How To Get Rid Of Common Milkweed

Question From: P. Giroux - Livonia, Michigan, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, HELP! Two years ago I planted common milkweed in the front and back of my house from seeds from a plant that I picked in the woods. Last summer, the plants were taking over my landscaping and I decided to get rid of it (and to try to grow it in pots). Recently I read your article in the Homestyle newspaper “Butterfly weed, milkweek key to attract monarchs.” In the last paragraph, you wrote “Common milkweed (Asclepia Syrica) is a weedy thug that can take over once established, so think twice before inviting it into your garden.” Well, I sure wish I would have known this before I planted it in my gardens two years ago. I had NO idea how AGGRESSIVE it is. I tried to eradicate it last summer with not much success. It seems to be traveling further out with it’s thick, deep roots. I tried digging it out and I sprayed the roots with round up … nothing seemed to stop it! It truly is thug! Any suggestions on how to get rid of it this summer would be very much appreciated. Thank you for any suggestions!

A: Sorry for your pain Pam. When the plants emerge paint the leaves with Roundp. It will take them a week or more, but they will turn yellow, shrivel and die. RoundUp comes in several strengths. Buy the strongest available. Keep an eye on them and when new shoots emerge, treat them asap. It may take a couple of applications but you will win in the end. Round Up does not work on roots, so don't bother digging. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy