Will Diesel Kill Prickly Pear Cactus

the CANYON As long as long-term planning is done, new products make managing cholla and prickly pear cactus profitable, according to a Texas Cooperative Extension specialist.

Grass growth replaces dried-out prickly pear cactus pads in the second year of a cactus-control research close to Canyon. (Kay Ledbetter/Texas Cooperative Extension)

A demonstration plot of rangeland southwest of Canyon is where J.F. Cadenhead, an Extension range specialist from Vernon, recently met with farmers about the second year of cactus control.

“According to Cadenhead, we sprayed this in the fall of 2005, and as time passes, the chemical continues to produce greater effects.

According to him, the scenario is an aerial test of the brand-new Dow chemical Surmount, which is a combination of Tordon 22K, the conventional herbicide recommended for controlling cactus, and Vista, a substance that was just labeled for use on rangeland.

In addition, a range of surfactants were tested to determine if any of them would have effects comparable to or superior to those of the conventional diesel oil-in-water carrier typically employed in cactus spraying, according to Cadenhead. When applying herbicides, surfactants, which resemble soap, help disperse the herbicide droplets across the target plant for improved coverage, penetration, and leaf uptake.

A methylated seed oil with an organosilicone addition was also examined in comparison to the common surfactants. According to study, this specific ingredient has a 20-fold increase in spreading power, he claimed.

The treatments involved applying four pints per acre as opposed to three pints per acre of Surmount, as well as applying non-ionic surfactant at a rate of two ounces per acre, eight ounces of crop oil concentrate per acre, and one to five ratios of diesel in water.

According to Texas Cooperative Extension range specialist J.F. Cadenhead, aerial spraying may not be able to control large cholla cacti, but it will slow down their growth. (Kay Ledbetter/Texas Cooperative Extension)

The outcomes, using Surmount’s four-pint rate per acre, were as follows:

Diesel-based treatment resulted in a 44 percent death rate for all prickly pear species. More than 50% of the plant pads in the remaining 50% were dead.

60 percent of the patients who received the crop oil concentrate treatment died, while another 37 percent showed more than half top kill.

A total of 46% of the cancer cells were killed by the non-ionic surfactant treatment, and an additional 39% were killed at the top.

A test of the usual suggested rate of Tordon 22K at a rate of two pints per acre with all three of the surfactants was also included as a check.

A three-pint-per-acre rate of Surmount combined with a three-ounce-per-acre rate of methylated seed oil served as the final test. Another 44 percent had more than half top kill, bringing the total to 47 percent.

Instead of using the typical diesel-in-water emulsion, the crop oil concentrate produced the greatest level of root kill on prickly pear. According to Cadenhead, the three-pint-per-acre rate of Surmount in this trial appeared to be just as effective as the four-pint rate when both were combined with crop oil concentrate.

He claimed that cholla is typically considerably harder to manage than prickly pear. For the best aerial control when treating the cholla cactus, the plant should be knee height or shorter, he advised. For effective control, anything taller typically needs individual plant treatment.

“We can see right here that, despite not fully eliminating the cholla, we have prevented them from blooming and setting seed for the past two years, he said.

According to Cadenhead, the cost of a herbicide for these treatments will be between $25 and $30 per acre for the chemical alone. This procedure ought to pay for itself during a 10- to 12-year projected treatment lifespan.

It’s difficult to demonstrate that treating such rangeland is cost-effective in the first year, he claimed.

But over time, the water that those cactus had been using will go toward producing feed, and you will notice an increase in grass production.

Just keep in mind that you need to be patient when treating cacti, Cadenhead advised.

The maximum control with such herbicides often requires two to three years.

Which pesticide works the best to eradicate prickly pear?

SurmountTM, a herbicide that combines fluroxypyr and picloram, the sole active component of Tordon 22KTM, is the one suggested in Brush Busters. Although prickly pears are notoriously slow to age, SurmountTM pads age and melt down more quickly than Tordon 22KTM pads (approximately a year) (about 2 to 3 years).

What can I spritz on a cactus to kill it?

There are primarily two methods for doing this. The first method is to remove them using chemicals. Physical removal is the second technique. Either approach can be risky if used incorrectly, but both are generally safe if used correctly.

What you should know about both techniques for clearing cacti from your yard is as follows:

Killing a Cactus with Herbicide

Herbicide mixtures come in a variety of forms with various components. Picloram is one such component that you should keep an eye out for. A large fraction of some varieties of cactus can be eliminated with the aid of a herbicide containing picloram.

