By: Liz Baessler
Asiatic dayflower (Commelina communis) is a weed that’s been around for a while but is getting more attention as of late. This is, probably, because it’s so resistant to commercial herbicides. Where weed killers wipe out other pesky plants, dayflowers charge right ahead without any competition. So how can you go about controlling dayflowers? Keep reading to learn how to get rid of dayflower and how to go about dayflower weed control.
Controlling Dayflowers in the Landscape
Control of Asiatic dayflower is tricky for a number of reasons. For starters, these common dayflower weeds are resistant to many weed killers and can regrow easily from broken stems. It can also sneak up on you, looking like wide leafed grass when it first sprouts.
The seeds can remain viable for up to four and a half years, meaning even if you think you’ve eradicated a patch, the seeds can be stirred up and sprout years later. And to make matters worse, the seeds can germinate at any time of the year, which means new plants will continue to sprout even as you kill the more mature ones.
With all these obstacles, is there any hope for dayflower weed control?
How to Get Rid of Dayflower Weeds
It’s not easy, but there are some methods for controlling dayflowers. One reasonably effective thing to do is to pull the plants out by hand. Try to do this when the soil is moist and workable – if the soil is hard, the stems will simply break off from the roots and make room for new growth. Especially try to remove plants before they drop their seeds.
There are some herbicides that have been proven to be at least somewhat effective in controlling dayflowers. Cloransulam-methyl and sulfentrazone are two chemicals found in herbicides that have been found to work reasonably well when used together.
Another method that many gardeners have adopted is to simply accept the presence of Asiatic dayflower and appreciate the plant for its delicate blue blossoms. There are certainly worse looking weeds.
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We get it. Weeds are obnoxious and hard to eliminate. But with proper weed identification, you can stop them while they’re young . Use our guide to identify weeds by appearance and know how to remove them safely.
Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 12 inches tall, 6 – 16 inches wide
Where it grows: Lawns and gardens in sun or shade
Appearance: This common lawn weed has a strong taproot leaves are deeply notched. Yellow flowers mature to puffballs. Dandelion seeds are like parachutes that fly away in the wind—they’re the plants that you would blow on and “make a wish” when you were younger.
Lawn Weed Control Tip: Mulch to prevent dandelions in gardens. Pull dandelion weeds by hand or use a postemergence herbicide in lawns.
Plants→Commelina→Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis)
|Plant Habit:||Herb/Forb |
|Life cycle:||Annual |
|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun to Partial Shade |
|Water Preferences:||Mesic |
|Plant Height :||12-18 inches|
|Leaves:||Unusual foliage color |
|Fruit:||Edible to birds |
|Flower Color:||Blue |
|Flower Time:||Late spring or early summer |
Late summer or early fall
|Propagation: Other methods:||Cuttings: Stem |
Ever wonder what the most popular annuals appear to be? We have run a report of the most photographed and discussed annuals in our database!
The Asiatic Dayflower is native to most of East Asia and the Northern parts of Southeast Asia but has been introduced to other areas of the world. It is considered a noxious weed in many areas and has become common in disturbed sites, lawns and other areas of moist soil. The plant can be erect or spreading and has smooth, hairless stems. The flowers are borne from summer through fall on 1" to 2" stalks blooms have two large bright blue upper petals and one lower pale white petal.
a 'pretty weed' in my estimation.
Asiatic Dayflower Medicinal use: Tea relieves sore throat and cold symptoms. (from Pocket Tutor Guide - Waterford Press)
Low weeds can spread like crazy around your garden. Common short weeds you'll find in your backyard include chickweed, plantain, purslane, wild violet, knotweed, henbit, and prostrate spurge. To control them, get your hand underneath the foliage and feel around for where the stems come out of the ground. Use a trowel to dig under the roots of the weed and pull up. Be sure to clean up any leaves when digging up, too—the leaves themselves can further spread weed growth.
- Long S. Benghal Dayflower Quarantine. Clemson(SC): Clemson University Department of Plant Industry 2020 [accessed 2020 Oct 2]. https://www.clemson.edu/public/regulatory/plant-industry/plant-pest-regulations/state-plant-pest-information/pest-alerts/bdf.html.
- Plant Pests and Diseases. Federal Noxious Weed List. Washington (DC): United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 2020 [accessed 2020 Aug 26]. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/plant-pest-and-disease-programs.
- Faden RB. Commelina. In: Morin NR, editor. Flora of North America editorial committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America north of Mexico. New York and Oxford. 2000 Vol 22, p. 192–197.
- Commenlina benghalensis L. Plants Database. Washington (DC): United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation Service 2020 [accessed 2020 Sep 29]. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=COBE2.
- Bryson CT, DeFelice M. Weeds of the South. Athens (GA): University of Georgia Press 2009.
- Webster TM, Grey TL. Growth and reproduction of benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis) in response to drought stress. Weed Science. 200856:561–566.
