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How to Kill an Ice Plant

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis), also known as freeway iceplant, is an invasive pest in several areas of the United States, most especially California. It was widely planted by municipalities as a fire retardant because of its high moisture content. Ice plant spreads, however, and can quickly take over surrounding open space areas, crowding out native species. Ice plant has shallow roots and is easily removed by hand. For large infestations, the use of herbicide is recommended. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves and a mask when mixing and using the herbicide.

Pull out small clumps of ice plant by hand. This may prove difficult because all of the underground stems have to be removed in order to kill the plant and prevent regrowth. Leave the ice plant in a pile to dry for several months.

Choose a windless day on which to spray the herbicide. Cover all nearby landscape plants with tarps.

Mix the herbicide in the tank sprayer according to package directions.

Spray the ice plant with the herbicide until it is dripping. It may take up to three weeks for the ice plant to turn yellow, then brown and die.

Repeat the application if new ice plant sprouts.


Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Broad-spectrum herbicide containing 2 percent glyphosate
  • Tank sprayer

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.