Can You Compost Bindweed? How To Properly Dispose Of Them

Gardening enthusiasts, we’ve all been there – battling those stubborn weeds that seem to have a life of their own. Bindweed, with its winding vines and heart-shaped leaves, is a common nemesis for many gardeners. But can you turn this nuisance into nutrient-rich compost for your garden? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of bindweed and explore whether it can be composted.

What is Bindweed?

Before we jump into composting, let’s get to know our opponent. Bindweed, scientifically known as Convolvulus arvensis, goes by various names, including morning glory, wild morning glory, or creeping jenny. It’s notorious for its ability to spread rapidly, smothering other plants in its path. The plant produces beautiful white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers, belying its invasive nature.

How to Identify Bindweed:

  • Heart-shaped leaves
  • Twining vines that wrap around other plants
  • Showy white or pink flowers
  • Deep, persistent roots

Can Bindweed Be Composted?

Now, the big question: can you compost bindweed? The answer is a bit tricky. Bindweed is a persistent weed that can regenerate from even the tiniest root fragment. If you don’t compost it properly, you could end up spreading it further in your garden.

The Dos and Don’ts of Composting Bindweed:

1. Isolate the Bindweed: Separate bindweed from other compost materials to prevent its spread.
2. Dry and Dehydrate: Sun-dry bindweed to kill it and make it less likely to re-root.
3. Chop It Up: Cut bindweed into smaller pieces to speed up decomposition.
4. High-Temperature Composting: Opt for hot composting methods, as they can kill weed seeds and roots.
5. Monitor the Compost: Regularly check your compost pile for any signs of bindweed resurgence.

Remember that bindweed seeds can remain viable in the soil for years, so be vigilant when using your compost.

Other Weeds That Can Be Composted

When it comes to composting, bindweed might steal the spotlight as a garden nuisance, but there’s a whole cast of other garden weeds that can play a valuable role in enriching your compost pile. These weeds, when managed correctly, can transform from garden troublemakers into compost gold. Let’s delve deeper into some of these green intruders:

1. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Identification: Dandelions are easily recognized by their vibrant yellow flowers and distinctive toothed leaves, making them a common presence in lawns and gardens alike.

Why Compost Them:

  • Nutrient-Rich Leaves: Dandelion leaves are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron, which can enhance your compost’s nutritional value.
  • Taproot Aeration: These weeds boast deep taproots that help break up compacted soil, improving its overall structure.
  • Green Biomass: Dandelions contribute green matter to your compost, balancing the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio essential for efficient decomposition.

2. Clover (Trifolium spp.)

Identification: Clover is characterized by its distinctive trifoliate leaves and clusters of small white, pink, or purple flowers.

Why Compost Them:

  • Nitrogen Enrichment: Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant, meaning it pulls nitrogen from the air and stores it in its roots. Adding clover to your compost can increase its nitrogen content, which is crucial for the decomposition process.
  • Weed Suppressant: Ironically, clover can also act as a natural weed suppressor in your garden when properly managed.

3. Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album)

Identification: Lambsquarters have diamond-shaped, toothed leaves with a powdery white coating on their undersides.

Why Compost Them:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Lambsquarters are nutrient powerhouses, containing high levels of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Quick Decomposition: Due to their tender nature, lambsquarters break down rapidly in your compost pile, speeding up the composting process.

4. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Identification: Purslane is recognizable by its succulent, paddle-shaped leaves and small yellow flowers.

Why Compost Them:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Purslane is one of the few plants that contain omega-3 fatty acids, adding a unique nutritional dimension to your compost.
  • Moisture Retention: Its succulent nature retains moisture, which can be beneficial for maintaining adequate moisture levels in your compost pile.


In the battle against bindweed, composting can be a useful strategy, but it requires careful handling to prevent its resurgence in your garden. Remember to isolate, dehydrate, and chop bindweed before adding it to your compost pile. Keep an eye on your compost to ensure it’s not providing a safe haven for this invasive weed.

While bindweed can be a composting challenge, don’t forget about the other garden weeds that can be valuable additions to your compost, providing your garden with nutrient-rich soil for healthier plants. So, compost with care, and turn those garden nuisances into garden gold!