How to Control Aggressive Plants in Your Yard
By: Julie Day
Chemical Control of Aggressive Plants
Chemical control with herbicide sprays, can be a good back-up if digging isn’t working; or if you have an isolated patch that can be sprayed without affecting other plants.
Follow these tips when using chemical herbicides in your yard or garden:
- Herbicides: There are two main herbicides that seem to work with aggressive plants: glyphosate (Roundup) and triclopyr (Brush-B-Gone).
- Timing: For best results, spray when plants are actively growing and flowering.
- Mow First: Some research has shown that sprays work better if you first mow or cut the plant down, wait for it to sprout again, and then spray the sprouts. This can be a great strategy, because if the cutting or mowing works, you can avoid spraying altogether.
- Avoid Wetlands: Most states require a permit before spraying anything in or near wetlands because of the risk of pollution and harm to amphibians.
- Apply Carefully: Spray the herbicide directly on the plant’s leaves, being careful not to spray the ground or other plants. Alternatively, you can paint the product on the leaves or, for shrubby plants, cut them down and paint concentrated herbicide on the cut stem.
- Minimize Waste: To keep track of which plants you’ve treated, add a bit of food coloring or biodegradable fabric dye to the spray mixture.