How to Eradicate Mugwort With Glyphosate

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Mugwort, or Artemisia vulgaris, is an invasive perennial plant that is so similar in appearance to garden chrysanthemum that it is often referred to as chrysanthemum weed. But while mugwort leaves have whitish, wooly undersides, garden mums feature the same shade of green on both upper and lower leaf surfaces. Because mugwort reproduces by means of its rhizomes, or roots, it is difficult to control it by pulling it up. Glyphosate, a non-selective broadleaf herbicide, will kill mugwort, but you must apply it at the proper time and application rate. By learning when and how to apply glyphosate, you should be able to control the tenacious mugwort weed.

Things You'll Need

  • Glyphosphate herbicide (Roundup)
  • Handheld or backpack-type sprayer
  • Protective gloves and goggles
  • Fertilize and water the mugwort a few weeks before applying the glyphosate. Although it seems counter-productive to nourish something you are trying to eradicate, glyphosate--a postemergence systemic herbicide--kills weeds by traveling through the entire plant. Because healthy, thriving plants in full flower conduct the glyphosate more efficiently, they are more vulnerable.

  • Choose a clear, still day in late summer or early fall--one for which no rain has been forecast--to apply the glyphosate.

  • Spray a 1 1/2- to 2-percent solution of the glyphosate onto dry mugwort, making sure to cover every leaf. Make sure the mugwort has not been watered or rained upon for at least two hours beforehand. Use an application rate of 25 gallons of glyphosate solution per acre.

  • Mulch the area well with organic compost after the mugwort has died to help reduce the chances of it re-emerging.

  • Pull up any isolated weeds that reappear to prevent mugwort from staging a comeback.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and goggles when applying the glyphosphate to avoid getting it in your eyes or on your skin.
  • Read the label of your herbicide, and follow all directions exactly.
  • To avoid the glyphosate drifting onto desirable plants, avoid spraying it on a windy day.
  • According to the North Carolina State University Horticultural website, you should be very careful not to contact the foliage of conifer trees If you are using the new formulation of Roundup, called Roundup Pro. This new product is more toxic to trees.

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