Creeping bellflower, or creeping bluebell as it is sometimes called, is a beautiful flower that you don’t want in your garden. This invasive weed quickly takes over, choking out anything you try to grow, including the grass in your lawn. Find out about creeping bellflower eradication in this article.
About Creeping Bellflower Weeds
It’s said that the Old World fairytale character Rapunzel got her name from creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) after her father stole a plant from a witch’s magic garden. The witch gets revenge on the father by hiding Rapunzel away in a tower. The plant was trouble then, and it’s trouble now for anyone who gets it in their garden.
Creeping bellflower plants spread by sending down roots into every nook and cranny of the garden, including secluded shady spots. In addition, each plant produces between 3,000 and 15,000 seeds every year. It’s easy to see how this invasive week can quickly get out of control.
If you need to identify creeping bellflower plants, the following characteristics should help:
- The leaves around the base of the plant are wide and heart-shaped. The leaves on the flower stalks are more narrow.
- Flowers are a little less than an inch in length and deep blue to purple in color.
- The leaves are dark green on top and light green underneath with tiny hairs along the veins.
Creeping Bellflower Eradication
Creeping bellflower weeds are very difficult to eliminate. You can try digging them out, but the roots reach as deep as six inches and spread several inches beyond the plant. Unless you get the entire root, the plant will re-emerge. Digging might not be an option if you have more than a few plants.
Glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) kills creeping bellflower, but it also kills every other plant that comes in contact with it. If you decide to use it, place a small amount in a container and dab it onto the leaves with a cloth. You’ll want to wear gloves when you do this. Be careful that the herbicide doesn’t come into contact with other plants.
If you have creeping bellflower plants in your lawn, you can spray them with an herbicide containing triclopyr, such as Ortho Weed-B-Gone. Triclopyr is a broadleaf herbicide that won’t harm grass, but it will kill garden plants.
If you use an herbicide, wear protective clothing and keep kids and pets out of the yard for the day. Spray on a day when there is little wind and when you aren’t expecting rain. Herbicides are most effective when temperatures are between 60 and 85 degrees F. (15-29 C.).
You may have to use a product several times to completely eradicate creeping bellflower plants. Store remaining herbicides in their original container and out of the reach of children.