Palms Ferns and RoundUp


Esteemed Member
I am becoming tired of pulling this fern out of the palm. The fern returns in weeks as small pieces of the ferns runners remain wedged in the boots. Would it be possible to use a small spray bottle to mist the fern without harming the palm?
Any method you could come up with to get some Round Up onto the green part of the fern, and not on the palm, would/should work.

I have heard or people painting it on with a paint brush. You could spray on the "easy" parts of the fern if you masked the trunk with cardboard or plastic sheets while doing it. Or, it looks as if you put some in a pail, it might be possible to dip the longer ends of the fern into the pail.

IMO - you shouldn't need to soak the entire fern. Just getting a large part of it wet should get enough chemical on there to translocate through the entire plant.

Supposedly Round Up does not affect parts of the plant that are not green - like bark, etc. But I wouldn't go about it without trying not to get it on anything other than the intended target.
Oh - and there is a Round Up available now that has some additives to help speed up the kill. I would not use that for your situation. Just the original slow kill kind would be best - IMO.
I have the same scenario on my African Oil palm. It is said that round up will not affect brown petioles or the trunk. Its a systemic, and dead tissue or the non green part of a trunk will not absorb the chemical. When it comes to the African Oils, witness the base of the petioles stay green years after the frond has been long gone. I would suggest application to the ferns on only the oldest areas of the trunk. Also use a diluted round up, ferns succumb to its effects rather readily.
I agree totally with what Moose just related.

But I had another thought. I have used white vinegar (in my past strict organic days) to kill weeds - and it works. But it may not kill the roots of larger hardier weeds. But for small tender weeds, it worked pretty well. However, I don't remember the dilutions I used.

If you Google and check with an organic gardening site - I'm sure there is some info there. At any rate, you could probably spray with abandon in that area with diluted white vinegar. And the ferns may succumb rather easily - but maybe needing a second dose. And any new young tender sprouts would probably be very easy to kill entirely.

Just a thought - no "hands-on knowledge" to confirm any results or possible damage.