Shining geranium

Asked August 31, 2018, 9:16 AM EDT

I have shining geranium in a 5 Acre wooded horse pasture. It is covering approximately 1/4- 1/3 of the pasture. How do you recommend getting rid of it? My neighbor has honey bees and is concerned about chemical impact on the bees. Thank you!

Yamhill County Oregon

1 Response

As you have noticed, it is aggressive and can quickly take over an area.
This species is a winter annual which means plants emerge in fall and grow throughout the spring. You'll want to get a jump on this now, ideally before flowers set seed, because seed shed - although entertaining with it's forceful ejection mechanism! - greatly worsens the problem.

Manual pulling is one strategy - start at the edges of the infestation and work your way in. Grab near to the base of the plant and pull straight. Mowing or tilling is not recommended.

You can try to broadcast a desirable grass or legume this fall to outcompete the weed.

If chemical control is needed, one possibility is Escort XP (metsulfuron), another is triclopyr, both are registered for use in small pastures to control broadleaf weeds. The addition of a surfactant will help efficacy of the herbicides.

Spraying at sundown is a good tactic to reduce bee exposure.

I highly recommend consulting section W.1 of the PNW weed management handbook, it is written by a much better expert on the topic than myself, and has some very helpful tips. Here is a link to that document:

Good luck and thanks for using Ask-an-Expert,