Old Man's Beard is a clematis and prolific climbing weed. It smothers trees and shrubs in gardens and native forest.
Identify the problem
Old Man's Beard grows rapidly, forming dense, heavy, masses that dominate garden canopy of any height. Stems layer profusely, and it produces many long-lived seeds if exposed to frost. Tolerant of cold, moderate shade, damp, wind, salt, most soil types, and damage it is a major pest weed in New Zealand.
Old Man's Beard can be distinguished from native clematis as it is the only clematis with five leaflets, other usually have only three leaflets.
- Cut down and paint stump (all year round): Weed Weapon Invade Gel. – It is best to apply the gel immediately after cutting (within 15 seconds) – so cut paint, cut paint…..etc. Apply to both the root stump and cut running up into the rest of the vine.
- Cut vines at waist height (summer-autumn) and spray foliage below: Weed Weapon Extra Strength – for best results ensure full coverage. Follow up 2 weeks later to check that slashed stems have not re-sprouted, if they have do 1 or 2.
- Hand pull, dig out roots (all year round). Dispose of roots at a refuse transfer station or bury deeply.
- Weed Weapon Extra Strength should be sprayed on large areas* of bindweed, taking care not to spray desirable plants. Weed Weapon Extra Strength is a systemic herbicide and will kill right down to roots. Well established bindweed like convolvulus may take several treatments to kill all root systems and rhizomes or spot treat as below.
*Cut vines at waist height (summer-autumn) and spray foliage below; the more of the weed that is sprayed the better the control will be.
- Creeping and spreading weeds can be controlled without risk to surrounding plants and without digging out difficult root systems using Kiwicare Weed Weapon Invade Gel. You may want to cut the weed back leaving only a few (at least 20) leaves at the bottom close to the roots, in this case also treat cut ends.
- Paint as many leaves as possible on both the upper and lower surfaces with a good coat of Weed Weapon Invade Gel. Rhizomatous, grass and single location weeds can also be spot treated by painting brushing gel over leave surfaces. Leave weeds to absorb and trans-locate herbicide into roots.
- Ensure treated leaves do not contact desirable plants. Death of weeds may take over 14 days.
- Spot treatments can be carried out at any time but work best during vigorous growth in spring and autumn. Do not use when rain is due within 12 hours. If new growth is seen, re-treat the new growth.
- Weed Weapon Preventer can be used in areas where weeds have been cleared to prevent germination of seeds and growth of bulbs in the soil. This is useful when areas have been cleared for planting.
Did You Know
- The Latin name of Old Man's Beard is Clematis vitalba.