Buttercups are prettier than most other weeds, but they are able to make a nuisance of themselves at a flower bed. Normal weeding and herbicides offer control. Typical buttercup varieties include common or tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris), that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, and also California buttercup (Ranunculus californicus), that grows in USDA zones 6 through 9. Small flowered or early woodbuttercup (Ranunculus abortivus) is another common type, and it grows in USDA zones 3 through 8. Buttercup seeds can infest a flower bed and, since perennial plants, buttercups live for many years.
Hand Weeding and Hoeing
Normal hand weeding and hoeing can efficiently control buttercups in flower beds. Digging weeds up isn’t possible when it disturbs your flowers, but also you can hand weed with a trowel from the spaces between plants. Hoe open places between flowers with a scuffle hoe to decrease buttercups down in the ground surface whilst preventing the roots on your flowers. Scuffle hoe blades are shaped like a D — a sharp, narrow blade types the right line. Hand-weeding and hoeing and every week kills buttercup seedlings and weakens established buttercup roots, hence the weeds eventually become exhausted and die. Normal weeding also prevents buttercups from setting seed, and decreases problems from these weeds later on.
Shading Out Buttercups
Landscape fabric and organic mulches control buttercups by shading them out. Hand weed or apply herbicides to your flower bed prior to laying cloth and mulches. Put landscaping material in open places between flowers, and spread a 2-inch layer of wood chips, shredded bark, cocoa hulls or other organic mulch over the cloth. Keep the mulch away from blossom bases because it can lead to disease. Sometimes buttercups appear from beneath the landscaping material. Remove buttercup shoots by pulling out them or pruning them with pruning shears. Wipe the pruning shear blades with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol after you’ve completed.
Spraying with Glyphosate
The systemic herbicide glyphosate commands buttercups at a flower bed. Glyphosate travels via buttercups in their leaves and kills their roots, preventing them from resprouting. Put on protective clothing, such as long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and masks prior to working with herbicides. Guard your flowers with cardboard or a similar hurdle on a still, dry afternoon, and spray all of buttercup parts with a ready-to-use two percent glyphosate solution. Remove the cardboard when the glyphosate has dried. The herbicide can take two to three weeks to work. Instructions vary among products, so always read the advice about the tag and follow it carefully.
Applying Selective Herbicides
Applying a selective herbicide that targets buttercups at a flower bed offers control for the long run. Buttercup seeds lie dormant in a flower bed, ready to sprout, but a selective herbicide controls created plants and provides residual control. Put on protective clothing and protect your flowers with cardboard. Dissolve 1/2 ounce of a product containing imazaquin in 3 gallons of water, and spray all of buttercup parts. When the weeds have been controlled, then spread 0.025 ounce of the imazaquin merchandise per 100 square feet of flower bed to prevent buttercup seedlings from growing. Don’t use imazaquin close food-producing plants, and follow the directions on the product tag.