how to get rid of horsetail (or running bamboo)

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by Rochana, May 2, 2012.

  1. Rochana

    Rochana New Seed

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am writing on behalf of my wife who has no time to do so; she spends all her available time weeding horsetail/bamboo(are these two plants similar or are they the same plant with two names?)from our patio.
    So, please, can someone tell me how to properly identify the plant and how to get rid of it.

    I found this website senrendipitously and figured that it would be the best source of information for all things of the garden variety.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give.

    Sid Leonard
     



    Advertisement
  2. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    16,216
    Likes Received:
    2,291
    Location:
    North Texas, Zone 8a
    Running Bamboo is Phyllostachys Vivax --- But we do not have a photo of this one in our database as of yet.

    Common Horsetail is Equisetum arvense
    Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail, Common Horsetail) Click on the blue link to see photos.

    Not related at all. And I have found nothing that indicates they have the same common name. Could you post a photo of the plant your wife is slaving to exterminate ;)
     
  3. Rochana

    Rochana New Seed

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Toni for your prompt reply. I can't post a picture,but I am confident that our plant is horsetail. Any ideas re: how to get rid of it; its rhizomes have invaded out patio with plants popping up everywhere.
    Thanks. Sid Leonard
     
  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    6,069
    Likes Received:
    2,701
    Location:
    Central Texas, zone 8
    Dig out the roots, when possible, and when not possible apply the strongest herbicide you can get. I don't usually recommend herbicides but in the case of horsetail (which I would not wish on my worst enemy) I think it is justified.
     
  5. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,628
    Likes Received:
    3,014
    Location:
    S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
    Does your horsetail look like this? Which is called Horsetail Rush - Equisetum Heymale


    [​IMG]
    Horsetail Rush - Equisetum Heymale ( photo / image / picture from cherylad's Garden )


    They get about 2-3 foot tall and spread like crazy?
    If this is your plant... I honestly don't think you'll ever get rid of it.
    I'd just advise digging it out whenever you see one.... and maybe one year you will get it all.
    :'(
     
  6. Rochana

    Rochana New Seed

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, Cheryl. Yes, that is a picture of what we are dealing with. I just shared your advice with my wife who is now resigned to doing what you advised. We really appreaciate haveing someone of your expertise to draw upon (we are definitely green novices). Sid Leonard
     
  7. lukeypukey

    lukeypukey In Flower

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    222
    Location:
    grimsby uk
    a freind once told me to use a mixture of glyphosate and parrafin for equisitum arvense. . . . and also to stand on or crush the horsetail slightly before spraying it . . . not too sure if yours is as persistant as the arvense though :-D :-D either way, best of luck getting rid of this nightmare weed :-D
     
  8. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Strong Ash

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    9,767
    Likes Received:
    1,659
    Location:
    West - Friesland
    It seems that you have the Horse Tail plant. That is an awful thing to have to deal with.

    There are places on our allotment complex where this weed exists. One of my plots has it, in fact. It is an annual headache to thoroughly dig as much of the roots up as possible where they stick their heads above ground.

    I do not use poisons, but in the lottie two plots up from me has a "bad case" of this infestation. When the plot was abandoned last year, the work crew sprayed the plants with a poison mixture and then turned the soil to expose the roots in the hopes that this heavy-handed approach would once and for all rid this plot of the weed. it is spring and yesterday when I was leaning on my schoffel handle and looking over at that plot, I saw hundreds of the green points standing tall, as if nothing had happened at all.

    I believe that using chemicals on this nasty weed is pointless because of how it works--it is taken up by the plant and the sprig that was sprayed may indeed die, but the stem goes very deep to a "main root". The main root is not effected, and goes merrily on its way, sending up more new sprigs.

    It should be recognized that the treatment of this plant must not be done with "eradication" in mind, but rather, "containment".

    ***I think that the one MOST important thing to note when combatting the Horse Tail, is to look for and be aware of the "spore sprigs", as I will call them. These are usually a slightly different colour than the usual green sprigs sent up from deep the roots.
    This brownish-gray stem has a small "cone" on top that is loaded with thousands of spores.

    A spore sprig:
    [​IMG]

    The greatest of care must be taken to remove these stems before you begin rooting out the rest of the plant, because it represents a "re-seeding" potential in one's garden (as well as the neighbour's).

    Take a paper bag, and a sharp instrument. Grasp the stem and clip it and immediately place it in the paper bag, moving and shaking it as little as possible.
    These spore stems should be thoroughly destroyed--by fire, for instance, bag and all.

    Additionally, I immediately dig up every sprig that I see during the course of the summer to keep the beast at bay (this is a part of the combatting program that I have set for myself).

    I have a friend who has a shop that sells stones and fossils. He has a slab of rock that has these plants fossilized and he tells me that the fossils were dated to be more than a million years old. Thus, one can gather from this that the weed is a surviver and so will not be easily removed from your property.

    To re-cap: The way that I deal with this is:
    (1) remove and destroy all spore sprigs

    (2) remove the mass of horst tail plants manually, taking as much root as possible.

    (3) do spot removals of incidental plants that rise up through the growing season.

    Good luck with this, mate.
     
  9. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,628
    Likes Received:
    3,014
    Location:
    S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
    My aunt had some growing and I really liked the way they looked. So... without doing any research.... I dug up a clump and planted it. I still like the way it looks, but should have just kept it in a container.
    I've resigned to the fact that I'll never get rid of them... so I just pulled a bunch here and there to keep them down.
     
  10. Coppice

    Coppice In Flower

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    SE-OH USAian
    I have to concur, hosetail ferm is probably not erradicable (sp?).

    You might reduce it by digging. but its like freckles. Once ya got 'em, you got 'em.
     
  11. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Strong Ash

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    9,767
    Likes Received:
    1,659
    Location:
    West - Friesland
    This bane has been on my mind quite a lot lately because spore pod harvesting time has just begun here.
    As I make the various beds ready for planting-out my crop plantlets, I remove the plants that I come across, but it has not yet become warm enough for the majority to come up.

    I was a bit disappointed when I took over the second lottie because I got it in januari and at that time there was nothing above ground, so I thought--"Ahh, a nice, clean lottie delivered to me just as it is supposed to be". How wrong I was.
    The commission that controls the giving out of lottie plots and the making sure that they are delivered clean to the new allotment holder ran over the ground with a frazer.I do not know the english word for this machine, but it sort of grinds the upper foot or so of soil to a fine tilth.

    This was not good at all, because the invisible underlying horse tail was ground up into thousands of short pieces.

    Why was this such a drama? Well, the nature of this plant is such that every broken-off piece of root will become a new plant.....so you can see what I was up against, right?
    It is another aspect of this weed to consider, and is precisely why one must be so meticulously thorough and careful when removing it. One can only do their best, and there will always be some left over....so keeping the left-overs to the barest of minimums is the goal when combatting horse tail.

    But at any rate, once the thousands of new little plantlets sprung up in the spring, my partner and I had to literally go on our hands and knees to remove as much as we could. It took four days initially, then we did it again about three months later. We had to repeat this the following year and now it is co "contained" that there are only a few plants left in the spring that have to be removed, and now the job is finished in less than thirty minutes....plus the "keeping up extractions" during the growing season of course.

    I guess that all this waffling is just to show what you are up against when it comes to dealing with this persistent weed. The attention points noted above in my first posting on this thread as well as this one must not be over-looked, if you are to have any measureable degree of success dealing with this plant.