To aid in absorption, some experts advise incorporating a small amount of dish soap into your picloram herbicide mixture. Since you’ll be spraying it on your cactus, it’s also a good idea to apply some dye. The dye will show you which places you’ve covered and which areas you’ve missed. Blue is a useful dye color to use:

It will assist if the plant is physically harmed before you spray this on the cactus. To make some nicks in the cactus so that the spray may better penetrate the plant’s interior rather than just sitting on the exterior, you can use any form of axe, a shovel, or any pointed object.

Although the insider information helps move things forward more quickly, the parts you spray on the exterior will still be effective.

How to Get Rid of Cactus Without Chemicals

Overwatering cacti or succulent plants is the most typical technique to harm them. Cacti that receive too much water will become mushy and essentially decompose. That doesn’t really help you much in this situation because you still need to dispose of it, which brings us to the main problem with this strategy.

Physical removal, or just getting rid of a cactus, is your only option if you don’t want to employ chemicals to deal with it. After that, you may either discard it in the garage or dispose of it as regular yard garbage.

Depending on where you reside, different cities will give varying guidance or services for this, so you might want to check your local laws. Because it is organic and contains a lot of water, cacti typically shrivel into a much smaller state over time. Be careful, though, because it will be really sharp in the interim.

One part gin, one part vinegar, and one part water make up a DIY cactus killer recipe. This can be put in a spray bottle, sprayed, or poured over the plant’s base.

Here are some helpful suggestions on how to remove a cactus from your yard safely and effectively if you want to avoid using chemicals.

How to Remove a Cactus From Your Yard

After spraying, you still need to get rid of the plant once it has died. In fact, you still need to get rid of it whether or not you sprayed it. Here are some ideas on that as well as advice for getting it off the ground.

The degree of defense you’ll need against its thorns will mostly rely on how big the cactus is, how many of them there are, and what kind they are. Some are far pricklier than others!

The first step is to make sure that you have no exposed flesh anywhere on your body since pricklies are drawn to exposed skin like a magnet. Wear protective eyewear. Put on sturdy boots or shoes, preferably ones with a thick rubber sole.

It is beneficial to cut up a huge cactus when working with it (carefully.) For this, you can use almost any kind of shovel or a blade of some sort, like a machete. Be cautious as you swing and hack at it; at the very least, you should wear eye protection, and if not that, a full face mask.

Murphy’s Law holds that if there is any region of exposed skin on your body, even if it is only covered by a t-shirt, you will inevitably get stung by a cactus there.

Therefore, start by carefully wrapping some of the pieces you remove by chopping at it. Put on thick, hefty gloves with plenty of wrist and arm protection. You’ll be safer if your clothes is more substantial and dense.

The bits you take out of the cactus store up well in cardboard boxes. It’s time to start digging when all that’s left is the plant’s underground roots and bottom portion.

As much of the root system as you can should be dug up. The more you may get, the less probable it is to continue existing, let alone thriving or regrowing. Its size will vary from plant to plant.

Can cacti be killed by Roundup?

Cactus use is not recommended for Roundup QuickPRO. However, it might take care of them. We would suggest a product like Tordon RTU Specialty Herbicide or Remedy Ultra Herbicide. Each one of these controls tougher plants and brush, whereas Roundup mostly targets broadleaf weeds.

How are prickly pear plants destroyed?

Spraying or mechanical removal using a grubbing hoe (for isolated plants) or a skid-loader are the two methods that are typically advised for getting rid of prickly pear (large stands). Occasionally, controlled burns can be employed, but fire is not selective and burning needs a lot of supplementary dry brush (cactus don’t burn well). Burn prohibitions that are in effect across a large portion of the Southwest United States also rule out most people using this technique.

Depending on the scale of the cactus growth and the surrounding vegetation, spraying and grubbing each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Rainfall and temperature can also affect how well your strategy works. Cost might also be a significant factor.

Grubbing or the top-removal method

The most efficient, speediest, and environmentally responsible method of removing substantial stands of pricklypear is generally thought to involve digging up cactus with a skid-loader. However, it can be expensive, with charges for the operator and equipment ranging from $80 to $100 per hour. For tackling substantial cactus stands, Michael Dalrymple, a Mills County, Texas, contractor who specialized in brush removal, advises using a skid-loader fitted with a rock rake. The rock rake’s tines allow dirt to fall back to the ground, decreasing top soil loss and disposal weight in the process. Using this method, the operator is able to cut out several inches of the root, which is sufficient to kill the plant.

