Poison Ivy? Or some type of ground cover?

katisu(5 Indy)August 19, 2014

Quite possibly the dumbest question you guys may ever encounter-- is this poison ivy, a ground cover, or some type of weed? It's all over one of my flowerbeds (mixed in with hostas and epimedium) and covers most of the bed. It has three leaves, which makes me wary, but I couldn't identify poison ivy/oak/sumac if my life depended on it. It does not seems to be very ivy-like, though.

Part shade, Zone 5, Indianapolis

Thanks!

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Carrie B(6B/7A)

Aegopodium podogaria, goutweed, I believe.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:41PM
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nel5397

It looks like Bishop's Weed.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:42PM
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katisu(5 Indy)

I'm reading that it can be used ornamentally. So...would it be an appropriate ground cover, then? I'm also reading that it's horribly invasive. Will it overtake the hostas and epimedium?

Also, is this guy another type of Bishop's Weed?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:50PM
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carol23_gw

It's an awful plant. It is one that I would absolutely never plant in my garden. It is almost impossible to eradicate and once established , the roots go all over.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:53PM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

Do whatever you can to get rid of it. Seriously.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you have PI in your yard ... that does not mean there couldnt be some in there ...

when dealing with a large plot of greenery ... there can be things mixed in ... so do be careful ...

as to killing hosta... i doubt it ... it would be more of an issue of out-competing the hosta for water ... and providing a safe haven for slugs ...

if you want a groundcover.. a good one.. not this one... plus hosta... just keep the groundcover clear in the immediate area of the H ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:18AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Another vote to get rid of the goutweed, it will infiltrate and ruin your good plants!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:50AM
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katisu(5 Indy)

Looks like I have another big weekend project! Everything in this area that isn't a hosta or epimedium is pretty much Aegopodium podagraria :(

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I would pull the good plants out and smother that area, much less work. If you like the idea but need more specifics, happy to elaborate.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:31PM
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katisu(5 Indy)

I would love for you to elaborate. Though, I'm fearful I'll just kill everything when I remove them!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 1:19AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Happy to! Hostas are tough, gardeners move them around regularly. I've not had Epimediums before, so somebody jump in if I say something that doesn't jive with those. A bit of reading about them says gardeners often divide them, so assuming they're like most perennials that gardeners move at will with good results.

Does your yard have other 'flower bed' areas? If so, is the light exposure similar to this one? Is there space for plants to take up temporary residence there?

If yes to the above questions, I would dig up as many of the Hostas and Epis as you feel like saving, move them to the other bed area. Shake off the roots when you get them up, to make sure you're only moving Hosta/Epi material, and not any of the goutweed roots. I would replant each one as it was dug, to reduce the time each one spends out of the ground (and working this way would allow you to take a break, for a minute or a night, or a week, whatever your schedule requires.) It would be best not to do this in the middle of a really hot day.

Then rake the area where plants were removed as flat as possible, use weed trimmer to help get the weed foliage down/help flatten the area. Cover the shredded weeds and the ground with cardboard, overlapping the edges well, cover that with enough mulch to hide it. By spring, the bed should be ready for the good plants to be re-planted. After uncovering a small test area (if necessary, the cardboard may be decomposed by then,) where the goutweed was known to be thick to make sure it's dead, you can move the Hostas/Epis back, or start fresh with something else.

If there is nowhere to move them, you could put the plants you want to save in pots for winter. Or possibly dig out half of the bed, move the good plants to that side and try smothering the other half.

Furniture and appliance stores are great sources for soliciting large pieces of cardboard, just remove any tape or stapes before using them for gardening. Whatever is growing on a spot where I want to have a 'flower bed,' whether weeds or grasses, smothering is how I start all new beds. I'd rather wait than dig, and removing the top soil is counter-productive to having 'good dirt.' Smothering the weeds (and often grass) returns the organic material of the weeds/grass to the soil.

I can elaborate more, if needed, in whichever direction you'd want/need to go.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:25AM
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