The Very Invasive Plant – Garlic Mustard

Shade or Shine it Takes Over

Garlic Mustard is a very invasive plant that can grow well in shaded areas, dense shade, and even in locations getting full sun. That pretty much makes this a tough and stubborn plant to contend with. Garlic mustard infestations can be very dense and advance over wide areas quickly.

Garlic Mustard is an early spring competitor that invades forest & wooded stream banks. It monopolizes light, moisture, and soil nutrients where it aggressively dominates the ground layer. Once it is established it has the ability to exclude and eliminate many herbaceous species.

Threats not only include native plants but animals as well. By taking away the natural plant life to the forest area, wildlife species that depend on these plants for food are denied a place to make a living.

The Very Invasive Plant   Garlic Mustard

This plant is a cool season biennial herb with coarsely toothed leaves that give off an odor of garlic when crushed. Garlic Mustard reproduces by seed that is produced the second year. Each plant produces hundreds of seeds which may be scattered long distances by wildlife or human activity such as where earth is moved for building or timber cutting.

Control of Mustard Seed:

The seeds of Garlic Mustard can remain viable in the soil for up 5 years or more. As a result, long term management of an area that has been infested takes long term patience. The key goal here in getting rid of this plant is to prevent seed production until the stored seed in the ground is gone.

In situations where infestations are large, hand pulling and patience alone may not do the job. Application of a systemic herbicide glyphosate like Roundup is also effective. When applying this type of herbicide be careful not to get it on other plants you desire to keep because it will kill most plants.