Greater plantain is easily identified with its flat, broad leaves. They are sometimes called ‘Rats Tail’ because of the tail like appearance of the flowers.
This herbaceous, perennial weed can be found on all types of conditions, especially in soil suffering compaction. These weeds are often a good indicator that the lawn is compacted.
The greater plantain has a fibrous root system and it spreads via seed. In turf the weed forms as a low growing basal rosette, which smothers and kills the grass beneath the broad leaves.
The leaves form as a basal rosette with short stalks, growing from the centre of the plant. The leaves are large, oval – round in shape and have prominent veins running down them.
The flowers are bourne on a long, erect stalks, green in colour, later turning brown as they turn to seed later in the season.
- Individual plants may be dug out with a small knife or grubber. Hand removing this weed can be very effective, especially if they are few in number.
- Relieve soil compaction with regular aeration, as compaction is often a influencing factor why greater plantains may be present.
- Remove the flower stalks before they get a chance to produce seed.
- Maintain adequate nutrition with a balanced feed program to help keep the lawn in tip top condition.
Greater plantain can be treated with a selective herbicide between April and September. One application is usually enough for complete control, as this weed is very susceptible to most weed killers.
Greater plantain images
Recommended herbicides for the control of greater plantain
Professional products (All operators must be trained and certificated in using and applying any Ministry Approved professional product)
- ICL Enforcer (2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p, MCPA)
- ICL Praxys (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, Florasulam)
- ICL Esteron (2,4-D, Furosulam)
- Barclay Holster (Fluroxypyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
- Headland Quickfire (Mecoprop-p, Dicamaba)
- Headland Cabadex (Flurosulam, Fluroxypyr)
- Hygrass-P (Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Hysward-P (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Bayer Longbow (MCPA, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Mascot Junction Turf (Flurosulam, 2,4-D)
- Mascot Greenor (Fluroxpyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Mascot Crossbar (Fluroxpyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores and do not require any training or certification for use and application.)
- Weedol Concentrate (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Vitax lawn Clear (Clopyralid, 2,4-D, MCPA)
- Resolva Lawn Weed Killer (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba)
Tips for successful weed control using selective herbicides
- Treat weeds when growth is strong, this is usually in May and June.
- Don’t mow the lawn 3 days prior and 3 days after the treatment, to allow for maximum uptake of the chemical.
- Spray when the leaf/foliage is dry, as this reduces runoff and allows the chemical to stick to the weed.