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How to Control Woolly Croton

By Sarah Morse ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Herbicide
  • Rototiller

Warning

  • 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.

About the Author

 

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.