Every year the good folks at the Perennial Plant Association get together & select a “Perennial Plant of the year”. Well, I’m going to start selecting a “Weed of the Year”. This years winner goes to Persicaria maculosa. This darn thing is in ALL of my gardens! Even gardens that have NEVER had it before…what’s up with that? Well to find out, I did some research on this pesky menace so I could better “know” my enemy. This is what I found…it’s a perennial, from the Knotweed family, native to Europe, & since its arrival here, it’s an invasive species to our Great Lakes region. This weed reproduces entirely by seed & can produce a MULTITUDE of seeds per plant in one season. The seeds require a cold, moist period before they can germinate in spring. Considering the type of “so called” spring we had, very cold & very wet, these were the perfect conditions for an outbreak of great proportions! It adapts to a broad range of habitats, from moderate shade to full sun, wet or dry areas & as far as soil type this weed is NOT picky at all. So how can I best defend against this awful weed?
There are a couple ways: A. Hand Pulling. Best because it gets the weed at it’s ROOT! It will also help to eliminate seed spreading/germinating (get rid of the plant/get rid of the seeds). B. Apply PREEN, a granular product sold at Lowe’s/Home Depot/Meijer etc. that inhibits seed germination. This product is best applied in MAY! C. PRAY, that we don’t have another cold wet spring like this past one (2011) that caused this incredible outbreak!