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Acanthus mollis — Bear's breeches

HELP! How can we get rid of Acanthus mollis (Bear's breeches)? We have dug, dug and sprayed with several weedkillers, but still it comes up where we don't want it!


BEAR'S Breeches are great for dramatic foliage in a large garden, but they can become a nuisance. They are very hard to kill off and continuous spraying is required. You may find that you have to cut all the foliage off and then spray the new tender growth that appears.

You could try Yates Amitrole or Woody Weedkiller. Add these to Yates Sprayfix to help the chemicals adhere to the leaves. If you are able to, try cutting the base of the plant and pour Amitrole down the cuts into the base or roots of the plant. Be very careful if you try this, as you don't want any chemicals to get in to the soil water table. The chemical stays in the soil for up to four weeks and you must be careful that other desirable plants aren't affected. This may take you a couple of seasons to get rid of, but I am sure that you will succeed.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 108, 2002, Page 22

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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