Datura Control Guide

Do's and don'ts of datura control

Do's

  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see Herbicides for Datura Control for more information);
  • Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your weed problem crosses property boundaries;
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;
  • Use a combination of different control methods; and
  • Establish vigorous pasture (or native species) after removal to reduce re-infestation.

Don'ts

  • Don't allow datura to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't introduce datura to datura-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential;
  • Don't rely on just one control method;
  • Don't dump datura plants or soil removed from the infestation site, as this can spread the plant to new areas.

Spread of datura

  • Daturas spread by seed. Most spread is via contaminated agricultural seed and soil. Datura seed can also be spread on water, and some spread may also occur on machinery, vehicles and mud.
  • Up to 30,000 seeds may be produced by a single plant. Datura seed can remain dormant in the soil for several decades.
  • See the Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading datura.

Physical removal

  • Single plants and small infestations can be removed by hand pulling or hoeing. Wearing of gloves is recommended.
  • Remove plants before fruit has formed to prevent seeding.
  • If fruit has formed the removed plant must be securely bagged for disposal.
  • Material can be deep buried at a municipal waste facility. However, material must be securely bagged and you will need a permit from DPIPWE prior to transporting it.

Cultivation

  • Larger infestations of datura can be controlled by cultivation.
  • Cultivation works best when the datura is in the seedling stage. Mature datura plants are more difficult to control as the root system may not be severed, in which case plants can survive.
  • Repeated cultivation is required as seedlings continue to emerge over a long period.
  • Cultivation should not be used where mature fruit are present. This risks the return of large amounts of viable seed to the soil.
  • Avoid returning trash (which may contain datura seed) to the field after harvesting of crops.

Chemical control

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