field bindweed reduces the habitat value of an area by excluding native plants.

 
4

Prevent More Hedge Bindweed

Hedge bindweed seedling

Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Look for Hedge Bindweed Seedlings and Regrowth
  • Return to the site after control activities and look for regrowth. Hedge bindweed regrows from root fragments. Take action as needed.
  • Look for hedge bindweed seedlings like those shown in the photo. Also watch for regrowth from roots underground.
Gloved hand using metal brush to clean shovel

Weston Miller, Oregon State University

Remove Dirt from Shoes and Equipment
  • After working or traveling in a patch of hedge bindweed, clean your boots and tools. Use a wire brush to remove soil and seeds.
  • If you drive into the hedge bindweed patch, clean your vehicle.
Landscape area with native plants growing densely together

Weston Miller, Oregon State University

Install New Plants
  • Take care of the plants to get them established and suppress hedge bindweed regrowth.
  • Replanting stabilizes the soil surface, shades bindweed seedlings, and creates habitat.
  • Field bindweed infestation and removal activities may significantly damage a site. There may be few or no remaining desirable plants.
  • Plan for at least 2–3 years of monitoring and maintenance.
  • Your local extension specialist, soil and water conservation district, or a professional revegetation specialist can suggest strategies for your area.
 
5
Solutions for Hedge Bindweed

Early Detection and Rapid Response

Watch for hedge bindweed on property you manage. Remove it before it becomes a bigger problem.

Physically Remove Plants and Non-Chemical Options

  • Dig out plants by the roots when the soil is moist. Remove as much of the roots as you can.
  • Hedge bindweed will regrow from root fragments left in the soil.

Herbicides (Weed Killers)

Herbicides effectively control hedge bindweed when used according to the label instructions.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

Following removal, return to the area during the growing season. Look for regrowth and seedlings. Take action as needed.

NEED HELP?

Consider a licensed pest control company. Learn How to Hire a Pest Control Company.
Your local Extension Specialist in Oregon  and other states  can suggest other methods.

Jump To

Method Does it work? Is it safe? Recommendation
A
Physically Remove Plants
Effective
Low risk
B
Herbicides Triclopyr and Glyphosate
Effective
Moderate risk
Use if Necessary
C
If Using Herbicides, Protect Yourself & Minimize Risks
 
A

Physically Remove Plants

Non-Chemical Method

Weston Miller, Oregon State University

Physically Remove Plants

You must remove the root to keep the plant from coming back.

Does it work?
Effective
  • It requires several years of monitoring and effort to get rid of hedge bindweed.
  • Use preventive measures for best results.
How much effort?
High effort
  • Dig out plants. Sift soil and remove stem and root fragments.
  • Following removal, return to the area every several months. Look for shoot regrowth and seedlings. Take action as needed.
  • Established plants require several years of follow-up control actions.
What's the risk?
Low risk
Possible risk of exposure or harm from chemicals
NONE
  • Hand-pull and dig plants when the soil is moist. Mowing is not recommended.
  • Dispose of plants in the green waste container.
Hedge bindweed plants with root system and new plants growing from rhizome

Salicyna, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • Hand-pull and dig plants. It’s easiest to remove field bindweed plants in early spring when the soil is moist.
  • Hedge bindweed’s root system grows horizontally many feet beyond the root crown.
  • It also sends roots several feet deep into the soil. This makes it difficult to remove the entire root system of mature plants.
  • It is difficult to remove the entire root system of mature plants. Be careful to remove as much of the root and stem fragments as you can.
  • Mowing is not recommended. The plant root systems will produce new shoots.
Green waste bin on curb

Weston Miller, Oregon State University

  • Put hedge bindweed roots and stems in your green waste bin. Or take it to a local green waste composting facility.
  • If you compost bindweed at your site, dry the plant materials before you compost it. Freshly dug plants will regrow if placed directly in a compost pile.

HEDGE BINDweed Removal Tips

  • Dig out plants and sift the soil for roots and stem fragments. Hedge bindweed will regrow from root fragments left in the soil.
  • Dispose of hedge bindweed stems and roots in the green waste stream.
  • If tillage is used to chop vines and expose roots, make sure the soil remains dry so the rhizomes/roots dry out.

