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gripe weed

Chamber Bitter; Gripe Weed – Phyllanthus Urinaria

My property is infested with this weed, brought in, alas, with various natives I planted throughout 21 acres. This year I decided to get rid of it, and it has been the battle of my life. I spray it with glyphosate and hand pull some of it, which is back-breaking. My question is in two parts: at what point are the prolific seeds mature? It is much easier to spray it, but I’m hand-pulling it if the seeds look mature, for fear they’ll sprout even where the sprayed plant dies. The second related question is: if the seeds are immature, or mature for that matter, does spraying glyphosate interfere with their ability to sprout, such that it would be OK to spray a plant with even mature seeds and let it just fall where it dies, without fear of the seeds sprouting? Or are the seeds impervious to the hormonal disruption inflicted by spraying?

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Comments (11)

ronalawn82

spoonbill, glyphosate kills green tissue and has no residual activity. I believe that the seeds of ‘seed under the leaf’ are green and therefore susceptible to the action of glyphosate. The trouble is to get the coverage, the seed being so ‘protected’. Additionally, the chemical is translocated via the phloem tissues and tends to migrate to the meristematic sites. It tends to accumulate in the roots, hence its effectiveness in controlling perennials when applied during the period when these weeds are storing nutrients for over wintering.
2.4D will kill the plant but it is volatile and harmful to most broadleaf plants. It is also a restricted-use chemical.
You can use a ‘burn down’ chemical like diquat dibromide if you can find the labeled product for your particular situation. It is contact chemical and kills by dessication and very quickly. Thereafter, you can set up a program of glyphosate on the regrowth and a timely pre-emergent for the seeds.

My property is infested with this weed, brought in, alas, with various natives I planted throughout 21 acres. This year I decided to get rid of it, and it has been the battle of my life. I spray it with glyphosate and hand pull some of it, which is back-breaking. My question is in two parts: at what…

How To Manage Your Gripe Weed

Many weeds in the landscape can cause a gardener to gripe, but when the weed is specifically named after a gardener’s complaints, then you know you have a real problem on your hands.

Gripe weed has become more common in our area over the past decade. You should accept eradication of a weed as impossible, but management and control are well within our reach. Hand-weeding and herbicide on the foliage work well. Shield or cover nearby desired ornamental plans when you’re spraying herbicide.

Many weeds in the landscape can cause a gardener to gripe, but when the weed is specifically named after a gardener's complaints, then you know you have a