Can anyone tell me a foolproof and organic way of eradicating lesser celandine from my lawn? Also any suggestions what to grow in its place as grass doesn't take very well (the area's too shady). Will have to put some paving down (where tree roots allow) but need some ideas what to plant around it.
Kate from England
As you probably know, Lesser Celandine is very difficult to manage because it is very persistent. That means that you are going to have to be even more persistent that it is, if you want to get rid of it! Lesser Celandine spreads primarily by tubers and bulblets underground. There are really only two options for controlling it-chemical and manual. For small infestations, the best organic option is simply to dig up the plants (tubers, bulblets and all) with a trowel or shovel. Remember that each of those little bulblets is armed and ready to grow into an adult once it becomes separated from the parent plant, so when digging them up, it's crucial to remove every last bit of them from the soil.
It can also be helpful to flag the spot you removed the plant from with a small stake so you can keep your eyes peeled for emerging growth next season. Try to be patient. It will probably take a couple of seasons before you feel like you have come out the victor.
As for what you should replant the area with, there are lots of plants and groundcovers for shady areas. You might consider Periwinkle (Vinca minor), Budgleweed (Ajuga reptens), Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), English Ivy (Hedera helix), or Liriope. These groundcovers should all fill in fairly quickly and take quite a bit of abuse. Sedum, hosta, mosses, and lungwort are some good plant options.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
Ellen - thanks very much for your advice. I've been trying the manual method for 10 years now & have only succeeded in making the problem worse. Not admitting defeat though - like you said, I'll just have to be more determined than the weeds are! Will look into the plants you recommended too. Thanks again, Kate