Soil Disturbance and Erosion

  • Minimize soil disturbance as much as possible.
  • Regrade the soil after digging hedge bindweed roots. Apply mulch (when appropriate).
  • Take steps to prevent erosion as needed.
  • Replant the area to shade hedge bindweed seedlings.
 
B

Herbicides Triclopyr and Glyphosate

Chemical Method: Use with caution

iStock

Herbicides Triclopyr and Glyphosate

Use if Necessary

Herbicides that contain the active ingredients triclopyr and glyphosate effectively control hedge bindweed when used according to label directions.

Does it work?
Effective
  • It requires several years of monitoring and effort to get rid of hedge bindweed.
  • Use preventive measures for best results.
How much effort?
Moderate effort
  • Treat individual field bindweed plants and patches.
  • Return to the area each year and take action as needed.
What's the risk?
Moderate risk
  • Herbicides come with real risks. ALWAYS read the entire label front to back. Review instructions even for brands you know.
  • Herbicides can run off your site into waterways and may harm wildlife. See How to Keep Pesticides Out of Waterways.
Possible risk of exposure or harm from chemicals
Using herbicides includes some amount of risk. The lowest risk comes with using alternative methods.

You may be exposed to an herbicide if you:

  • Get it on your skin
  • Breathe it in
  • Eat or smoke afterward without washing hands
  • Touch or eat plants that are wet with spray (you, pets, or children)
  • Bring it inside on your shoes or clothes

Follow directions closely to reduce risk.

Herbicides with active ingredients triclopyr and/or glyphosate, used individually or in a mixture, are effective chemical treatments for hedge bindweed. Look for these chemical names in the “Active Ingredients” section of product labels.

Photo of herbicide label highlighting active ingredient triclopyr

Weston Miller, Oregon State University

  • The white box on the example product label highlights active ingredient triclopyr. Text on the label states “Kills completely.”
  • Triclopyr doesn’t injure most grasses. It’s a good choice for treating hedge bindweed growing next to desired grasses in lawn, pasture, and meadow areas.
Photo of herbicide label highlighting active ingredient glyphosate

Weston Miller, Oregon State University

  • The white box on the example label highlights active ingredient glyphosate. The text on the label states “Kills grass and weeds around flower beds, trees, shrubs....”
  • Glyphosate will damage most plants and grasses. Don’t let the spray contact plants you want to keep.

Herbicide Application Tips

  • Apply herbicide to hedge bindweed when it is actively growing from spring through fall.
  • Herbicide treatments are less effective if the plants are stressed due to lack of water.
  • Expect that hedge bindweed will regrow after treatment with herbicides. Look for regrowth and re-treat as needed.
 

If Using Herbicides, Protect Yourself & Minimize Risks

Chemical Method: Use with Caution
Great blue heron in marsh

BrianLasenby, iStock

Why is it important to read herbicide labels?

  • They have detailed information on how to use the product correctly and legally.
  • They contain information on potential hazards of the product.
  • They provide instructions you should follow for poisonings and spills.
  • Following label instructions helps you to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits.

Key Herbicide Safety Tips

  • Read the entire label front to back.
  • Follow the instructions.
  • Review the instructions even for brands you know.
  • Only apply the product where the label says it may be applied.
  • Be precise in your application. More is not better.

The Label is the Law

ALWAYS read the label before using herbicide products. The label is a legal document that provides information on how to safely use the herbicide. This helps avoid harm to human health and the environment. Using an herbicide in off-label ways is illegal. It can result in legal enforcement actions.

READ THE LABEL & Follow Instructions
It has instructions to protect you and the environment.

  • Labels are different for every product and they often change over time.
  • Use a magnifying glass for small print.
  • Pay attention to CAUTION, WARNING, and DANGER statements.
  • Pay attention to the PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS.
  • The law states you must read and follow herbicide instructions.

