Star of Bethleham

BettkApril 19, 2013

The previous owner had some SOB's planted in the back yard around a tree. Well, a tornado hit the huge tree and it went through my garage. The tree company removed the tree and ground up the stump. They must have threw all sorts of the bulbs all over the place. Last year they filled up entire back garden. I ended up pulling up what I could. Now it is in the front garden, back garden and in my lawn. I am so upset, as I tried getting rid of the SOB's with a chemical product and it killed all my beloved plants except the SOB'S. I work full time, single mom and just don't have time to pull millions of bulbs out. Will boiling water help? I am thinking of maybe digging the soil and pouring some of the water down. So sad, as most of the beautiful flowers are now gone. :0(

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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

I dug mine out with the complete roots or tubers. Sometimes it is late to emerge in the spring, so keep an eye out and remove when seen.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Bettk

How did you dig all those bulbs up??? Each plants seems to have at least 20 bulbs that are tiny?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

The link at the bottom is a good read. I dig star of beth each spring, trying to clear more small areas of it, so that I can either plant them, or till them for planting grass. I refuse to till or plant in any area that is infested with the bulbs.

If disturbed and not dug out entirely, a clump of 20-100 small bulbs could turn into 20-100 individual bulbs that will, in time, all clump up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Invasive bulb in my lawn

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Bettk

Thank you Chemocurl. I will be trying the boiling water to the back garden to see if I can get them out of there. Will post to let you know if it works. We have had nothing but rain in MI. I will have to wait till the ground is not so soggy.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:41AM
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flowergirl70ks

You are fighting a losing battle-there is no way known to man that will get rid of these pests.Can you move?Believe me , I know what I'm talking about. I've been fighting them for 46 years. I'm now 80, and too lazy to move.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Bettk

Flower girl no, but I wish I could move. I used something called quicksilver in my lawn. Purchased it online. It is expensive, but I went outside this morning to find all the ones I sprayed brown and looking really bad! Going 2 see if this works on more of them. Still going to use the hot water trick to.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:07PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I used something called quicksilver in my lawn. Purchased it online. It is expensive, but I went outside this morning to find all the ones I sprayed brown and looking really bad!
I wouldn't be too optimistic about it actually killing off the bulb itself.

From the link below...
Paraquat provided 70 to 78% control at one year after the 2002 application.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purdue Extension Weed Science and Star of Beth

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Bettk

Nasty little beast for sure. I wish they would come out something for bulbs only. I am guessing quicksilver is a paraquat. If it just wouldn't get in my garden, I would feel so much better. I may need to try a tarp, although I heard that the tarp would have to stay place for 3-4 yrs to smother the darn things. Frustrated and weary of trying to tackle this weed. Does breaking the foliage off the bulb kill it? I

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I am guessing quicksilver is a paraquat.
No, paraquat is something different that can only be bought by certified applicators. It's not availablr to the general homeowner or available for purchase over the internet.

I may need to try a tarp, although I heard that the tarp would have to stay place for 3-4 yrs to smother the darn things.
Trust me, that won't work. I had a truck topper that fell over and was laying flat on them for over a year, and once they got water and springtime, they emerged again.

Does breaking the foliage off the bulb kill it?
Goodness no! It does help though to pick off the white blooms (if they bloom), so they won't go to seed and make even more tiny bulbs.

Solarization 'might' work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solarize for 6 weeks in the middle of the summer

This post was edited by chemocurl on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 19:43

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:40PM
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Nancy zone 6

It is especially annoying that, while spray doesn't kill Star of Bethlehem or grape hyacinth, it seems to take out daffs or other bulbs that you love. Or if you accidentall snap off a desired plant, it promptly dies, but you can dig down 6' to get all the roots of a nasty weed, & it's back the next day.
Wish you the best of luck getting rid of the star!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Bettk

Live in MI. The temps aren't hot enough I don't think. I will try though. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:55PM
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flowergirl70ks

Many sprays will knock the tops down. Mark the spot where you sprayed, then have a look next year. I tried this several years in a row. When I finally dug down to see if anything had died at all, the biggest bulb was the size of a small orange.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:36AM
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Bettk

Oh my flowergirl. I think the big bulbs need digging out, as they do not easily die. This must be the first year that they got in the lawn, cause there were no flowers yet. I shot them with quicksilver. Didn't hurt my grass, but the sob's all turned brown. I will have to see what comes up next spring, when they finally flower.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:10PM
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freki(5a)

I managed to dig out the volunteer SoB in 2 years. It requires dedication, but it's probably the best bet, especially if you don't want to poison the soil.

SoB is not anywhere near as bad as pachysandra, if that's any consolation

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Bettk

I did manage to dig out a patch last fall in the front. Had to dig the dirt, small amounts at a time and sift through the dirt and examine closely. Those bulbs can be very tiny. Out of about 100 sob's I only got 3 come up in that area. Will continue to dig. HO HUM!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 5:44PM
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