Field Bindweed or morning glory flowering

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

This weed is also known as Morning Glory. Field Bindweed competes with turf for sunlight, moisture and nutrients. It also tends to choke out other plants.

After you read this, you will be able to:

  • Identify Field Bindweed or Morning Glory.

  • Know the habitat of Bindweed.

  • Know the best options to control Morning Glory.

Field Bindweed is a good indicator of unhealthy low-fertility such as calcium and phosphorus or drought stressed soils. It also indicates an excess of potassium. More on turf weeds is in our weed ID chart.

Morning Glory is a long-lived perennial plant. It has creeping stems and is prostrate until it comes into contact with other plants or barriers. This weed has an extensive system of rhizomes that can grow deep into the soil.

Reproduction is vegetatively from roots, rhizomes, and stem fragments and a plant can spread 2-3 metres in a growing season. It is a big seed producer. An average plant produces over 500 seeds, which can lie dormant for up to 20 years as the seed coat becomes waterproof after a month. Interestingly, if you damage this seed coat by scarifying, it causes 100% germination. This is in contrast to a germination rate of only 5–25% of freshly collected field Bindweed seeds. It spreads by animals, water and human activity.

How to Identify Field Bindweed.

Bindweed is a perennial, and has a thick taproot that allows the plant to survive during periods of low soil moisture. It can re-shoot if the shoot is damaged.
Flower: Flowers are bell or funnel-shaped, white to pinkish in colour.
Leaf length: The leaves of Field Bindweed are 1-8 cm long.
Leaf width: Around 0.2-4 cm wide.
Reproduction: Bindweed regrows from taproot material and seedlings during the cooler Autumn to Spring months. It flowers throughout the year, often during the Spring to Autumn period. It has some frost tolerance.
Comments: Once plants mature they are difficult to control with herbicides, and regrow from the tap root.
Habitat: Morning Glory or Field Bindweed can grow in a wide range of conditions. These range from full sun to full shade and it can tolerate long periods of drought. This weed thrives in dry, gravel rich soils, but prefers rich, fertile soils with moderate soil moisture.





How to control Field Bindweed.

Cultural and chemical controls manage Morning Glory or Bindweed.


Cultural control.

The first step in cultural control is feeding turf. Field bindweed does not compete well in a healthy dense turf area. Apply enough nitrogen, irrigate and mow at the right height. Hand weeding is a waste of time. It doesn’t work because of the extensive and deep rhizome system that enables this weed to regrow.




Chemical control:

Pre-emergents do not work on field bindweed or Morning Glory. Best results are with post-emergents.

Standalone herbicides like 2,4-D do not work well, so it is better to use a three way mix like Warhead Trio. Other options include Quinclorac although you cannot use this in Australia for the control of this weed.
Autumn applications of selective herbicides that contain 2,4-D and dicamba usually give better results. You are most likely going to need multiple applications to get this weed under control..