Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to make a perfectly wonderful plant disappear...

I planted my new Rodgersia tabularis in the front garden. Hinted to by the plant tag, and confirmed by my follow up research online, it wanted more sunlight than the swell spot I had planned in the back garden would have provided. I figured I would place it where anyone walking up the sidewalk, to the front door, could enjoy it’s amazingly large leaves. Of course when I planted it the Bishops Weed was still waking up from its long winters nap. How easily I forgot what a thug it is.
Back then the Rodgersia was standing tall in the gravel, now it is swallowed but the emerging weed, which will most likely get even taller. And if I dig it up to move it I risk transplanting The Weed to another part of the garden.
What appeared to be a wise placement now proves not to be.


  1. Oh, wah! I saw that weed and thought it was pretty, didn't realize what it was. So glad I don't have it in my garden, it looks like it is hard to cope with. I already have enough thugs... bummer. Can you try yanking out or cutting back at least the parts that surround the Rodgersia so that it doesn't have to compete so much for water and light? Good luck! PS I am the queen of wrongly placed plants, so you have my sympathy from lots of experience!

  2. I have the same frickin' weed and it's a monster to get rid of. It has taken over my favorite front bed, crowding out everything formerly there. I have come to the conclusion, upon discussing it for hours with fellow gardeners, that I'm going to have to carefully paint it with a chemical killer whose name I won't use. It starts with R. Oh blessed be, this Bishop's is a monster and it's eating your Rodgersia!

  3. Seems like the Rodgersia should rise above the ground cover...unless you think the root system is giving it too much competition? My Rodgersia is a different variety, but it gets HUGE. I want a bronze one.

  4. Karen, once upon a time I thought I could pull it out...I was very wrong. I think it just rebounded with extra vigor!

    LeLo, I am actually happy to hear you say that, I've considered doing the same.

    ricki, ha! You have a very good point. I was all caught up in the moment, if it can do battle with the Bishops Weed and not loose then yes in time it should be fact Annie's Annuals says 3’ to 4’ tall - that will show that damn BW whose boss!

  5. I currently have a thug I need to clear out of my back garden. I'm not looking forward to it, and have gone into full procrastination mode. I can see your concern with moving the Rodgersia. Good luck!

  6. If it gets enough light it will when.
    I have grown the purple leaf variety in Bishop's weed before with no problem. Be careful not to over water it though. That is the only problem other than shade I have had with it. It really needs some heat before it take off.

  7. Oh, I'm so sorry...Bishop's Weed creeps under my fence from a neighbor - I almost trample perfectly wonderful plants on my way to pull it out of the ground before it 'invades' my garden!

  8. My parents have been battling Bishop's weed for years. Before they knew what it was really capable of, they moved it all over their yard!! They tried a variety of weed killer - including R-up, but no luck at all! It's invincible.

    On a hopeful note...
    I do accept plants from them, even with their problem. I carefully comb through the roots of the gift plant. I quarantine it in a pot for at least two years. If no BW comes up, then I figure it is safe to plant. So far, so good :)

    I have had Astilboides/Rodgersia tabularis for four years now. I planted it in the shade because that is where the nursery told me to put it. It has been multiplying, but it hasn't gotten very large. Perhaps it needs more sun to reach its full potential.

  9. AnonymousMay 06, 2010

    These pix say it better than 10,000 words
    of warning about lamium


  10. I had noticed this plant creeping under the fence behind my house for the past few years and wondered what it was. Mostly I was just grateful it kept the weeds down. Now, having a name and after doing some research, I'm a little bit terrified. Do you think covering it completely with black plastic for a couple seasons would do this trick?

  11. Bishop's weed = scorge of the temperate garden.

    I cringe when I see this monster offered in catalogs.

    It's a Bad Seed!

  12. For a brief time last summer, I wanted bishops weed. I saw it in a neighborhood garden and thought it was such a nice ground cover. I'm so glad now that I didn't act on my impulse!

  13. Laura, and good luck to you! Procrastination mode is an art form you know.

    Botany Buddy, thanks for the tips!

    lauren, keep fighting the good fight! I did transplant a bit of it to the back garden early on, by accident while moving something else, before I realized how evil it is. Every once and awhile a leaf shows up back there...I keep pulling and so far (knock on wood) I seem to be winning. I kind of expect to walk out there one day and it all of a sudden has taken over.

    Sylvana, wow...your method sounds very thorough! Good job. I took some from my mother back in Spokane and planted it in dry shade at my house there. I babied it and it barely survived. Here, not LOVES this climate.

    Anonymous, it just keeps getting worse too! Maybe I'll have to do a follow up post.

    Editor, that's a great idea. I've never tried it but it sounds like something that should work...or...maybe just make it stronger. I kid! Sort of. Good luck!

    jenn, call me naive but I didn't think anyone actually sold it! Shocking! Seriously? I thought it was just one of those pass-along bad seeds.

    MulchMaid, should you ever change your mind you can have as much as you want, for free! I'll even help you dig

  14. AnonymousMay 09, 2010

    I can empathize with you. I thought it would have been a great idea to plant some baby tears. That baby took over...and now been working to get rid of it too. Good Luck! Matti

  15. AnonymousMay 09, 2010

    I've got several plants mixed with Bishop's Weed. Stupid on my part but not surprising since I do stupid really well. When I'm in the mood, I'll grab handfuls of it and yank, sometimes all the way down to the ground. It grows back but not as tall and as a bonus, this keeps it from blooming. I've found too that once it's cut down Roundup works really well. I use a piece of cardboard to shield the good plants from any lethal spray. I've also had success spraying it in earliest spring when it's just popping out of the ground. But unlike most gardeners, I keep some BW alive in certain areas. I spray the errant parts that spring up in other areas.

    I' not sure if this was mentioned but your Rodgersia looks suspiciously like a Darmera peltata.

  16. Here I was feeling envious of your Rodgersia tabularis. Then I remembered, hey I got one this year too. Happy! I know the pain of invasives thwarting your planting plan. No fun.


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