Will roundup hurt dormant tubers?

slopfrogNovember 11, 2012

I have a bed of caladiums which are now starting to die off for the winter. The weed infestation is pretty bad, and they have grown all into the mulch I had in the bed. Im thinking that once the caladiums die off the rest of the way, I'll hit the bed with roundup to kill the weeds. I don't think it will hurt the caladium tubers, and they should come back in the spring. Is this true? Or will I kill the tubers? Thanks!

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Interesting idea slopfrog. I immediately thought, oh no, that surely will attack the tubers but after reading up on the product, I don't think so. The only thing I saw of concern was the description of half life. Purportedly 3 to 141 days.

I'd be interested to hear what others think.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:00PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It should only affect the plants that you sprayed the leaves of. It won't travel through the soil to other plants. IMO.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

As Zackey said, my understanding of Round-Up is that it is foliar in application. So as long as the Caladiums don't have any leaves above the ground, they should be protected. The Round-Up will break down into its harmless components by the time it reaches your tubers, so they should be safe. If you go this route, keep us posted in the spring on whether or not the Caladiums come back. (Though I believe they will)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:25PM
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jason83(Zone 8b/9a (North Florida))

Why not just cover the top of the soil with newspaper, more mulch, clippings, plastic, anything but that awful stuff in lieu of chancing it? The Roundup will break down, but nobody can give you an actual answer as to when. And who is to say that any rains won't wash it over to other plants?

At least with the paper, mulch, clippings, leaves, etc, you're also improving the soil..

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Because its the front of my house and I don't want it to look bad. :)

The only one of those products that wouldn't look bad is more mulch, but that's just going to make it harder for my caladiums to pop back up, and is just going to give more stuff for the weeds to grow in.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Layer newspaper over the spot and then put mulch on top of the newspaper. That way the newspaper can suffocate the weeds and the mulch hides it from view.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:01PM
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As stated above, Round-up will definitely not hurt non-green plant tissue. Round-up is totally safe to spray over planted bulbs, or seeds. Round-up is also safe to spray on the bark of larger trees and woody shrubs.

The trick is, you just don't want to get it on green tissue or tissues soft enough for it to be absorbed. Round-up will NOT kill plants by run-off. You can get to the base of a plant you want to keep, as long as you keep the spray off the plant. I have weeded my veggie gardens for 15 years using roundup and use it constantly today.

But, you can ONLY use Round-Up for this, no other weed killers are safe to use in this manner. Also, round-up has no residual weed killing effects. So, it only kills what the spray hits.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:20PM
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