How to Get Rid of Bishop’s Weed

In the realm of gardening and landscaping, dealing with invasive plants can be a daunting task. One such invader that poses a persistent threat to gardens and yards is Bishop’s weed (Aegopodium podagraria). Known for its aggressive growth and ability to outcompete native plants, this resilient species can quickly take over an area if left unchecked. This article aims to provide you with valuable insights and effective strategies for getting rid of Bishop’s weed and reclaiming your outdoor spaces.

Understanding Bishop’s Weed 

Bishop’s weed, also referred to as goutweed or ground elder, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It features distinct clusters of small white flowers, delicate green leaves, and a creeping rhizome system that enables rapid spreading. Bishop’s weed thrives in a wide range of soil conditions and light intensities, making it a formidable adversary for gardeners.

Methods to Get Rid of Bishop’s Weed

Manual Removal 

One of the first steps in combatting Bishop’s weed is to manually remove the plants. This method is effective when the infestation is small or isolated. Ensure you wear gloves to protect your skin and prevent spreading. Carefully dig out the plants, making sure to remove as much of the rhizomes as possible. Dispose of the removed plants by bagging them and discarding them in the trash, not compost.

Smothering Technique 

The smothering technique involves covering the affected area with a barrier to deprive the Bishop’s weed of sunlight and inhibit its growth. Use layers of cardboard or thick newspaper and cover them with mulch or organic matter. Leave the barrier in place for several months to suffocate the weed and prevent its re-emergence. Regularly monitor the area for any signs of regrowth.


Herbicides can be effective in controlling Bishop’s weed, but they should be used cautiously and selectively to prevent harm to desirable plants. Glyphosate-based herbicides are often recommended for tackling invasive weeds. Apply the herbicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring to target the Bishop’s weed while avoiding contact with desirable plants. Repeat the application if necessary.


Solarization utilizes sunlight and heat to kill Bishop’s weed. Start by moistening the soil thoroughly and removing any debris from the area. Cover the infested soil with a clear plastic sheet, securing the edges with rocks or soil. Allow the sun to heat the covered area for several weeks during the warmest months. The intense heat created under the plastic will effectively kill the weed and its rhizomes.

Vigilant Maintenance 

Preventing the regrowth of Bishop’s weed requires consistent vigilance. Regularly inspect the treated areas for any signs of new shoots or regrowth. Promptly remove any emerging plants by digging them out or employing the previously mentioned methods. Regular weeding and maintaining healthy, vigorous plants will help create an environment less conducive to Bishop’s weed reestablishment.


Dealing with invasive plants like Bishop’s weed demands persistence and a multi-faceted approach. Combining manual removal, smothering techniques, targeted herbicide application, solarization, and vigilant maintenance can significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the presence of Bishop’s weed. Remember, prevention is key, so early detection and rapid response to new infestations are crucial. By employing these strategies, you can restore the health and beauty of your garden while protecting native flora from this invasive intruder.

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