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The weed with a bad rep: Mind-Your-Own-Business. This once popular Victorian plant has racked up a long list of notorious names over the centuries, ranging from Paddy’s Wig to Corsican Creeper due to its instantly recognisable and relentless thick mat.
In this guide, we will discuss the many faces of this disruptive weed, its characteristics, why it can lead to problems, and the various ways to control it in your garden.
Mind-Your-Own-Business (soleirolia soleirolii) is a creeping perennial native of Corsica and Sardinia, distinguishable by its branching stems and dense foliage.
It’s a versatile plant of the nettle family, typically used in crazy paving cracks and sculptured over chicken mesh, preferring shade to sun. However, it’s famed for taking hold of soil, creeping through crevices in stone walls and damp spots.
But the plant’s kryptonite is the cold; as a frost-tender weed, it’s sometimes knocked back in severe winters. The issue is, it often recovers the following year.
Why is it a Problem?
Many gardeners love to encourage Mind-Your-Own-Business between cracks in patios, but it can quickly spread to borders, lawns and overstep boundaries. The thin, fleshy stems root as they slowly spread, making them difficult to control.
What’s more, grass clippings that contain stem sections may survive the composting process, causing the weed to further spread around the garden.
The Royal Horticultural Society recommends selecting the right cultivars, maintaining garden hygiene, and promoting natural predators as the first line of defence against the Mind-Your-Business plant.
Here are a few of my personal methods for controlling Mind-Your-Business:
- You should bury Mind-Your-Own-Business in mulch, or hoe it off repeatedly in dry weather, especially around garden borders. It may come back, but doing so should take the string out of its tail.
- In either April or September, remove lawn patches of mind-your-own-business with a trowel. You could also use a hand fork. After removal, re-establish the soil level and re-sow bare patches with grass seed. Another option is to lay a patch of turf taken from elsewhere in the garden.
- Where mind-your-own-business is widespread in lawns, lightly scarify several times during March and April and again during September to weaken it. Feed the lawn regularly to encourage turf vigour and density.
Weedkiller control options
If you’re really struggling to keep Mind-Your-Own-Business at bay with the above methods, your next option might involve using a Glyphosate-based weed killer, such as Roundup Fast Action. It should kill the plant and roots within a single application, but just use it with caution as it can also damage other plants.
How to Tell Mind-Your-Own-Business Apart from Other Plants
Mind-Your-Own-Business is often mistaken for other plants, such as Mazus reptans, a similar-looking creeping perennial native to Japan; and Lysimachia nummularia, also known as Moneywort or Creeping Jenny.
Mind-Your-Own-Business can be distinguished by its small, round leaves and its ability to root at the nodes as it spreads. The golden-leaved form, ‘Aurea’, is the most commonly sold. It bears tiny white flowers in summer, and it forms dense, slowly spreading mats of bright green foliage.
Propagation at Your Peril!
Mind-Your-Own-Business is easy to propagate by division or by taking stem cuttings. It can also be grown from seed, but it can take several years for the seedlings to reach maturity. When planting, be sure to choose a well-drained spot and keep the soil moist. It’s also a good idea to place a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.
Best Uses in the Garden
Mind-Your-Own-Business is an excellent plant for rock gardens, walled gardens, and steep slopes. It can also be used as a ground cover in shady areas. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could train mind-your-own-business to climb on a trellis or arbor. The golden-leaved form, ‘Aurea’, is particularly attractive when trained as a climber.