Top 8 Ways to Get Rid of Horsetail

I'm here to share my experience. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Horsetail can be a pesky weed to get rid of. It seems to grow in the most inconvenient places and it is difficult to kill. If you have horsetail on your property, don’t worry – we are here to help! In this blog post, we will discuss 10 ways that you can get rid of horsetail for good. Keep reading for more information!

What is horsetail?

What is horsetail?
Photo from @nikkisophiajadeking

Horsetail is a weed that usually grows in gardens and lawns. It belongs to the fern family and is propagated by spores. Horsetail can be difficult to get rid of because it spreads quickly and easily. There are about 30 species of horsetail in total, but currently there are two of the most popular:

  • Clearing Horsetail – Features hollow arrows and is completely leafless;
  • Mare’s tail – unlike the first, it has many stems with articulations that resemble fine hairs;
  • Field horsetail – belongs to perennial weed species. It is practically colorless and also very poisonous. It is the most aggressive and dangerous type of horsetail, which is a danger to horses, cows and goats because it can be poisoned. Field horsetail reproduces by spores, so it is easily spread by the wind over large areas.

How to get rid of horsetail?

Prevention of horsetail

Prevention of horsetail
Photo from @thehowlingwindbeckons

The best way to get rid of horsetail is to prevent its growth. This can be accomplished by:

  • Maintaining a healthy lawn;
  • Regularly watering your plants;
  • Fertilizing the soil.

It is very important to treat the soil if you have brought it in from another lawn. In such cases, the new soil may be infested with horsetail spores, which will then infect your soil as well.

The Horsetail Killer – Glyphosate

The Horsetail Killer - Glyphosate
Photo from @influentialdoctorsmag

It is a non-selective weed killer, which means it will kill any plant it comes in contact with. Glyphosate 5L is best used on hard surfaces such as patios, roads and paths where you don’t want any plants to grow. It can also be used on grassy areas, but remember to spot apply it directly to the weed. To use the substance, you need to mix it with water at a ratio of 50 to 50. Each company offers a different product, so it is important to read the more detailed instructions for use on the package.


Photo from @kurura_

Vinegar is an excellent natural remedy for killing weeds. Mix one part vinegar with four parts water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the horsetail and repeat spraying as needed. If the solution does not take the horsetail, then fill it with pure 10% vinegar. Repeat the procedure until the horsetail is completely eradicated.

Improve the drainage of your soil

Improve soil drainage by aerating and adding organic matter. This will help prevent horsetail growth and keep it from developing. After all, horsetail is very fond of moist and damp soil, in which water is forced. This often applies to clay and loamy types of soil. If you notice that rainwater on your lawn is not draining well, you need to dig a drainage ditch to let the water drain away. In severe waterlogging of the lot, a system of drainage pipes is laid.

Removing mulch

Removing mulch and other debris around the plants will help reduce horsetail. It will also help to increase air circulation and prevent fungal growth. Removing mulch will get oxygen to the plant roots faster and more efficiently, which will make the soil saturated. Because of this, dampness and moisture will gradually leave the soil, which weeds do not like.

Dolomite lime

Dolomite lime
Photo from @growgen_santaclarita_ca

This is an effective way to get rid of horsetail. It works by raising the pH of the soil, making it unfavorable to horsetail. To use dolomite lime, simply spread it around the perimeter of your garden or yard, being careful not to hit any plants or flowers. You will need to read the instructions on the package carefully to apply the right amount of the substance to the soil. It is best to apply dolomite lime every two weeks for a month.


Regular weeding will ensure better aeration of the soil, which in turn will prevent the horsetail from developing. Weeding will also help remove excess debris from the site and fallen leaves that create extra moisture and dampness.

Planting special plants

Some plants have the ability to kill horsetail by smothering it. These plants are called “allelopathic” and include such species as black walnut, nightshade and boxwood. You can also try planting common sunflower, lupine or marigolds. Winter rape rucola and white mustard plants keep horsetail from spreading on your property and prevent it from developing.

Is it true that horsetail is good for people?

Is it true that horsetail is good for people?
Photo from @runrunruyruy

There are many benefits to taking horsetail supplements. Some people use it to speed up healing after surgery, while others take it to improve the health of their hair, nails, and skin. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Can I pull the horsetail out of my lawn?

It is not advisable to pull horsetail out of your lawn because it can damage the roots of other plants. If you accidentally break one of its stems in the process, more weeds will grow from the remains. They are very prolific.

Can I cover the horsetail with black plastic?

Horsetail can grow through black plastic, so this method is not effective.ย In this case, black plastic creates the opposite effect, with increased humidity and dampness, as well as reduced sun activity. This further promotes the germination of horsetail.

What are the dangers of horsetail?

What are the dangers of horsetail?
Photo from @bokeh_artistic

Horsetail grows very quickly and spreads around the site and smothers your other plants. It also concentrates a lot of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen in its roots, which it takes from the soil, preventing other plants from getting these substances.

How fast does a horsetail grow?

Horsetail is a fast-growing plant, and can easily reach up to 2 feet in height in just a few weeks. Because of its speedy growth, horsetail can quickly become a nuisance in gardens and yards.

Nicolas Wayne

Gardening and lawn care enthusiast

Add a comment