The City Magazine Since 1975

Gardening: March 2017

Gardening: March 2017
March 2017
Ask an Expert: What is this weed (see photo) taking over my garden, and how can I control it?

This is Florida betony (Stachys floridana), a perennial weed that spreads rapidly by seed, rhizome, and tuber. It will bloom and set seed in the spring before going into dormancy during the summer heat. To control it, you have a few options, starting with hand-pulling all plant parts, including the tuber. You may also opt for cutting off the tuber’s food source by layering heavy mulch atop landscape cloth and then removing foliage as it emerges. If Florida betony is growing in your lawn, apply pre- and post-emergent herbicides formulated for your type of turf grass. For more on managing weeds in warm-season lawns, visit

Tip: This month, apply camellia fertilizer after all blooms have fallen. (Collect the flowers from the ground and discard to cut down on disease and pests). If you’re looking to increase the plant’s growth, follow with a mid-summer application, always making sure to follow label instructions.