In order to bury the uprooted cactus, Dalrymple advises trenching a pit and adding 18 to 24 inches of earth. Cactus that has been heaped up will re-root and develop into an impenetrable mound, unlike cedar that can be stacked up and burned.

It’s crucial to gather as many of the dropped pads as you can. Every pad that is left on the ground has the capacity to take root and grow into a new cactus.

Although mechanical removal can be done at any time of the year, the best times are fall and early winter to allow for reseeding in time for the growing season.


Spraying works well on single plants and lean pricklypear growths. With ground-level spraying, it is practically impossible to completely remove a large, thick stand because pads and stems must be thoroughly coated. Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid spraying close to mature trees and vegetation because those plants’ roots can absorb the toxin.

Large stands of cactus that are far enough away from trees and other valuable flora that the herbicide drift won’t harm or kill are occasionally advised to be sprayed from the air.

Although cacti can be sprayed at any time of the year, most experts advise spraying herbicides in warm weather when rain is forecast since moisture makes the poison easier to absorb.

Results can take six to eight months to appear, and many applications are frequently needed to completely eradicate the cactus.

Although the Dow AgroSciences subsidiary of Dow Chemicals produces a number of efficient herbicides, two of the best-known, Tordon 22K and Surmount, are limited by the federal government and need a license to be used. For spot maintenance, several ranchers advise Dow’s PastureGard HL herbicide because it can be applied without a license. Employing a licensed applicator can cost upwards of $35 per hour plus the herbicide depending on where you live.

What destroys the cactus root?

By applying the herbicide Tordon 22KTM on pricklypear and other cacti, you can achieve 76 to 100% rootkill. Picloram, a component of this product, destroys prickly pear and other cactus.

Are prickly pears killed by Grazon?

In response, GrazonNext HL There is no herbicide labeled for prickly pears. We could suggest E-2 Herbicide as a treatment for prickly pear because it can be really difficult to manage. This answer was useful to 2 out of 3 people.

A cactus will salt harm it?

Most plants can be killed by a few grains of rock salt. Spread the salt around the plant’s base and let it organically decompose in the wetness of the soil. You may only need three or four chunks for little weeds like dandelions. Try using a handful of the salt on larger plants. Add a little more rock salt around the bases of the plants if you don’t see any wilting after around two days. It works quite quickly. Rock salt will better integrate into the soil if watered right away after being added to the plants.

How can I remove a huge cactus from my yard?

Put on heavy gloves and garments to protect yourself from the cacti’s prickly parts. Put on some long, thick-sleeved clothing, gardening boots that cover your feet and ankles, and long slacks. Precautions should be taken to avoid contact because the thorns can be quite painful and challenging to remove. To give even more security, you can also wrap the cactus itself in newspaper or linen.

Will prickly pear die after 24 days?

2,4-DP is a substance that New Mexico State University advises using to manage cholla cactus. However, prickly pear cactus are less susceptible to this herbicide’s effects. Use a mixture of three parts diesel oil to one component 2,4-DP and 20 parts water to destroy cholla cactus. Per gallon, the combination treats 14 to 20 plants. This substance, which is a part of the infamous herbicide Agent Orange, can irritate the skin and eyes. When applying 2,4-DP-containing herbicides, wear safety equipment.

Will cacti be killed by boiling water?

Aphids, scale, mealybugs, and mites are just a few of the many soil-borne pests that can be eliminated by heating plants. Furthermore, many bacterial and fungal diseases are eliminated from seeds that have been left in water that has been heated to the same temperatures needed to kill pests. The magic temperature is roughly 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius), or 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) for seed disinfection.

However, you can’t just randomly pour hot water on plants. Always be careful to administer the water straight to the root zone because many plants cannot withstand hot water on their leaves and other above-ground components. When dealing with insect infestations, it’s usually preferable to immerse the entire pot for five to twenty minutes in water that is between 120 F and 50 C, or until your probe thermometer indicates that the temperature inside the root ball has reached 115 F. (46 C.).

Hot water irrigation will not hurt your plant as long as you avoid overheating the roots and shield the leaves and top from the sun. In actuality, using hot water is preferable to using really cold water for washing. In general, you should use room-temperature water to prevent scorching of your plant’s fragile tissues.