Ribwort Plantain [Plantago lanceolata]
Ribwort Plantain is a perennial weed very common in arable fields, grassland and roadside verges. It also occurs in lawns but not as frequently as greater plantain. This weed is sometimes called Narrowleaf Plantain due to the narrow shaped leaves.
Ribwort plantain has long spear shaped leaves forming from the base of the plant. The leaves have prominent parallel veins running down them.
The short green - brown flowers are bourn on long stems. Ribwort plantain flowers from April to September.
Ribwort Plantain can grow in most soil conditions, however it prefers dry, alkaline soils. It can tolerate compacted soils, and is often a good indicator of a compaction problem.
Hand weeding can be quite successful in removing this weed, just take care to remove the whole plant.
Regular aeration will relieve soil compaction and help discourage this weed
Encourage a strong, healthy lawn with good lawn care practices to help maintain good grass coverage and prevent ribwort plantain and other weeds from invading.
If chemicals are to be used against this weed, choose an the appropriate selective weed killer that will be effective in controlling this weed.
In many cases a single application should be enough for effective control of ribwort plantain. If, however the initial application isn't successful, apply a second application 6 weeks later.
When using chemicals on the lawn or anywhere else in the garden always wear the correct protective equipment and clothing.
It is important to read the product label and follow the manufacturers health & safety recommendations and application guidelines.
For more information on the application of selective herbicide's please visit our Lawn Weeds page.