eradicate horsetail reed

Asked June 23, 2014, 7:21 AM EDT

Four or Five years ago we planted Horsetail Reed in our Pittsburgh garden. It has now spread, and threatens to overwhelm the garden. I've tried "Round up" and "Sedgehammer" to control it, with no success. Is there a herbicide that will eradicate this plant ? Best, Mark Perrott

Allegheny County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Horsetails grow from rhizomes, which are known for their spreading nature, container growth is recommended. They can also spread by spores and are considered invasive in some states. If you want to naturally control or eradicate the horsetails in your landscape, do not dig them out, because chipping or cutting at the rhizomes makes the situation worse. Rather, cut or prune them in a manner that fits your situation. You can also cut and enjoy horsetail reeds in floral arrangements, if desired.
Examine your horsetail reeds throughout the year to watch for cone formation at the tops. At this time, remove the cone tops from the plants with a pair of pruning shears to reduce the likelihood of your plants spreading by spores. Discard the tops in sealed plastic bags.
Cut horsetail reeds back to the ground within two weeks of growth to remove a patch from your landscape. Do this consistently for the next three or four years to deplete the rhizomes of all their energy.