We have several well established beds that are infested with Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebell). For a variety of reasons I am unable to dig them out or use "petrochemicals" like RoundUp so I'm looking for alternative spot treatments.

I was thinking about using horticultural vinegar as a spot treatment, but am unsure what the best way to apply it is. My first thought was to cut the flower off the stem and fill the stem with vinegar. But then I got to wondering if it needed to translocated to be effective.

I'm also open to other methods if someone has found an effective treatment.

  • 4
    Wow, that’s a kind of “infestation” I’d be happy to have. My weeds are not half as decorative as yours.
    – Stephie
    Apr 8, 2018 at 11:57
  • Why can't you use Roundup?
    – Peter4075
    Apr 9, 2018 at 18:38

2 Answers 2


An other method it to use "flamethrower" (add "garden" or "weed" to google search). They are not really flamethrowers, but I think such name attract more people.

But you really need to dig or to use chemicals for a quick solution. In other cases, you need to repeat the treatment every year. Being bulbous (and bulbs can live several years before to emerge), any methods which just kill the green part is not definitive.


Spanish bluebells are quite resistant to herbicides - I found dousing them with liberal amounts of Roundup was not effective at all due to the waxy cuticle of the leaves. Best to avoid such chemicals anyway - they are the reason why vast areas countryside are now ecologically dead. Digging up the bulbs only works so far as they are often deep in the soil and in difficult to access places. I have resorted to using a weed burner (flame-thrower) and have a lot of fun zapping them as soon as they appear in the hope that the bulbs will weaken from lack of nourishment from the leaves and eventually die off. It may take some years to eradicate them totally though. Nasty, highly invasive buggers - they really should be banned from sale.

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