Protect Yourself
Eye, skin & lung irritants

  • Wear the right protective gear. This often includes chemical-resistant gloves, safety glasses, a long-sleeve shirt, pants, socks, and shoes.
  • Mix outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wash hands after mixing or applying, and before eating or smoking.
  • Take a shower immediately after handling herbicides.
  • Wash clothes worn while mixing or applying separately from other laundry.

Protect Children & Pets
Children and pets are at risk if they eat or touch the plants before it dries.

  • Keep them away during and after applying herbicides (read label for how long).
  • Remove toys and pet dishes from yard before applying.
  • Don’t track herbicide products into your home on shoes or clothes.

Protect Pollinators

  • Apply in the early morning or evening when bees are less active.
  • Kill weeds before they flower. Avoid spraying flowering plants.
  • Do not spray on bees or insects.

Protect Plants You Want to Keep

  • Glyphosate and similar herbicide ingredients damage both grass and broadleaf plants.
  • Minimize spraying of foliage, stems, exposed roots, or the trunks of desirable shrubs or trees to avoid harm.
  • Follow the label to avoid damaging the roots of trees and shrubs.

Avoid Wet, Windy, or Hot Weather
Use during favorable weather for best results.

  • Don’t spray when it’s raining or when rain is expected in the next 24 hours.
  • Wind causes spray to drift that can get on you and desired plants.
  • Herbicides may be less effective in hot weather if the target plants are moisture-stressed.
  • Some herbicides can turn into a vapor in hot weather and damage nearby plants.

Don’t Spray into Water

  • It’s illegal to apply herbicides in a stream or slow moving/wetland pool.
  • You need a product registered for aquatic areas. This includes waterways, ditches, drains, and other places where water collects.

Storage & Disposal

  • Store in a secure area away from children.
  • Don’t put unused herbicide products in the trash.
  • Never pour down any drain or waterway.
  • Take unused herbicides to a hazardous waste facility.

Call  1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687) to find out where to dispose of herbicides.

For the Portland metro region in Oregon, contact Metro’s Recycling Information. Call  503-234-3000, email   or visit Metro’s website  

More about:

About Using Pesticides on School Grounds in Oregon

If using pesticides on school grounds, there are special rules in Oregon. See School Integrated Pest Management  (Oregon Department of Agriculture).

NEED HELP?

The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)  can answer questions about pest control chemicals.
 1-800-858-7378 or npic@ace.orst.edu  

Consider using a licensed pest or weed control company. Learn How to Hire a Pest Control Company.

Your local Extension Specialist in Oregon  and other states  can suggest other methods.


Content provided by editor Weston Miller and writers Signe Danler and J. Jeremiah Mann. Pesticide safety information edited by Kaci Buhl.

 Peer reviewed by OSU Department of Horticulture.

Photo of Weston Miller

Weston Miller

Project Founder and Content Writer

Weston Miller served as Community and Urban Horticulture faculty for Oregon State University Extension Service for Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. Weston is an author for content for this website. He developed funding partnerships with Portland area agencies to initiate and build out the Solve Pest Problems website focused on this goals:

Signe Danler

Signe Danler (Editor/Writer)

Signe Danler is a veteran Master Gardener and landscape designer, with an MAg degree in Horticulture from OSU, and an emphasis on Urban Horticulture. As instructor for the OSU Extension Service online Home Horticulture and Master Gardener Program, she uses her experience and training in gardening, urban forestry and ecological landscaping to communicate about and promote sustainable gardening and landscaping practices.

J. Jeremiah Mann

J. Jeremiah Mann

J. Jeremiah Mann completed a Physical Science undergraduate degree at Humboldt State University, and M.S, Ph.D focusing on plant science topics at UC Davis. He went on to work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and in a leadership position serving a private agricultural technology company. He currently lives in Sacramento California where he consults on pest and property management topics.

Photo of Kaci Buhl

Kaci Buhl

At the state level, I lead the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP). The program hosts live recertification events around the state, serving over 1,000 licensed pesticide applicators each year. We also produce web-based training modules and license-preparation study manuals. Special training for unlicensed pesticide applicators is also available through a grant from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The PSEP at OSU works closely with the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Pesticides Division.