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Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis L.)

Crop Impacts: Potatoes, beans, tomatoes and grain fields

Field Bindweed 1

About Field Bindweed:

Field Bindweed is one of the most difficult to control weeds once it has invaded agricultural crops and landscapes. Ones it is in your fields, it is almost impossible to manage. What makes this so difficult to control is its vigorous horizontal stems and root system. If trying to control Field Bindweed by cultivating or broad scale tillage, you will more likely just spread the invasion. The seeds of this weed can last up to 60 years dormant in the soil, and has the habit of climbing up things and breaking through plastic or fabric barriers. This vicious weed is a broadleaf perennial plant that holds the viruses that cause tomato spotted wilt, potato X disease and vaccinium false bottom disease.

Family: Morning-Glory Family (Convolvulaceae)

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Field Bindweed Scouting and Prevention:

As a seedling, Field Bindweed has square-like leaves with a shallow indent at the top that alternate from one another. For mature Field Bindweed, the leaves have a similar look to the seedling with a lobed base. The stem of this weed is flattened with the upper surface grooved and is known for curling and climbing. They produce trumpet shaped, white to purplish flowers that bloom mid-June until the first frost (usually in October). The flowers close each afternoon and open again the next day.

Common locations

  • - Potato fields
  • - Tomato fields
  • - Bean fields
  • - Grain fields
  • - Cultivated fields
  • - Gardens
  • - Lawns


There are three main practices that are known to reduce the possibility of having Field Bindweed show up in your crops. One is to make sure the seeds you plant have ornamental stock and clean seeds. If you are bringing in new top soil, make sure there are no seeds, roots, or rhizomes.

Field Bindweed Control:

You may have to combine both chemical and cultural control methods to get a fully effected system in reducing field bindweed. The best method to control Field Bindweed is with active application of herbicides, timely cultivation and good crop rotation.

Cultural Control

One of the best cultural control ways to reduce the growth of Field Bindweed is suppressing the plant from sunlight. If you cover your gardens with 3 inches of mulch after all seedlings have been picked out, it will still take up to 5 years for the seeds left behind to fully die. It has also been shown that planting alfalfa, corn, winter wheat and sorghums can reduce the growth of Field Bindweed. It can take 3 or more years of exclusion from light before Field Bindweed will die off. Cultivating might work if it is done 3 to 4 weeks after the plant germinates in late spring. You will have to repeat this process every 2 to 3 weeks, or whenever necessary to keep it from rerouting. This plant can live through drought but restricting its water intake will weaken and reduce the weed.

Chemical Control

It is very important to spot treat new infestations when they are small. This is the most effective and least expensive strategy to prevent Field Bindweed from taking over your crops. Using herbicides as a control method have been shown to reduce the spread of Field Bindweed, but does not eradicate it. The timing for applying herbicides is important due to the fact that it must move through the rhizome and root systems to fully kill the weed. It is important that the herbicides are applied when the flower of the weed is in early to full blooming stage, which typically takes place in late June and early July. During this stage of growth, the roots reserve is at its lowest and the sugars by the leaves are being moved downward. When applying herbicide at this particular cycle of the plant, the leaves will suck in the chemicals and bring it down to the roots and rhizome system. Early, late or too much application will only destroy the top growth of the plant and will not reach the root system. You may also spray after you have harvested wheat in late August to early September, when Field Bindweed starts to grow again. A few herbicides that have been proven to do a good control job on Field Bindweed is 2,4-D, dimcamba, which is in banvel and glyphosate which can be found in round-up and touchdown. Post-emergent herbicide application of bentazon (basagran), acifluorfen (blaser), or gulfosinate ammonium (libery, ignite) can also suppress Field Bindweed.

Latin / Alternative Field Bindweed names:

  • - Convolvulus arvensis L.
  • - Liseron des champs
  • - European bindweed
  • - Small-flowered morning-glory
  • - Wild morning-glory
  • - Liseron

Additional Field Bindweed Resources: