Pokeweed Control

Pokeweed Control

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Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
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Keith's Pro Tips

"It's important to get good coverage when spraying Pokeweed for best results. You can improve the level of control by mixing 2,4-D with a surfactant like Nanotek Surfactant."

Pokeweed Control: How To Get Rid of Pokeweed

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of Pokeweed grass from your yard using the products and methods suggested by our experienced lawn care specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee you will have a lawn free of Poke Weed.

A tough weed that can appear on nurseries, home gardens, fields and pastures is Pokeweed. A shrub known to bear clusters of berries that resemble grapes, Pokeweed is a toxic plant that is known to be a hazard to livestock and can be a concern if you have curious pets and children that may pick the plant's fruit.

Pokeweed is able to spread by seed which either falls off the plant or is picked up and moved around by birds. Just one Pokeweed plant can produce 50,000 seeds during its lifespan and the seeds themselves can remain viable for nearly 40 years. This means that Pokeweed can create quite an infestation if there is no intervention to control its presence.

If your property is encountering an outbreak of problematic Pokeweed, our step-by-step DIY treatment guide will show you exactly how to get rid of Pokeweed quickly and save money doing it with the help of our professional-grade herbicides.

Identification

Pokeweed Berries

Before you can proceed with a control program for Pokeweed, you need to be sure it is the weed you are dealing with. Careless identification can lead to using the wrong treatment methods, costing you time and money. Here are some defining characteristics of what Pokeweed looks like so you can correctly identify the weed:

  • Pokeweed, also known as common Pokeweed, is a large shrub that can grow between 2 to 9 feet in height. They are known to have large leaves and produce dark-colored berries when ripe.
  • When mature, Pokeweed grows in a pattern where the stems come up and then it leans or arches over in droopy fashion.
  • The most distinguishing feature of Pokeweed is its berries. In its early stages, berries are green and inconspicuous but as time passes and they ripen to a dark purple or nearly black. The berries contain a lot of red juice. Pokeweed also grows flowers in clusters that hang from branches that are white or magenta colored.
  • Pokeweed is also called pokeberry, inkberry or poke. It is an herb plant that contains purple berries and has a strong odor. The extract of the berry is used to color wine and other items as well. The roots of the stalks and leaves of the plants are poisonous. The color can be used to dye clothes and for candy to get a purple color.
  • Pokeberry is usually found in North America, Pacific Northwest and southeastern united states and is used as a laxative and vomiting agent. It grows in wet sandy areas and the young shoots of the plant are edible.

Use the image and description above to properly identify Pokeweed on your landscape. If you are not totally sure, contact us and we will do our best to help you with correct identification.

Inspection

Pokeweed

After you have properly identified that you are dealing with Pokeweed, proceed with an inspection. During this phase, you will locate where Pokeweed is growing on your property and also observe the conditions of the area that are allowing Pokeweed to thrive.

Where to Inspect

Conduct a thorough inspection of your landscape to see where the Pokeweed is growing. Pokeweed can grow in a variety of different environments but are most common in woodlands and disturbed areas such as roadsides, ornamental landscapes, agricultural fields, and even urban areas.

What to Look For

You should be looking for where Pokeweed is established and growing. They will look like shrubs or small-sized trees. Their leaves are large and green with red or green stems that turn purple as they mature. The stems also are not woody and are more herbaceous. Look also for their seed heads or berry clusters that droop forward.

Treatment

Please be sure that when handling any type of herbicide, you are properly protecting your skin and eyes with safety equipment. Goggles, gloves and long sleeved clothing are a must. Pokeweed grows rapidly in mid to late summer so Spring is the best time to get control.

While there are several herbicides that work well against Pokeweed, our top recommendation for control is 2,4-D because of its selective and systemic means of control and ease of use.

Step 1- Measure and Mix 2,4-D Amine

Mixing 2,4-D Amine

Begin by calculating the square footage (length x width = square footage) of the treatment area to determine how much 2,4-D Amine you will need. For turf applications, 2,4-D Amine should be mixed at a rate of 2 to 3.16 pints per acre.

For small applications with a hand sprayer, this breaks down to 0.72 to 1.1 fl. oz. per 1,000 square feet. Mixing 2 4-D with a surfactant like Nanotek Surfactant will help the product to stick better to the weed and make the herbicide work more effectively.

For example, if you have a 2,000 sq. ft. area to treat, you will need to mix 1.44 to 2.2 fl. oz. in at least 2 gallons of water. Once you have made your measurements and calculated how much 2,4-D you need, mix the product and surfactant with the appropriate amount of water in a handheld or backpack sprayer. Shake the sprayer to ensure the solution is well-mixed and then you're ready to spray.

Step 2 - Apply 2,4-D Amine To The Pokeweed

Spraying 2,4-D on Pokeweed

Use a sprayer on a fan nozzle setting for even coating of the herbicide on the Pokeweed. Spray the weeds to wet but just before the point of runoff. The best time to apply the 2,4-D is on warmer days when the temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees F.

Because Pokeweed is so stubborn, you may need to do repeated applications until you no longer see any more Pokeweed. Check back weekly and spot treat as necessary.

Prevention

Pull weeds

You will have to be cautious and keep a watchful eye for Pokeweed to make sure it does not grow back. Here are some preventative measures to take to make sure Pokeweed doesn't return.

  • As soon as the Pokeweed reemerges or sprouts you must pull them out from its roots. Use a shovel to loosen soil and pull out more remains of the Pokeweed. Rake all the remains of the Pokeweed and let them dry out under the sun.
  • Persistence is extremely important for getting rid of the Pokeweed. Pull out each and every flesh or ball of root from the soil. Dig up a circle around the plant that has been pulled out and then shuffle the soil to rake all the remains of the Pokeweed. Lastly, make sure to dispose of them properly after it has been sundried.

Key Takeaways

What is Pokeweed?

  • Pokeweed is a herbaceous plant that invades landscapes and pastures and is known for its toxicity and dark purple berries.

How to Get Rid of Pokeweed

  • If Pokeweed has appeared on your landscape, we recommend a post-emergent spot treatment with 2,4-D Amine Herbicide.

Preventing Pokeweed Reinfestation

  • We recommend regular monitoring of your land and hand-pulling Pokeweed early to prevent a reinvasion of the plant.
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