Shawnee County Weed Department

Education Enforcement Control

Field Bindweed and Specific Controls

Field Bindweed

Field Bindweed


Field Bindweed · Convolvulus arvensis L. · is a perennial broad-leaved plant that spreads over the soil and other structures, and often form mats. Leaves alternate along the stem. Leaf size and shape will be varied; typically leaves are up to two inches long and egg-shaped.

Flowers are typically white, but often they are light pink and have two leaf-like structures half-way between the main stem and the base of the flower, which is a distinct characteristic.The flowering stage is when most field bindweed is noticed.

The root system is what makes the weed so hard to control. Roots can extend to as far as 30 feet deep. These roots compete with crops for moisture and nutrients, and give field bindweed an advantage over the newly seeded crops by already being in the soil.

Seed pods are egg-shaped, 1/4" in diameter, and contain two to four seeds. Seeds are shaped like a slice out of an orange, small (only 1/8" long), and covered by rough raised dots. Though small, these seeds can lay dormant for as long as 30 years.

Field Bindweed is a noxious weed that can be a severe problem in the largest field or the smallest garden in Shawnee County. A summer herbicide treatment will control existing growth and eliminate seed production. For lasting control, a three-phase treatment plan should begin at first blooming and continue through fall:

Phase I
Treat Field Bindweed with an approved herbicide or control measure shortly after flowering blooms appear.
Phase II
Retreat new bindweed growth approximately 30 to 45 days after the initial treatment or when 12" - 18" runners exist.
Phase III
Retreat returned bindweed growth with an approved systemic herbicide after the first frost in the fall, but before nighttime temperatures reach 20°F.

Specific Controls

Chemical Control

The herbicides which have been approved for County Weed Departments to Cost-Share with landowners are:

  • Roundup - 2.5 gallon & Dry Pak (small quantity) containers:
    Kills bindweed and all other green vegetation with no residual.
    • row crops when soybeans are in the rotation
    • vegetable gardens and flower beds after a light frost
    • fence rows
  • Picloram 22K - 2.5 gallon containers.
    Kills bindweed and other broadleaves, but does not kill grass. Has a residual.
    • restricted use product
    • continuous wheat
    • feedlots and waste areas
    • pastures and CRP
  • 2,4-D Amine - 2.5 gallon containers
    Kills bindweed and other broadleaves, but does not kill grass.
    • large manicured grass areas
    • used mostly as a tank mix with other products
  • Speedzone - 20 ounce and 1 gallon containers
    Kills bindweed and other broadleaves, but does not kill grass.
    • yards and small grass areas
    • spot applications
  • Tyta luctuosa / Bindweed Moth
    • bio-control insect that feeds on Field Bindweed
    • should be used in conjunction with other control measures

Factors for Better Control

  1. Apply herbicides during active growth when the plant is in the bud stage to early bloom with good soil moisture and when 12 to 15 inches of growth is present.
  2. For ground application, apply in 10 to 20 gallons of water per acre.
  3. For aerial application, apply 3 to 5 gallons of water per acre.
  4. Retreat areas with herbicides(s) or cultural methods to prevent seed production and reduce new infestations.