The Q&A Archives: Horsetail in Flowerbeds

Question: Hippurus Vulgaris, (horsetail, marestail, horseweed) is taking over my flower beds. Please help!

Answer: Well, if you've got Hippurus vulgaris in your flower beds, they must be under water! I think you more likely have Equisetum arvense, field horsetail. But either way, these plants are evidence of problems with moisture management. Hippurus vulgaris grows in shallow pools and bogs, and E. arvense prefers sandy soils over a high water table. It sounds like you need to improve the drainage in the flower beds, either by creating raised beds, and/or ditching or installing tile to carry off the excess water. Incorporation of organic matter also inproves drainage, and if the soil is gravelly or sandy, it will discourage growth of the E. arvense. Hope this helps!

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