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Broadleaf Plantain Weed Control

Plantains aren’t just a savory and sweet side dish you find at a caribbean themed restaurant. You could also find the weed version of plantains, like the broadleaf plantain, growing and making an unsightly blemish on lawns that are not well-maintained. 

While plantains can be dug out of soil as part of a treatment program to remove the weed from your yard, the task of carrying that out--especially if you have a sizable outbreak--can be cumbersome. The easier route to take is to treat the weed with herbicides, which we will explain how in our control guide below.

Broadleaf Plantain Background Information

Originally found in Europe, broadleaf plantain is a broadleaf perennial plant which can thrive in a variety of soil conditions such as; dry, wet, heavy soil, and low mowing height. The leaves vary in color between green or purplish and they normally look to be oval or egg shaped. Broadleaf plantain flowers from their base during the summer months and are typically found on turfs between June through September.

There are two primary types of plantain commonly found in lawns - Broadleaf (Plantago major), of course being one of them, and Buckhorn, or narrow-leaved, plantain (Plantago lanceolata). Both of these weeds are distinguished by their short, thick tap roots and leaves which grow in a rosette. Plantain have a preference of growing by full sun, however they can also grow in some shade.

Broadleaf plantain has dark green, egg-shaped leaves that grow low to the ground while buckhorn are narrow and lance-shapes.. The leaves are usually smooth with wavy edges, between 3 to 7 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide, and have between 3 and 5 defined parallel veins. The flowers of the plantain plant are produced on long narrow spikes, and a healthy plant can produce up to 14,000 seeds annually. The seeds can remain viable in the soil for 60+ years. Broadleaf plantain thrives in compacted soil with heavy traffic. In contrast, buckhorn plaintain cannot withstand heavy traffic and have bullet-shaped flowers which form in tight clusters at the end of long stalks.

For more information on controlling broadleaf plantain on your lawn and to get personalized advice and a plan of action from experts, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

Broadleaf Plantains Are Not All Bad!

It’s interesting to note that while broadleaf plantain may be an unwanted weed on turfs and lawns, the plant itself derives many benefits. Older leaves have been known to use as a mouthwash to treat sores and toothaches when boiled in hot water. The plant has also been known to treat sores, blisters, insect bites, and other external injuries when breaking the leaves apart and rubbing them against the skin.. With the growing trend of natural herbal remedies, many medical products to treat upper respiratory tract infections and other ailments have plantain as part of their ingredients.

Controlling Broadleaf Plantains

Recommended Pre-emergent:


Broadleaf Plantain Tips and Recommendations

If you have broadleaf plantains growing on your soil, that’s usually an indicator that the soil has been compacted in that area. Broadleaf plantains usually begin sprouting in tree lawns and areas that experience a lot of foot traffic, like athletic fields, since constant traffic can compact the soil.

Before using an herbicide we suggest aerating the lawn to reduce the compaction of the soil or use liquid aeration to help loosen the soil and make things more favorable for the grass to grow so the plantain won’t be able to compete.

To get rid of the existing plantain, if you only have a small amount, we suggest pulling out those by hand, however if there is a large outbreak, a herbicide would make the job a lot more faster and convenient.

  • For post-emergent control, we highly recommend using a reduced risk selective herbicide like SpeedZone, which targets broadleaf weeds like plantain without harming your lawn.

  • If the broadleaf plantain is already mature, another option to use would be a glyphosate-based herbicide. Since glyphosate in non-selective, spot treat only the plantain, making sure it doesn’t contact other vegetation.

  • A pre-emergent herbicide can be applied in early spring before the broadleaf plantain seeds germinate. We recommend using an isoxaben-based, pre-emergent herbicide to treat broadleaf plantain in particular.

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