- Maddox V, Byrd JD, Westbrooks R. Benghal dayflower [Commelina benghalensis (L.) Small]. Mississippi State (MS): Mississippi State University Geosystems Research Institute 2009. Row Crop Fact Sheet. http://www.gri.msstate.edu/research/invspec/factsheets/2P/Benghal_dayflower.pdf.
- Riar MK, Webster TM, Brecke BJ, Jordan DL, Burton MG, Telenko DP, Rufty TW. Benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis) seed viability in soil. Weed Science. 201260:589–592.
- Rogers NK, Buchanan GA, Johnson WC. Influence of row spacing on weed competition with cotton. Weed Science. 197624:410–413.
- Harder DB, Sprague CL, Renner KA. Effect of soybean row width and population on weeds, crop yield, and economic return. Weed Technology. 200721:744–752.
- Stephenson DO, Brecke BJ. Weed management in single- vs. twin-row cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Weed Technology. 201024:275–280.
- Webster TM, Grey TL, Flanders JT, Culpepper AS. Cotton planting date affects the critical period of Benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis) control. Weed Science. 200957:81–86.
- Sabila, MH, Grey TL, Webster TM, Vencill WK, Shilling DG. Evaluation of factors that influence Benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis) seed germination and emergence. Weed Science. 201260:75–80.
- Fernandez-Cornejo J, Wechsler SJ, Livingston M, Mitchell L. Genetically engineered crops in the United States. Washington (DC): United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service 2014 Feb. ER-162. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/45179/43668_err162.pdf.
- Culpepper AS, Flanders JT, York AC, Webster TM. Tropical spiderwort (Commelina benghalensis) control in glyphosate-resistant cotton. Weed Technology. 200418:432–436.
- Merchant RM, Sosnoskie LM, Culpepper AS, Steckel LE, York AC, Braxton B, Ford JC. Weed response to 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, and dicamba applied alone or with glufosinate. Journal of Cotton Science. 201317:212–218.
- Strongarm herbicide special local needs supplemental label for South Carolina. Indianapolis, IN: Corteva 2016. Corteva AgriScience Publication No. R044-010. http://www.cdms.net/ldat/ld3M2000.pdf.
- Webster, TM, Burton MG, Culpepper AS, Flanders JT, Grey TL, York AC. Tropical spiderwort (Commelina benghalensis L.) control and emergence patterns in preemergence herbicide systems. Journal of Cotton Science. 200610:68–75.
How to Kill Weeds With Vinegar
Last Updated: January 20, 2021 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014.
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Vinegar contains acetic acid and is an effective, and natural, weed killer. It is favored by many gardeners because it has less harmful effects that herbicides. You can use a pump sprayer to spray vinegar directly onto any weeds, carefully avoiding the plants you want to keep. For tougher weeds, you can buy stronger horticultural vinegar, add some dish soap, or add salt to your vinegar before you spray your weeds.
Repelling, Baiting, and Trapping Moles
The best bets for getting rid of moles are traps, but many people are reluctant to use them, both for humane and safety reasons. There are also poisons and mole repellents available.
The formula for commercial mole repellents, such as Mole-Med, is based on castor oil, while the active ingredient in Moletox, an example of a commercial mole poison (bait), is warfarin. When using mole repellents or mole poisons, you must water the area where you'll be applying them so that the repellent or poison will seep down through the soil. Water the area well both before and after applying the mole repellent or poison, following the manufacturer's instructions. Re-application may be necessary.
There are also traps designed specifically for killing the pests, and they go by scary names like:
You can also trap moles using a small live-trap, for catch-and-release removal. The problem with this method, however, is that you still have to get rid of the live critter after you've trapped it. In some states, animal relocation is actually prohibited.
Trapping in the early spring can get rid of pregnant female moles, effectively nipping in the bud what would be a greater problem later. Where you place the trap is critical to success. Place your mole trap near active feeding tunnels (that is, the shallower of the two types of tunnel described above):
- Using your hand or a trowel, flatten sections of the raised soil edges of the feeding tunnel.
- Mark these sections with something bright (perhaps some old ribbon that you can tie to a stick to make a little flag), so it will be easy to relocate them later.
- Check back within 12 to 24 hours, to inspect the ridges you've flattened. If the ridges of soil are pushed back up, you'll know that the mole regards this tunnel as an active tunnel.
- Cut out the turf over the active tunnel, and remove the soil right down to where the moles have beaten their path. This is where you'll place your trap. Moles don't see well, so they'll stumble right into the trap. While their vision is poor, however, moles are sensitive to touch. This means you can't leave any loose soil in the path leading up to the trap, or the moles will detect it and back off.
If you have pets or children who play in the yard, seek alternative (natural) methods for getting rid of moles, rather than using potentially dangerous poisons or killing traps. Mole-Med mole repellent is advertised as a safe alternative. When you consider the likelihood of needing to reapply it, however, this method of getting rid of moles could be expensive. Natural, cheaper alternatives for homeowners who do not mind experimenting a bit may be a better idea.