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How to Control Woolly Croton

Woolly croton is an annual invasive weed growing 12 to 36 inches in height. Native to the United States, it can quickly overpower shorter plants in the region. This plant is easily identifiable with a unique aroma and dense hairs on the stems and leaves. This gives the plant a grayish tint. This plant tends to grow in overgrazed pastures and disturbed areas next to riverbeds and roads. In order to control this plant properly, you must know what measures will work.

Time your control properly. Watch as the broadleaf woolly croton sprouts out of the ground in early spring. When it reach 2 inches tall you should start your control methods.

Apply an herbicide containing dicamba at this time. Follow the application and safety directions on the package, as each brand will differ. According to Texas A&M University, an application at this stage will eliminate 93 percent of the woolly croton.

Wait until the remaining woolly croton flowers later in the summer. Cut the tops off the plant and collect them in a trash bag. You must complete this before the flower heads go to seed.

Till the plants under as soon as your other grasses or crops are done growing. This will kill the shallow root system.

Repeat this process again the following year. The seeds can stay dormant in the soil for a long time. You must repeat the process until all these seeds are gone in order to control the plant completely.

Trim A Croton

The bright, multi-colored, striped leaves of croton (Codiaeum variegatum) provide year-round color, unlike flowering plants that might only produce flowers for a few weeks or months each year. This native Indonesian plant thrives outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9B through 11, but it is widely grown as a houseplant in colder climates. Croton only needs to be trimmed to maintain a compact shape and remove unhealthy foliage. Wash and disinfect bypass pruners and lopping shears in a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 9 parts water. Smaller, container-grown crotons only require bypass pruners, but larger plants with branches 1 1/2 inches in diameter require lopping shears. Cut all dead leaves and branches back to the point of origin on the parent branch or to the main stem.


Do not ingest any of the woolly croton and make sure to wash your hands well after touching this plant. It is poisonous for both humans and animals.

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