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Tips 'n’ tricks to control pest plants

Tips 'n’ tricks to control pest plants

Updated 9 August 2019 12:27pm

Be a weedbuster!

By controlling weeds  managing, removing or containing them  you can protect native plants, animals and ecosystems.

Weedbusters offer advice and support for everyone to help protect New Zealand's environment from the increasing weed problem.

Cutting through blackberry to release a native tree covered in Old man’s beard.

How to get them out

  • Research first  find out about the weeds you’re dealing with first and ask for expert help.
  • Start small  avoid creating large cleared areas which can allow new and different weeds to establish.
  • Work in stages  tackle outlying weed patches first to slow the rate of weed spread before starting on the worst areas.
  • Keep safe  if using herbicides, contact a local Weedbusters group for advice.
  • Good timing  destroy weeds before they fruit or seed to prevent a new generation of weeds
  • Don’t spread them  when shifting dead weeds take care not to spread any seeds or fragments around that could grow again.
  • Smart disposal  decide on the best disposal method to use before you start, particularly if working in a large area

How to keep them out

Taking out weeds will often open up the area for other weeds to grow. Here’s how to avoid replacing one problem with another:

Pest plant - Tradescantia (wandering willie) - Weedbusters

Plant me instead - Tōtera (creeping fuchsia)

  • Help native seedlings  provide shelter and control pest animals
  • Mulch – this discourages weeds and helps good plants grow
  • Regular attention – ongoing control of weeds keeps maintenance at a manageable level. Use selective herbicides so non-weedy plants survive and follow the directions closely.

The best follow-up method can depend on the environment you are working in. Contact Department of Conservation or local Weedbuster group if you need further advice.

More information

  • Weedbusters – information on pest plants in New Zealand
  • Agpest  a free online tool to assist farmers and agricultural professionals with pest and weed management decision making