False Lamium

(Lamiastrum galeobdolon)

Get out your sturdiest garden gloves and knee pads...RoundUp won't help you here! 


Here is the nasty stuff up close. Frequently sold in nurseries for use as a pretty trailer in summer flower baskets, once loose here in the Pacific Northwest, it quickly roots and spreads. The patches you see here are in a small local park (one specifically meant to be left in its natural, wild state). Unfortunately, many local residents feel the park is a perfect place to dump piles of garden trimmings and refuse, and every year old flower baskets containing lamium end up tossed into the understory. Presently there are 7 patches of escaped False Lamium, each about 20' in diameter. It displaces all native plants.  

 This is the patch I refer to as Patch 2.  The plant spreads rapidly by runners, which root easily and begin new clumps. It takes me about an hour to clear a 6' x 6' area; it is easy to pull out but you must go over the ground carefully to be sure you have got all the small plantlets, and you are often working in brambles. Unfortunately, when you pull the Lamium, there is absolutely nothing else growing. It out-competes everything, and completely smothers the area.


I have read that triclopyr amine (Redeem R&P, Brush-B-Gone) is effective on False Lamium, and spraying is the only practical way to get at really large clumps, or clumps that start when someone pitches a flower basket off our local cliff. Locally, I have seen clumps on steep slopes, past a safety fence, where the more environmentally friendly method of manual removal is simply not safe.

Other topical control agents may be: vinegar (a popular environmentally friendly herbicide), other members of the synthetic auxin family, to which triclopyr amine belongs (2,4-D, dicamba, mecoprop, dichlorprop). Later, I will post results of tests to find an effective agent.

If you do grub it out by hand, you must be sure to dispose of it in a way it will not simply re-establish elsewhere. If you put it in your compost pile, it roots, and...

Bye bye garden!

Incineration is the preferred mode of disposal. Next best is high heat composting.

Before disposing of in landfill, heat kill the dug-up plant material by placing it in clear plastic garden trash bags: seal and leave bags in direct sunlight for several days.