Sunday, May 4, 2008

Landscape - Mugwort Control in Landscape Beds

The following is information on the control of Mugwort, a problem weed in landscape beds.

Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), also know as wild chrysanthemum, is a perennial weed of landscape plantings that is difficult to control due to its ability to spread by underground rhizomes. It is in the Artemesia genus of the Aster family which contains numerous herb and ornamentals species. At a glance, leaves are similar to appearance as chrysanthemum. They are 2-4 inches long, 1-3 inches wide, simple, alternate, deeply lobed, and have a distinctive aroma. Leaf undersides are covered with soft, white to gray hairs. Mugwort has vigorous underground rhizomes and is commonly introduced as a weed with nursery stock.

Control with hand weeding requires removal of all the underground rhizomes, which is often difficult, if not impossible, in landscape beds. Spring application (directed) of non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup Pro and several others) will provide some suppression but not full control. Better results have been obtained with two applications of glyphosate applied several weeks apart in late summer and early fall. Dichlobenil (Casoron) granular herbicide, winter applied, has given good mugwort control in beds with woody plants such as junipers; however, Casoron is not labeled for all species and injury can occur on newly planted trees and shrubs. Research has also been done on the use of Lontrel (clopyralid) for mugwort control, but results have often been disappointing. One fit for Lontrel may be suppression of mugwort in ornamental grasses where it can be used as an over-the-top application

Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County

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