Do you want to kill bindweed with a natural method?
Vinegar is the way to go. But does it even work? Let’s find it out!
Does Killing Bindweed With Vinegar Work?
Killing bindweed with vinegar only will kill bindweed’s leaves, and flowers, but won’t hurt the roots of the weed. However, adding salt, and dishwashing liquid is way more effective and harmful to the bindweed.
Bindweed is a weed that spreads quickly at a rate of over 3 ft. (90 cm) a season. It is strangling our plants, thanks to its rapid-growing stems. Even digging up the roots might not be effective, because root leftovers, that are left in the ground, might regrow quickly.
Many people use vinegar to kill this plant, but vinegar alone makes the leaves, and flowers of bindweed dry, leaving roots intact. As a result, this weed regrows again, and again, really quickly.
To kill the whole bindweed, we need to combine vinegar, salt, and some dishwashing liquid. It’s an inexpensive, and safe way to kill this weed.
Why Does Mixture With Vinegar Kill Bindweed?
The mixture of 3 ingredients, including vinegar, salt, and dishwashing liquid is way more effective than vinegar only.
The dishwashing liquid breaks down the protective coating on the leaves, which leaves the bindweed vulnerable to damage.
Vinegar contains acetic acid. It dehydrates the whole plant, drying the leaves, flowers, and root if it’s not developed enough. Salt interferes with nitrogen uptake, reducing growth and stopping plant reproduction.
How Long Does it Take for Vinegar Mixture to Kill Bindweed?
Usually, the vinegar mixture will kill the bindweed within 3-4 days after application.
After 1-2 days, you should notice the leaves of bindweed wilting. Then they should get dry, and turn yellow. After 4 days, the plant can be treated as dead.
A lot depends on the stage of growth of the bindweed. If you apply the mixture to the young bindweed in spring, the results will come easier, and quicker. If you apply it later, for example in mid-summer, when the plant is stronger, it might take longer to see the results.
The weather also plays a role. Applying the mixture on a sunny, warm day is more effective because you’re sure that rain won’t rinse off the mixture, which might affect the whole effect.
How to Prepare Vinegar Mixture to Kill Bindweed?
First, you need to prepare the mixture in the right proportion. You should do it like this.
- Pour 1/2 gallon of plain white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar into the bucket.
- Add 1/2 cup of salt.
- Add 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid.
When it comes to deciding which vinegar to choose, it doesn’t really matter. Both, plain white, and apple cider vinegar contain 4-7% of acetic acid, which is more than enough to dehydrate the bindweed.
You can use any dishwashing liquid that you have at home.
Once you mix all the ingredients, stir the mixture well. Afterward, you should pour the mixture into the watering can. Applying vinegar mixture is easier from a watering can, than from a bucket. Make sure you remember which watering can contains the mixture because you might easily mistake the watering can that contains water, and the watering can that contains this deadly mixture.
How to Apply Vinegar Mixture to Kill Bindweed?
Applying vinegar mixture is easy, and you do it in the same way as you water your plant with a watering can.
The first step to take is to find where the bindweed is. Then, you should inspect where the root of this weed is. Of course, you don’t need to be 100% exact. To locate the root, you just need to find where the stem of bindweed starts from the ground. The root will grow in the ground.
The root isn’t wide, but it’s really deep. In extreme cases, it can grow even up to 20 feet (6 meters) down. However, most roots don’t grow that big, and they shouldn’t exceed 10 feet (3 meters).
Once you locate where the root roughly is, you can start watering it. The rule is simple. Water the weed where the stem grows from the ground in a radius of about 6 inches (15 cm). Water the weed deeply, so that the mixture can penetrate the root as deeply as possible. 1/7 gallon (0,5 liter) of potion should be enough.
Water the root of every bindweed. Sometimes, only one bindweed can grow, sometimes there might be 10, or 20. Make sure to water each of them. If you don’t have enough potion, you can always make more.
It’s also important when you apply the mixture. It’s recommended to apply it on a sunny day, but when it’s not hot, ideally in the morning, or in the afternoon. That way, you can be sure that the vinegar mixture won’t evaporate quickly, and will penetrate the root of the bindweed. Also, don’t apply it when it’s rainy, or the rain is expected because water might leach the mixture from the ground.
Quick note: The effectiveness of the vinegar mixture depends mostly on how developed the root is. If you don’t want to waste too much vinegar at once, you can try the potion on 1 or 2 roots, and wait 3 days. If you see the leaves are turning yellow, you can apply it to the rest of the roots. If the leaves are still green after 2-3 days, it means that the root is too big, and it is too strong for this mixture.
Does Killing Bindweed With Vinegar Mixture Give Permanent Results?
Killing bindweed with vinegar mixture sometimes gives permanent results, but not always.
Let’s assume that you killed the plant, but you don’t know if another, young root nearby didn’t start to grow. It’s possible that after killing old bindweed, another one will start growing because as you know, they can multiply even from a fraction of the root.
Because of that, you’re never 100% sure if this mixture gives permanent results. You should assume, that you will have to apply the vinegar mixture once again after a few weeks.
The mixture should give good enough results in one season, but you need to know that it won’t affect the soil permanently. The potion will work for a few months, so you should expect that in the next spring, new bindweed can grow again.
What are the Other Effective Methods of Killing Bindweed?
If this method doesn’t work, you should try other effective methods.
1. Dig up the roots. When digging up the roots, you have to be really exact. The best time to dig them up is the fall when roots are dormant. Use a garden fork to remove them, so you avoid breaking up the roots. Root leftovers might grow in the spring, so be sensitive.
2. Cut down the plant. Dealing with roots is hard, and not always effective. If you don’t want to do it, you can always continuously cut down the plant once a week to sever the stems as close to the base of the weed as possible. Once you cut down the plant, you can cover it up with something that will block the light, so the weed will grow much slower.
3. Pour on boiling water. It’s another natural and quite effective method. Just boil some water and carefully pour it onto the base of the weeds and the surrounding area.
4. Use a commercial weed killer. It’s probably the best way to get rid of weeds. You can try this weed killer on Amazon. It kills all the weeds to the root, so the effect is almost guaranteed.
Killing bindweed with vinegar won’t kill the roots of the weed, so it’s not an effective way of getting rid of it. However, it’s more effective to mix vinegar, salt, and dishwashing liquid to kill the whole plant. The result isn’t guaranteed, but many gardeners experience promising results.