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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - August 29, 2006

From: Salem, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Disposal of bulbs to control Arrowhead aquatic plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How can I kill Arrowhead permanently? I have sprayed repeated years with Roundup, Crossbow, etc., but the arrowhead comes back from the bulb the next year!

ANSWER:

Short of importing flocks of ducks to eat the "potatoes", the most effective way to control arrowhead (Sagittaria sp.) is dig up and dispose of the bulbs along with the plants. Depending on how large your lake or pond is, you might consider removal by machine. Chapter 5—Aquatic Plant Management Techniques—in Aquatic Plant Management In Lakes and Reservoirs (prepared by the North American Lake Management Society and the Aquatic Plant Management Society) describes mechanical removal and other control methods for problem aquatic plants. Since arrowhead must be rooted in relatively shallow waters another solution is to eliminate the shallow water areas by mechanically increasing the depth at the edges of your pond. There are also dyes that you can add to the water to decrease available sunlight to plants growing in the water, thus limiting their growth.

 

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