Old Man's Beard Is Evil

by Valerie
(Nelson, New Zealand)

Here in New Zealand, Old Man's Beard is well known as a really noxious weed. And I think in some parts of the USA too.

It gives us a real headache though and we hate it with a passion. Almost as much as possums :-)

I understand it's a type of clematis ('clematis vitalba' I think..?).

Old mans beard smothering everything

Old mans beard smothering everything

It's a real climber and it grows so well here that it becomes a tangled mess, blocks out the light and eventually kills trees completely! And this stuff seeds like crazy, producing tons of these little pom pom balls of fluff.

Old man's beard seeding (clematis vitalba)

Old man's beard seeding (clematis vitalba)

So far I've been cutting the stems and leaving it to die off in the trees. But it grows back strongly from a cut stem, so you have to put glyphosate (Roundup) or Vigilant gel or something on the stems after you cut them. I don't like using it though, so would love to discover any alternatives to dealing with this stuff?

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Old Man's Beard Is Evil

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Apr 18, 2011
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Tried Digging It Out?
by: Martin

I've read that you can dig out the roots for old man's beard. Not that I've tried - personally I've always just used Vigilant gel on it, and move on to something more fun to do :-)

I think you really have to go deep and get all the root out too. Leave just a bit of root and it could regrow. So probably more hassle than it's worth. Good luck against the evil clematis ;-)

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