How to Kill Desert Broom Plants
Desert broom is an evergreen shrub that grows wild. Its botanical name is Baccharis sarothroides, and it is also known by the names broom baccharis. In Spanish, it is known as hierba del pasmo, which means "grass of amazement," although the only remarkable thing about this plant is its ability to take over land and choke out other plants. It is possible to kill desert broom if you find it in your lawn or property.
Pull the entire desert broom plant out of the ground, if the plant is small and young. Grip the plant at its base, near the soil line, and pull upward gently but firmly. The key is to remove the plant and all of its roots. If the roots rip in the process, the root pieces left in the ground will continue to grow and regenerate into new, more deeply-established plants.
Cut established, mature desert broom plants down to the soil line. Place the shrub in a garbage bag to prevent it from spreading seeds. Apply a broad-spectrum herbicide to the exposed wound of the desert broom's trunk stump. The herbicide penetrates the plant and kills it. Herbicides work best if they are used during the hot spring and summer months.
Treat desert broom plants that you happen to find during the fall and winter time differently. Cut the plant all the way to the soil line, the same way as those found during spring and summer, and dispose of the removed shrub. During the cooler months, however, do not apply herbicide. Wait until the temperatures warm up during the spring, and cut off any new growth back down to the soil line. Apply broad-spectrum herbicide to the fresh wound.
Kill Desert Broom
Choose a day in fall while the desert broom is still in active growth to apply the herbicide. Don protective clothing before beginning work. Wear a long-sleeve shirt, closed-toe shoes, latex gloves and eye protection. Fill a spray bottle with the herbicide, or pour it into a small bucket to paint it on with a paintbrush.
- Gardening shears
- Broad-spectrum herbicide (like Roundup)
- Anthem: Desert Broom
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: Baccharis sarothroides
- Fine Gardening: Baccharis Sarothroides
- Arizona Cooperative Extension: Cut Stump Application of Herbicides to Manage Woody Vegetation
- University of Arizona: Control of Woody Perennials
- Cochise County Master Gardeners: Desert Broom