My front yard borders a pavement and a small street, and on the other side of said street (let's say 8m maximum from the edge of my front yard) there is a metal fence with an earth wall (looks kinda like a small dyke) behind it. This hill and fence mark the backyard of a property, and both the fence and the hill (more specifically, the other weeds and few small shrubs on the hill) are overgrown with a bindweed, Calystegia sepium. I'm not taking a picture (privacy, I don't want to get geo-guessed), but here's a 'side view' of the situation: Small hill is green, fence is grey:

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The bindweed first showed up last year, and I didn't immediately notice the kind of pest it actually was. Neighbors and I actually called it a pretty blessing, covering the fence in greenery and white flowers, and hiding the other weeds behind that fence.

I didn't notice that it had gotten into my front yard until it was too late, I guess. At the end of the summer, I suddenly noticed a quite large (but single!) vine of it growing over one of the small Buddleja I have in my front yard. I (stupidly) removed it by pulling it out, probably leaving a big part of the root (I know now I shouldn't have done that, I didn't know at the time this was such a stubborn weed!).

This week, I have seen about 5 new little vines pop up. I looked up the plant now, I know what it is, that pesticides won't kill it, and I will be spending this weekend on my knees trying to dig up all the roots. I've read that these can grow a meter per year, so I'm very much hoping I'm not already way too late, or that I'll be finding that the roots are how this plant spread from that fence to my garden, and that I'll find 8 meters of roots going under the pavement and street.

But, since I can't manage the parts of this weed that are growing on/behind the fence where we first saw it, and the owner of the property has been talked to several times but will not do anything about any of the weeds there, and legal action to force removal of the plant seems to have no chance either, I'm wondering:

What are my other, 'best' options at managing this weed, given that it grows in such abundance so close to my front yard? More specifically, is there a way I can prevent more of it than there already is spreading from that fence/behind that fence to my yard?

3 Answers 3


If bindweed is growing in a property next to yours, it will always end up in your garden too unless the owners next door do something about it at an early stage. It's not easy to get rid of - its main roots go down up to 16 feet, and its surface roots can spread over 6 feet per season. If your soil is light and sandy, its easier to extract surface roots without breaking them, which is necessary because any fragment left behind will start to grow again. So yes, it is persistent and invasive, a gift that keeps on giving unfortunately.

You will have to try to extract as much of the root system as you can; you can try the cane and weedkiller method, which involves inserting canes where you see it growing, allowing the plant to climb the cane and spraying it with glyphosate or similar weedkiller, but this is not easy because of spray drift onto other plants, and the canes and spraying needs to be done for 3-5 months during spring/summer, so it's not an attractive look. I'd suggest just digging out as much as you can whenever you see it popping up, but, as its next door, I'd also recommend inserting a solid barrier between your garden and theirs down to 18 inches to prevent its ingress from there in future. Further info here https://www.rhs.org.uk/weeds/bindweed


I doubt the roots could grow 8 meters without sending up at least one shoot along the way - some seeds must have landed in your yard. Dig out every vine you see by the root, trying to keep them as intact as possible, then burn them - stems, leaves, roots, everything, to prevent the seeds from germinating or stem and root fragments from regrowing. Once you've got the established vines under control it should just be a matter of regularly patrolling your garden for seedlings and destroying them on sight. Your neighbour is another thing again; If Calystegia is declared as an environmental weed in your area, you might be able to dob them in to the EPA or similar for allowing it to grow rampant.


I fought this battle when I lived on the dry plains, I think I picked and picked and picked and dug and dug and dug for a couple years, amazingly enough it became less and less everytime I would get at it and it eventually completely stopped! This was however in grass and I don't know if it adapts differently to growing in lawn as opposed to growing up plants and what not. I also know vinegar helps to kill the roots but you have to be careful not to get it on anything you want to keep!

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