How to Control Broadleaf Plantains

Written by barbara fahs
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How to Control Broadleaf Plantains
The various species of plantains are common lawn weeds. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

You might think of bananas when you hear the word plantain. But you're not likely to like the weed called plantain, which is common in lawns and other moist areas. It belongs to the genus Plantago and about 200 species exist. The plantains are perennials and, although their leaves can be oval or elongated, all species grow in a rosette form and sprout flower spikes that contain tiny flowers and, later, numerous seeds.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Lawn fertiliser
  • Weed puller tool
  • White vinegar
  • Orange essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Pre-emergent herbicide or glyphosate
  • Weed burner

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fertilise your lawn on a regular basis to encourage a thick turf to form. This condition makes it difficult for broadleaved weeds such as plantain to sprout and grow into a nuisance.

  2. 2

    Hand pull all plantain with a weed puller tool as soon as it appears. Eliminate this weed before it forms seeds. Remove the entire root; like dandelions and other weeds with a taproot, plantain can come back from very small pieces of root you leave in the soil.

  3. 3

    Mix 29.6ml essential oil of orange with 1 gallon of white vinegar for a nonchemical weed spray. Transfer some into a spray bottle and thoroughly drench each plant you can find.

  4. 4

    Treat affected areas with a pre-emergent herbicide or one containing glyphosate if you choose to use a chemical solution to your plantain weed problem.

  5. 5

    Burn your plantain weeds with a propane weed-burning torch if other methods are not successful in eliminating them. This method is most effective in areas where other plants do not grow, such as the cracks of a sidewalk or paved driveway.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose a warm, sunny day on which to spray a vinegar-orange oil spray.
  • Repeat your application of vinegar and orange oil several days in a row for optimal effectiveness.
  • Plantain has culinary and medicinal uses.
  • If you use a propane torch, follow all product instructions and precautions to prevent injury to yourself or your property.

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