Science Into Practice - Safe herbicides for herbaceous perennials

Good weed control continues to be important for hardy ornamentals growers to ensure that quality is maintained and the required retail specifications are achieved.

 Herbicides remain the most cost-effective weed-control method, although some herbaceous plants are particularly susceptible to herbicide damage.

This HDC project has evaluated several herbicides for safety for use on a wide range of container-grown herbaceous subjects, as well as extending the range of species-specific phytotoxicity information for currently used herbicides.

Currently used herbicide Ronstar 2G proved to be one of the safest treatments, but caused severe scorch on a few species. Flexidor 125 also proved safe on a range of species, but with damage occurring to some in the form of stunting, sometimes with leaf yellowing and twisting. Dual Gold, which is not authorised for use in ornamentals, proved relatively safe. Where damage occurred, plants recovered in most cases.

The HDC is in the process of submitting an Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use for Dual Gold. Details on the phytotoxicity of all herbicides used in the project, which also included Springbok, Devrinol and Venzar Flowable, are available in the full HDC report.

Dates for your diary

HDC/NIAB Drilled Onion Produce Demonstration

Cambridge, 8 November

Protected Edibles Panel Meeting

Peterborough, 10 November

Protected Ornamentals Panel Meeting

Chichester, 10 November

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

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