Guide to Buckhorn Plantain Identification & Control

Buckhorn plantain weed

Type of Weed: Broadleaf

Digitaria sanguinalis

Plantago lanceolata

Buckhorn Plantain is a perennial broadleaf weed that grows across the United States. This fast-spreading weed has deep roots and is commonly found in low-traffic areas of lawns, pastures, and roadsides.

Buckhorn plantain reproduces by seed from April through October and tolerates low mowing heights, compacted soils, and drought conditions, making it an ideal weed for Texas lawns. 

How to Identify

Buckhorn plantains have a fibrous root system that produces a short, tough, woody stem. Its narrow leaves are green, lanceolate shaped, and arranged in a whorl or basal rosette.

Leaves have parallel, prominent veins growing up to ten inches long and up to two inches wide. The first set of leaves may be slightly hairy on the outer edge, while the later leaves are sparsely hairy.

Leaves can be slightly toothed and are often curled. When buckhorn plantain matures it can form multiple rosettes that originate from the same crown. Buckhorn plantain produces very small white flowers branching off from a dense, cone-shaped seedhead at the top of a leafless, hairy stem.

These flowers bloom from June throughout September.

Control Methods

To remove buckhorn plantain from your lawn or garden, hand pulling is an effective method. Younger weeds will be easier to get rid of over fully mature weeds.

Since buckhorn plantain reproduces by seed, it is imperative to dig it up prior to the plant going to seed, ensuring you pull up the entire crown, as multiple plants can grow from one crown.

For chemical control, the use of a selective broadleaf post emergent herbicide during the growing season can deter growth, and will be most effective when the buckhorn plantain hasn’t fully matured.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent buckhorn plantain from invading your lawn is to ensure it’s dense and healthy. This is done by mowing your lawns grass at its proper height, combined with routine aeration and fertilization, along with proper irrigation.

For an added security measure, using selective herbicides throughout the year will aid in deterring buckhorn plantain from growing. Doing so by using a selective broadleaf post-emergent herbicide in the fall, prior to the first frost, and a selective broadleaf pre-emergent herbicide in the spring to early summer.

If you continue to struggle with buckhorn plantain, our team of technicians are experts when it comes to broadleaf weeds, and can help get your lawn back to its proper health.
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