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How to Kill Buckhorn Plantain

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Buckhorn plantain (Plantago lanceolata) is a common broadleaf weed that spreads via abundant seeds. You can find buckhorn plantain weeds in all areas of a landscape, including lawn areas, landscape beds, gardens and pastures. Buckhorn plantain plants can be tough to kill, and few effective herbicides are available to eradicate the weed.

Pull out the buckhorn plantain weeds as soon as they appear. You can pull them by hand or dig the weeds up using a shovel if the plants are large. Removing the individual buckhorn plantain plants before they produce seeds can help keep the weed population at bay.

Apply a postemergent herbicide made for perennial plants that contains triclopyr or 2,4-D. Apply the herbicide directly to the buckhorn plantain plants in the fall, following the directions on the label carefully.

Apply a preemergent broadleaf herbicide like isoxaben to turfgrass areas where buckhorn plantain weeds have grown. Apply the preemergent herbicide in the off season when the weeds aren’t actively growing to kill the germinating seedlings and dormant weeds. Preemergents like isoxaben are effective only when they’re applied before the buckhorn plantain seeds germinate.

Mulch around ornamental plants and beds with landscape fabric to control buckhorn plantain growth in these areas. Cover the ground area around the landscape plants completely with a black plastic, polypropylene or polyester fabric. You can also use organic mulches, spreading them at a depth of 3 to 6 inches to block sunlight from reaching the soil.


If you have buckhorn plantain in open turfgrass areas, overseed the lawn following an herbicide application to help the grass choke out the weeds. Also keep your lawn properly watered, fertilized and mowed to improve the overall health of the grass and its ability to suppress buckhorn plantain weeds.

After applying a preemergent herbicide like isoxaben, hoe around the landscape plants to remove any buckhorn plantain seedlings that survive the treatment.


Always read and follow the instructions on the label when using herbicides or weed killers and other chemical products. Wear protective gloves and a face mask while you’re handling and applying the herbicides. Store any leftover portion of herbicide according to the directions on the packaging, and keep all garden or lawn chemicals out of the reach of children.

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