The best weed killer for horsetail is Southern Ag Crossbow Weed & Brush Killer.
This powerful product combines the most effective chemical herbicides for killing horsetail. It kills to the root to prevent the plant from regrowing. And it’s selective, so it’s safe to use on your lawn when used correctly.
I’ve researched over 20 of the most popular brands. These are my top choices:
Best Overall – Southern Ag Crossbow Weed & Brush Killer
Runner Up – RoundUp Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer
Most Environmentally Friendly – Natria Grass & Weed Control
Safest For lawns – Sedgehammer
Best Horsetail Weed Killer In The UK – Neudorff WeedFree Plus
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The Best Weed Killer For Horsetail
These are the best weed killers for horsetail available on the market. But, although they all kill horsetail, you’ll still have to be patient when using them.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a resilient weed with an extensive root system. And it’s well known for its ability to survive. So it may take several weeks — and sometimes more than one application — to get the job done.
Southern Ag Crossbow Weed & Brush Killer
Crossbow contains the active ingredients 2,4-D and Triclopyr, a combination that’s well suited to killing stubborn weeds like horsetail.
What makes this weed so difficult to eradicate?
Horsetail has a deep root system that extends up to 5 feet in depth and 20 ft. in diameter. This makes it very difficult to get rid of, because all of the roots and rhizomes must be killed to prevent it growing back.
2,4-D and Triclopyr are the best weed killer ingredients for the job. Many other herbicides only kill the top part of the plant and fail to adequately destroy the root system.
You can also use it on your lawn, as long as you’re sensible with its use, as it won’t harm your grass.
RoundUp Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer
RoundUp have built up a solid reputation over the years with their range of effective weed killer products.
This one is specially formulated for killing some of the toughest weeds and brush, including horsetail.
It contains the active ingredients glyphosate, triclopyr, and triethylamine salt. And comes as a concentrate that you dilute before using in your favourite sprayer for weed control.
Glyphosate is a common herbicide that’s found in many non-selective weed killers. But on its own, it’s not as effective against horsetail. But when combined with the other ingredients, this product will kill horsetail to its roots and prevent regrowth.
As this horsetail weed killer contains a non-selective herbicide it’s not suitable for using on your grass as it will kill that as well. And you also need to be careful using it near desirable plants, wiping it off quickly if you accidentally spray them.
The product dries quickly. And it’s rainproof after just 30 minutes. This makes it easy to use on days when the weather is unpredictable.
Natria Grass & Weed Control
This weed and grass killer is a popular choice with people who want to avoid the more toxic chemicals that many brands contain.
It’s a ready-to-use product. So you don’t have to mess around with mixing it from concentrate. Instead, you can get straight to work. Make sure the horsetail plant is well soaked and it can kill the weed to the root.
This horsetail weed killer is suitable to use on hard surfaces such as patios, sidewalks, and driveways, as it’s non-staining. You can also use it in areas where you want to kill all vegetation. But you have to be careful when using it around your lawn or flower beds as it’s non-selective.
The main ingredients are:
- Ammonium soap of fatty acids — this works on contact with the plant
- Maleic hydrazide — this stops plant growth
The combination gives quick and powerful results as it contains both contact and systemic herbicides.
These herbicides are better for the environment than powerful chemicals such as glyphosate. Posing only minimal risk to animals, bacteria, and fungi. And breaking down rapidly in the soil.
It dries quickly. And it’s rain fast after 3 hours.
Sedgehammer contains halosulfuron-methyl as its main active ingredient. Which makes it a good choice for using on your lawn. Because while this chemical is effective at killing horsetail, it won’t harm your turfgrass.
Sedgehammer is most effective against young horsetail plants. So try to get them before they grow above 6 inches. For more mature horsetail plants it’s capable of suppressing growth. But it might not be able to completely kill them.
It works as a systemic weed killer that kills plants to the root. So you’ll have to wait for the full results. But within a week or two you should see a necrotic ring form around the base of the horsetail that will let you know that the weed killer is doing its job.
Neudorff WeedFree Plus Concentrated Weedkiller
This complete herbicide provides long lasting protection against weeds and grasses. And has a formula that can take care of difficult weeds like horsetail.
It contains natural pelargonium acid. This destroys plant cell walls causing them to dry out in the sun and killing the plant above ground. With results visible in an hour.
This horsetail weed killer also contains a growth regulator that prevents cell division and root growth to prevent more plants from sprouting.
For effective use against horsetail a couple of treatments 4-6 weeks apart are needed. Make sure that you soak the leaves of the plant.
It’s also not harmful for the environment. It’s biodegradable in the soil. And has minimal toxicity for important wildlife such as bees. But it’s harmful for aquatic organisms. So be careful using it around water.
Make sure you use this horsetail weed killer on a clear day for the best results. As the rain will wash the herbicide away.
This weed killer for horsetail is available in the UK.
Choosing The Best Horsetail Weed Killer
Not all weed killers are effective at killing horsetail. Even some very powerful and respected brands can’t get the job done.
In particular, weed killers that rely on glyphosate on its own sometimes struggle. Glyphosate is less effective against horsetail than other plants. But it can still be used successfully if you take further measures to prepare the plant to receive the weed killer.
Because horsetail has a waxy cuticle, crush and bruise the leaves of the plant before application. This makes it easier for systemic weed killers to gain access to the plant. And it will improve your results, regardless of the weed killer brand you chhose.
The herbicides that get the highest recommendations for killing horsetail are ones that contain active ingredients such as 2,4-D and triclopyr. This is the combination that’s found in Crossbow, my top recommended choice.
Other highly regarded ingredients include triethylamine salt and halosulfuron-methyl.
Make sure you choose a horsetail weed killer that contains a systemic herbicide. These kill plants to the root. This is essential. Why? Because horsetail continues to sprout from its extensive root system even after you kill the plant above ground.
Some horsetail weed killers also contain contact herbicides that quickly act on the part of the plant you spray. This is effective for killing the plant above ground and givng quick results. But a contact herbicide on its own won’t kill the roots.
However, repeated killing of the field horsetail plant above ground over a long period of time will eventually exhaust the roots and prevent further growth.