Solution for a Very Invasive Weed

Q: I have a problem. I have unfortunately acquired a terribly invasive weed. I have no idea what it is. It looks like a fern, has black pods along it's length, grows in clumps, prefers areas heavily mulched but basically took over large areas of my yard in late winter/early spring. For various reasons I was unable to get out and attack it when it was at its peak. It has now been sprayed and most of it is dead, but not before I'm pretty sure it went to seed, to spend time preparing for the next attack.

I would like to find a practically invasive ground cover to plant in the worst area that might inhibit, or at least challenge, this weed the next time it rears its ugly leaves. It would be great if it was evergreen and shade-loving, but at this point I'll take any suggestions. Does anyone have any ideas as to what I might use? Thanks so much!

Hardiness Zone: 8a

Tripleb from Greenville, AL

A: Tripleb,

Congratulations on getting rid of your very invasive weed. There are several options for ground covers that many people would consider "invasive." Examples include: English ivy, wintercreeper, crownvetch, ajuga, periwinkle, Liriope spicata and certain types of honeysuckle. Of these examples, wintercreeper grows wonderfully in the shade and is highly competitive with under-story plants. Lily-turf is an evergreen that quickly spreads to form a dense mat and can be used to cover a large area. It produces spikes of purple or white flowers, which eventually transform into clusters of black berries. It also provides and interesting texture and grows equally well in sun or shade. It tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions, although it prefers moist, nutrient-rich soil. All of these examples should perform well in your zone.


Good Luck!


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May 9, 20060 found this helpful

possibilities: cover the ground with cardboard boxes or black plastic to kill off the weed

plant mint (it's invasive too) or maybe wild strawberries (shade-loving)

I also have a fern problem on occasion, but when I pull them up regularly they don't take over.

Cantate in Zone 8-9

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May 10, 20060 found this helpful

I think mint would grow well in the area you have the weeds &/or seeds. It can also be invasive, but it makes a lovely lawn as it smells lovely when walked on ..... is delicious in your kitchen & smells 'cooling' when mown in the summer.

If you don't want to plant mint, find another herb you do like .......

Nothing nicer than a herb lawn & it's practical.


Wendy M. from Oz.

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May 11, 20060 found this helpful

Sounds like a vetch (coronilla sp.).

Cut the plant down to ground level early spring or as soon as it establishes i.e before the flowers appear then cover with black plastic sheeting and keep covered for at least 3 seasons. Alternately keep it cut back every season until it exhausts itself - we hope.

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May 11, 20060 found this helpful

I live in Pensacola, Florida and I have a plant that would suite your needs...My mother and I call it "the daisy from hell". It grows about a foot a day and can take over an area in about a week. It has a close growing mat of leaves and yellow daisy like flowers. There are some nurserys in our area that actually sell this plant. But beware you must really love it where you plant it because it is near impossible to remove it once in an area. I have been trying to remove it from my garden for the last six years and I am losing the battle!

Request a picture if you are interested and I will post one.


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May 11, 20060 found this helpful

I'd love a picture, kmcl! Thanks to all for the suggestions!

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