The Q&A Archives: getting rid of unwanted plants

Question: Is there any way I can get rid of wild violets without killing the rest of the flowers in my flower bed,I,ve tried pulling them out but they keep coming back

Answer: Getting rid of violets is no easy task. Established colonies of wild violets are very drought tolerant, due to fleshy underground stems called rhizomes that store water and allow the plants to survive dry conditions. The rhizomes also allow the plants to spread, forming colonies. These extensive perennial root systems are one reason the weeds can be so difficult to control. Hand digging, roots and all is one method; herbicide applications are another. Violets should be targeted for control in fall as they are preparing to go into winter. Plants take in herbicides most readily during this time. Very poor control is the usual result of attempts to control violets during the summer. There are several products available, including Round Up. Read the product labels carefully, making sure that violets are listed on the label, before buying any herbicide product. The waxy coating on violet leaves causes liquid herbicides to quickly run off the leaf after application, with little chemical being taken in by the plant. For this reason, herbicide applications targeted at violets should include a spreader-sticker. This product helps the chemical ?stick? on the weed leaves better, resulting in better herbicide absorption and thus giving better control. You will need to paint the product on the violets. Any overspray will harm the rest of your perennials. It's painstaking, but you should get good results. Best wishes with your landscape.

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