How to remove Variegated yellow archangel
By Jennifer Holmes

How to remove Variegated yellow archangel

A nightmare for gardeners and landowners – what is variegated yellow archangel?

Variegated yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon), listed under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, is an invasive evergreen weed native to Europe. Being part of the mint family it has similar characteristics of common mint, and just as difficult to remove. Mostly recognised by it’s green and silver variegated leaves and yellow flowers (abundant from April through to June) that form clusters around the stem underneath the leaves. It has perennial stems that also produce stolens that grow horizontally – hence its characteristic ‘runner’ trait, and the speed of its vegetative reproduction makes it very difficult to reduce established communities. Its dense nature reduces the efficacy of natural pollinators of out native plants, hence it can quickly out-compete other species.

So how can this weed be removed? We’ll list a few options later in this article, firstly let’s look at what makes it invasive, how it grows and why it’s such a problem across the UK.
Variegated yellow archangel with ants

why you should not mow grass with variegated yellow archangel

It spreads very quickly by seed dispersal, also by runners rooting along the ground and is commonly found in shaded or woodland areas. One of the problems in controlling this plant is that the stems break during manual removal and those stems can root into the ground. This means that for estate owners if you mow it, the clippings must be removed and destroyed not composted, and seeds left in the grass will create new outbreaks – its worth noting that ants can carry the seeds up to 70 metres! If your commercial business is reliant on maintaining an aesthetically pleasing environment for visitors (such as trails through woodlands) this can be a problem as the pathways can get completely blocked.

it will run all over your garden

As we know from talking to the customers we have removed Yellow archangel for – it can be hugely difficult to control yourself if it invades your garden. This weed loves running underneath bushes, shrubs and trees and by the time it becomes visible you’ve most likely got a carpet forming that is now a big problem. That being said, most Yellow archangel found in the wild is largely as a result of garden escapees. Yellow archangel will smother your favourite ground coverage.

a threat to our native plants

If allowed to grow, it will – vigorously, and if not controlled in any way it will out-compete native species by blocking sunlight and therefore inhibiting photosynthesis. It can quickly reduce the diversity of natural habitat species, and literally take over riparian systems. established communities of Yellow archangel are difficult to eradicate. This impacts not only flora but local fauna as well, in particular insect populations who can no longer feed off their favoured plants, which have been out numbered by Yellow archangel.

What are some control methods for managing variegated yellow archangel?


Due to the habitat that Yellow archangel prefers (moist soils) herbicide treatment must be carefully considered and applied, as chemical can enter water systems. However, herbicide treatments carried out over a period of time will be effective on areas of growth that are considered suitable for this method. Areas near water may need a different method.


Hand-pulling can be very effective as long as all of the root systems are removed intact. Any parts left behind will quickly form new plants. But together with herbicide treatments these two methods of control can over time reduce and remove the plant. It is vital to reassess the treated areas throughout the year, to ensure no plants are taking hold, as well as looking for evidence of encroachment from neighbouring properties as remember, this weed loves to spread underground.

How to get rid of variegated yellow archangel waste

All waste materials including soils that contain variegated yellow archangel are considered as controlled waste and should be disposed of appropriately. This means the contractor removing the waste from site needs to hold a waste carriers license, and hold the right industry accreditations to handle and relocate controlled waste.

Remember: Proper management will help reduce and eventually remove this invasive species.

If you’d like us to help you get rid of variegated yellow archangel…

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