Snake plants... how to kill?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by General Landscaping, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I'm pasting this over from the landscaping section. Nobody has bitten yet.

    I have an estimate to do this week that includes removal of a large area of dense, mature snake plants.(one side of a 4-plex and 20' wide) There are also other patches about 10X20.
    Is there a better way to kill them off than hand pull and rake out the rhizomes?
    This area is bad enough to warrant rental of equipment if that what it will take.
    Further complicating matters is Brazilian pepper and another spreading weed similar to a hibiscus in the area.
    On top of that, there are large oak trees in the mix that need to be unharmed.
    The peppers and other weed are easy to cut off and kill; but from past experience, snake plants do not seem to respond to glyphosphate and would probably just come back up from the rhizomes......

    Is there a way to kill off the snake plants for good?
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Sorry I only know of Garlon 4 (Remedy) which will suppress Snake Plant but at a rate that will kill you oak tree. The chemicals in Garlon 4 will trans locate to other roots close by if you apply even a little more than the plant is able to hold. Any product that get into the ground can find it's way to the oak tree. Garlon 4 would have to be applied over a course of time to kill the snake plant.
  3. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    So as I read it, there is no way to kill the Snake Plant rhizomes without putting the oaks at risk.:( I'm looking for a quick kill, so I can get on with the project)
    The clean-up price tag is taking a sharp turn upwardpayup :cry:
    How is the snake plant able to withstand most chemical attacks?
  4. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I dug out most of the snake plant with a skid.
    Had to just stick the bucket in and haul off the top 6", dirt and all. These things are so dense, it is like a tangled mass of horizontal carrots. The skid had a hard time breaking things up.
    Now I'm up against the areas that are too close to the trees or in tight areas that still need to be dealt with.

    I've talked to one of the local guys that thinks a strong mix of glyphosphate + ammonium sulphate will get in and kill the plant off.
    I just want to run it by the knowledge pool here to see if anyone has an opinion on this approach.

    I'd be willing to spray, wait a few days, cut off the top half, spray again while the plant is "open", wait a few more days, cut 'em off at the ground, and spray again while they're open if that's what it will take.
    These things need to die and not come back----- ever.

    The manual labor it would take to hand dig the rest of them out would put this job way in the red.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    From past experience, glyphosate will not work.
  6. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I'm curious as to why it would not work, even when a stiff mix is sprayed onto a fresh cut:confused:
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Non Believer

    I am not a biochemist so the actual mode of action escape me. However I know certain plants are resistant to Glyphosate. Do a search for Glyphosate (Roundup in particular) labels. You will find Roundup ready corn, Roundup ready soybeans, Etc Etc. Man has changed the DNA of certain crops to resist the effects of Glyphosate. Nature has already done that job on many others.

    Because of some up tight people who didn't like My HISTORY of ROUNDUP the thread was deleted after they made comments about it and me. But the bottom line is Glyphosate was originally a mistake. The Chemist was trying to develop a growth regulator. Roundup or Glyphosate is still used as a growth regulator and for chemical mowing.
  8. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Is the Garlon 4 route something I could trust to a experienced PCO, or is it risky under any circumstances?

    I'm having trouble finding operators that care to venture out of the normal turf treatments.


    On to another approach..... From what I've been reading, the most common problem with snakeplants, in a houseplant setting, is over watering. It seems they are susceptible to root rot. The area I'm clearing is going to get sodded (most of it), so it will be getting water on a daily basis for a while. Any opinion on the chances of irrigation being able to control regrowth?


    Sorry to be persistent on a chemical way to kill these things, but I'm up against a serious trip into the red if the roots have to me manually removed.... I underestimated the density of the root system on this one:cry:
    I just wanted to make sure the ineffectiveness of glyphosphate was a chemical shortfall and not a delivery/absorption shortfall.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    General Persistence

    I believe you may of come up with your own answer. Sod will or should be mowed on a regular bases. By doing so, any Snake Plant that emerges will be cut off. After so many tries to survive it will give up the ghost and just die from lack of Carbohydrates to sustain it.
  10. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    :laugh: :laugh:

    I have some that's been mowed for 3 years.... still there and trying.
    The density of this stand will be noticeable growing in new turf.

    The landscaped beds will be around trees and other tight areas..... the same areas I'm facing manual removal.

    Dammmnnnn........ I'm scrrreeewwweeedd.

    I've been doing a lot of reading..... stuff like this just has me shaking my head.....:dizzy:
    Several weed species are serious pests in field-grown stock beds of sansevieria. The orientation of sansevieria leaves permits plenty of light to penetrate to the soil surface providing little light competition for weeds. At present there are no herbicides labeled for use on sansevieria beds which selectively kill established weeds without damaging the crop.
    taken from

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