Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium Podagraria ‘Variegatum’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’): A Versatile Ground Cover

Bishop’s weed, scientifically known as Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’, is a charming herbaceous perennial plant that is valued for its ornamental foliage and its ability to serve as a useful ground cover in a variety of settings. Commonly referred to as variegated bishop’s weed, ground elder, or goutweed, this species is renowned for its adaptability, making it a popular choice for both amateur and experienced gardeners.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of bishop’s weed, covering its cultural requirements, uses, maintenance, propagation methods, potential diseases and pests, as well as some fascinating insights from botanists. Whether you are considering its placement in your landscape, looking to cultivate it in a container, or simply want to expand your knowledge of this versatile plant, this guide will serve as a valuable resource.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Bishop’s Weed?
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Culture
  4. Uses
  5. Water
  6. Sunlight
  7. Fertilizer
  8. Soil
  9. Pruning
  10. Propagation
  11. Container Popularity
  12. Common Diseases
  13. Common Pests
  14. Botanist’s Tips
  15. Fun Facts
  16. Links to External Resources

What is Bishop’s Weed?

Bishop’s weed, or Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’, is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Apiaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia and has been introduced to other parts of the world, where it is often considered an invasive species due to its aggressive growth and ability to outcompete native flora.

The ‘Variegatum’ cultivar is renowned for its attractive variegated foliage, featuring shades of green and white, which add a touch of visual interest to gardens and landscapes. This species is characterized by its rapid spread and resilience, thriving in various environmental conditions, including shaded areas.

In the following sections, we will explore the key takeaways, cultural requirements, uses, and care tips for this versatile plant.

Key Takeaways

Bishop’s weed, also known as Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’, offers a range of characteristics and uses that make it a desirable plant for many gardeners. Here are some key takeaways to consider when incorporating this plant into your landscape or garden:

  • Variegated Foliage: The ‘Variegatum’ cultivar of bishop’s weed is prized for its striking variegated foliage, which adds aesthetic appeal to outdoor spaces.
  • Ground Cover: This plant serves as an effective ground cover, spreading quickly to form a dense carpet of foliage, making it an ideal option for filling in bare patches or controlling erosion.
  • Low-Maintenance: Bishop’s weed is known for its low-maintenance nature, requiring minimal care once established. This makes it an attractive option for busy gardeners seeking an easy-to-manage plant.
  • Shade Tolerance: It thrives in shaded areas, making it a valuable addition to landscapes where other plants may struggle to flourish.
  • Invasive Potential: While prized for its rapid growth and spreading habit, bishop’s weed is considered invasive in some regions and may require careful management to prevent it from overtaking other plants.

Now that we have an overview of the main features of bishop’s weed, let’s delve into its cultural requirements and specific care tips to help it thrive in various settings.


Proper cultural practices are essential for promoting the healthy growth and development of bishop’s weed. Understanding its requirements for water, sunlight, soil, and fertilization is pivotal to creating an optimal environment for this versatile plant. Let’s explore the key cultural considerations for cultivating bishop’s weed:


Bishop’s weed benefits from regular watering, particularly during dry spells or periods of prolonged heat. While it is somewhat drought-tolerant once established, consistent moisture levels are important, especially for plants grown in sunny locations. Adequate moisture helps to maintain the vigor and lush appearance of the foliage, contributing to the overall health of the plant.

Here are some general guidelines for watering bishop’s weed:

  • Establishment Phase: Newly planted bishop’s weed should be carefully watered to ensure that the roots become established. Water deeply and regularly during the first season to encourage robust growth.
  • Mature Plants: Once established, bishop’s weed can endure brief dry spells, but it is advisable to provide supplemental watering during prolonged periods of drought to prevent wilting and maintain overall health.


Bishop’s weed is well-suited to shaded areas and can thrive in low-light conditions. However, it can also tolerate partial sun, particularly in cooler climates. When grown in full sun, the variegated foliage may benefit from some protection during the hottest part of the day to prevent scorching.

