using glyphosate near azaleas

fireweed_1947(Western Wa 8)November 7, 2011

Is it safe to use glyphosate outside the drip zone of rhody/azaleas? I have a raised bed with several azaleas of varying sizes. Am currently unable to weed this bed, & grass, etc., is moving in. I'm considering getting "down and dirty" using a spray bottle with a deflector shield. Thought this way I could keep the spray low and focused and not have to wet the soil as well. Your thoughts , please.

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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

You can spray as close as you can, but don't get any Glyphosate on the leaves. Avoid mist setting where the product might drift onto the leaves.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 8:24AM
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fireweed_1947(Western Wa 8)

Yippee! Thank you, Mike

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:17PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Actually Glyphosate can be absorbed by any green tissue, so avoid green stems also. After being absorbed by green tissue it is transported to the roots. This is done more efficiently when photosynthesis is most active. Once it reaches the roots it kills them.

Ironically, if applied to the soil, the clay in the soil neutralizes Glyphosate before it can reach the roots.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Except that azaleas are liable to have lots of roots quite high up in any organic litter layer that may be present on top of the soil.

C. Whitcomb (Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants, revised 1991 edition) reports episodes where it really appeared there must have been root absorption of glyphosate. Trees were actually killed. On the other hand, L. Chalker-Scott (see her web site) says it doesn't happen.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:35PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Here is the link to this particular L. Chalker-Scott posting.

Here general website is:

Here is a link that might be useful: The Myth of Wandering Weedkiller

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:13AM
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I thought I was being careful, but lost a couple of young [2nd year] azaleas.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 2:07PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

When I use glyphosate around rhododendrons and azaleas, there are a number of precautions I take:

1) use a very low pressure so the spray is a spray and not a mist.
2) only use glyphosate when there is no wind or very little wind.
3) have a barrier, like a piece of cardboard, to put between weeds and good plants. Plainly mark which is the contaminated side of the card.
4) wipe off any spray that gets on a good plant or, better yet, remove the leaf that was hit.

Using these precautions, I have never had any problems.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 9:42AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

A nurseryman here couldn't get rhododendron cuttings to root well after using glyphosate around the stock plants. You really want to be careful with herbicides, treated areas can look okay while non-target plants are actually being affected.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 9:09PM
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