The process involved on how to kill cactus is entirely different than most removal methods. Obviously, this plant has spikes so being extra careful must bear in mind. Nevertheless, removing cactus to ensure the plants you want to keep and maintain the beauty of your garden is not a problem. Let’s learn some ways on how to effectively get rid of cactus.
There are about 2,500 species of cactus. The thought that this kind of plant survives only in deserted areas is not true. They can grow right in your backyard. If it does, this can become a problem to gardeners who don’t intend to have any cacti. It also brings peril to your young kids and pets. Getting hit by it spines can be tolerable to excruciating, but can also cause infection if not treated immediately or properly. Hence, learning how to kill cactus and getting rid of it is a must.
There are different ways regarding how to kill cactus, of course. But, like in dealing with other unwanted plants or weeds, consider the size of the cacti and determine its type to be able to find the right method.
Getting rid of cactus is achieved by one of the two options. The first option, which is the most common and safest, is to use an excellent herbicide product. The other method is manual removal. You have to choose but that depends on the size or number of cactus to eliminate out of the view.
Some of the things you may need in order to completely remove cactus must be gathered beforehand. If you go for chemical eradication, a herbicide product and spray bottle are required. Take note, many herbicides come in spray bottle these days so better choose than one. For manual removal, shovel, chainsaw, axe, tweezers, garden gloves and shears are needed. A few of those can be also a good help when using a herbicide.
It is optional to wear thick clothes and mask. But to ensure you don’t get pricked, choose a more appropriate outfit when you schedule a day to get rid of cactus.
1. Herbicide Application
The most recommended strategy on how to kill cactus is to apply some herbicide. It is a very convenient way to control unwanted weeds like cactus.
First of all, you need to choose a good brand. Compare and check the ingredients. It must be a herbicide product that contains picloram as this can kill cactus by 76% to 100%.
When mixing, better follow the instructions on the label. You must use the right amount of water to have the best concentration. It may also need some non-ionic surfactant or liquid dishwashing soap. Again, you need to consult the recommended amount based on the label.
Before you start spraying, it’s strongly suggested to damage the cactus first. You can use a shovel or axe in this case. It is much easier to eradicate the plant using a herbicide if only a small part is affected. Plus, it can save some amount of herbicide.
Spray the mixed herbicide solution on all sides of the cactus, particularly the stems and pads.
Here is the list of the best herbicides for cactus:
This choice of herbicide is best used when dealing with cholla cactus. It is not a good option for prickly pear cactus though.
Another herbicide used regarding how to kill cactus is hexazinone. This is a much better choice because it is effective in most species of cactus. To ensure a successful removal, it must be sprayed at the base of the cacti in full strength. After spraying, water the area as this helps activate the power of this herbicide.
Like hexazinone, picloram is reliable in getting rid of most species of cactus, including prickly pears. But this is an excellent choice if applied to a single cactus rather than a broad area.
Whatever is needed, avoid spraying the solution close to the plants that you want to keep and protect. It may help if you cover some area or put a blockage like a fence before spraying to ensure they don’t absorb the chemicals.
2. Manual Removal
This other method on how to kill cactus is recommended if dealing with a small or baby cactus and only a couple of them. Also called as top-side removal, the process primarily involves the separation of pads and stems from the root system. You can use a shovel to dig up or a mower if it’s a small cactus.
The use of blades and chainsaw may be also a good idea but only if it’s a giant cactus. Burning is also an option but this can cause a terrible effect if uncontrolled properly. Other option is to overwater the cactus since it helps weaken the roots and eventually dry up and rot.