Consider the following sunlight recommendations for bishop’s weed:

  • Shade Preference: Optimal growth occurs in partial to full shade, making it an excellent choice for filling in areas where other plants struggle due to limited light.
  • Sun Exposure: While adaptable, bishop’s weed may exhibit more vibrant foliage coloration when grown in shade or filtered sunlight, particularly in warmer regions.
  • Protection from Harsh Sun: In regions with intense sunlight, positioning bishop’s weed in areas that receive morning sun and afternoon shade can help prevent stress on the plant.


Bishop’s weed generally requires minimal fertilization, particularly when grown in nutrient-rich soil. Excessive fertility can promote aggressive growth and may lead to invasiveness in certain situations. When applied, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer can support healthy growth without promoting excessive vigor.

Consider the following fertilizer recommendations for bishop’s weed:

  • Minimal Fertilization: In most cases, bishop’s weed does not demand regular fertilization, especially if planted in organically rich soil. It can thrive with minimal intervention.
  • Balanced Formulation: When fertilization is deemed necessary, opt for a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in spring to provide essential nutrients without encouraging excessive growth.


Bishop’s weed is adaptable to various soil types, but it performs best in moist, well-draining soil with a rich organic content. It can tolerate a range of soil pH levels, contributing to its versatility in different garden settings. When planted in containers, using a well-balanced potting mix can help maintain an optimal growing environment for the plant.

Here are some considerations for the soil in which bishop’s weed is cultivated:

  • Moisture Retention: Soil with good moisture retention promotes healthy growth and supports the development of dense foliage. Amending the soil with organic matter can help maintain adequate moisture levels.
  • Soil pH: While adaptable, bishop’s weed generally prefers neutral to slightly acidic soil. Conducting a soil test can help determine if adjustments are needed to optimize growing conditions.


Pruning bishop’s weed can help maintain its appearance and prevent overly aggressive spread in the garden. Regular monitoring and selective pruning of any invasive growth can help contain the plant and prevent it from encroaching on neighboring areas.

Consider the following pruning tips for bishop’s weed:

  • Containment: Monitor the growth of bishop’s weed regularly, especially near borders or areas where containment is desired. Promptly remove any runners or stems that are venturing beyond the intended boundaries.
  • Maintenance Pruning: Periodically trim back any spent or damaged foliage to encourage a tidy appearance and promote fresh new growth. Late winter or early spring is often an ideal time for a light pruning session.

Now that we have covered the cultural requirements for bishop’s weed, let’s explore its various uses and potential applications in garden design and landscaping.


Bishop’s weed offers a range of uses and applications that make it a valuable addition to gardens and landscapes. Whether utilized as a ground cover, an ornamental accent, or a low-maintenance filler, this versatile plant boasts several noteworthy uses:

  • Ground Cover: Bishop’s weed serves as an effective ground cover, rapidly spreading to form a dense carpet of variegated foliage. It can be deployed to fill in bare patches, control erosion, or provide coverage in shaded areas where other plants struggle to thrive.
  • Ornamental Appeal: The attractive variegated foliage of bishop’s weed adds visual interest to garden borders, woodland settings, and other outdoor spaces. Its low-growing habit and resilience make it a popular choice for adding texture and color to landscapes.
  • Container Planting: In addition to its role as a ground cover, bishop’s weed can be cultivated in containers, where its spreading habit can create an attractive trailing effect. Planted in hanging baskets or window boxes, it can lend a decorative touch to patios and outdoor entertaining areas.
  • Weed Suppression: When strategically utilized, bishop’s weed can help suppress the growth of unwanted weeds in certain areas. Its rapid spread and dense foliage can outcompete and smother existing weeds, providing natural weed control in the landscape.

Understanding the diverse uses and applications of bishop’s weed enables gardeners and landscapers to harness its unique attributes to achieve their desired outdoor aesthetic.


  • Some water

List where you got information

Add citations to external resources:

  1. “Bishop’s Weed – Missouri Botanical Garden”
  2. “Aegopodium podagraria – University of Wisconsin-Madison”
  3. “Bishop’s Weed – Penn State Extension”
  4. “Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’ – Chicago Botanic Garden”–bonsai-

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.