How to Kill Horse Nettle

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Horse nettle, which also goes by the formal name of Solanum carolinense, is a perennial weed that grows in tall, vertical stalks that can reach up to 4 feet tall. The stalk and leaves of the weed are covered with tiny thorns, and each stalk produces a white-colored, star-shaped flower in the spring. Because horse nettle weeds have deep taproots that regrow if left in the ground, killing them requires the use of herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide containing 2,4-D and triclopyr
  • Garden sprayer
  • Water (optional)
  • Plastic tarp (optional)

Open a bottle of herbicide that contains a combination of the ingredients 2,4-D and triclopyr. Read the bottle to determine how much you need for the amount of land you are treating and add it to the sprayer.

Dilute the herbicide with water if the bottle instructs you to do so.

Place the top on the garden sprayer and shake it to combine the mixture.

Spray the herbicide mixture onto all of the visible horse nettle weeds until the solution drips from the leaves and stems.

Wait for the amount of time indicated on the herbicide bottle, typically seven to 10 days, and examine the horse nettle for signs of green coloring. If any part of the weeds are still green, respray them with the herbicide.

Tips & Warnings

  • If some of the herbicide spray gets onto surrounding grasses, it will not damage them, but protect sensitive flowers and shrubs with plastic tarps before spraying the herbicide.
  • Complete eradication can be achieved with one application by using a herbicide continuing the ingredient glysophate. However, this herbicide also will kill any vegetation nearby.

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