Florida Betony - Knowledgebase Question

Tarpon Springs, Fl
Question by gpg41
March 2, 2011
I have a problem with a weed called Florida Betony. I have used Vigoro Southern Weed & Feed w/Atrazine, Ortho Southern Lawn Weed Killer and Roundup. Nothing seems to be able to control this weed. Do you have any suggestions? My property is 2.5 acres and my last attemp was to use the Ortho weed killer with a power sprayer.

Answer from NGA
March 2, 2011


Florida betony is a ?winter? perennial and, like most plants in the mint (Labiatae) family, has a square stem with opposite leaves. It is also called rattlesnake weed because it has the unique characteristic of producing tubers that look like the rattles (buttons) of a rattlesnake. Although you can kill the tops of the weeds with broadleaf weed killers, the tuberous roots can store lots of energy for resprouting so the key to complete control is killing the roots as well as the tops of the weeds. Timing is important when applying herbicides. An application in October and a second application in February with a product containing Atrazine should control betony. You might try using Ortho Weed B Gon Max for Southern Lawns or Spectracide Weed Stop for Southern Lawns if you haven't had much success with the Vigoro or Ortho Southern Weed Killer. These products contain both 2,4-D and dicamba which in combination can be lethal to betony. Maintaining a healthy turf will ensure your lawn grows lush and thick enough to help crowd out this perennial weed. If the herbicides do not completely control the betony, you may need to hand dig the roots of the established plants. Just keep at it and eventually you'll win the battle.

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