Common field pansy (Viola rafinesquii) looks a lot like the violet plant, with lobed leaves and small, violet or cream-colored flowers. It is a winter annual that is also a difficult-to-control broadleaf weed. Despite the plant’s pretty, long-stalked flowers, most people inquiring about the plant want to know how to get rid of field pansy. Controlling field pansies is not easy, since they do not respond to most herbicides. Read on for more field pansy information.
Field Pansy Information
The leaves of common field pansy form a rosette. They are smooth and hairless, with small notches around the edges. The flowers are a lovely, pale yellow or a deep violet, each with five petals and five sepals.
The little plant rarely grows above 6 inches tall, but it can form thick mats of vegetation in fields of no-till crops. It germinated in winter or spring, springing out of the ground so fast it has been nick-named “Johnny jump up.”
The common field pansy produces fruit in the shape of a triangular pyramid filled with seeds. Each plant produces some 2,500 seeds every year that can germinate at any time in mild climates.
The fruit explodes the seeds into the air when it is mature. The seeds are also spread by ants. They grow easily in disturbed wet areas and pastures.
Field Pansy Control
The speed of germination and growth does not help gardeners intent on controlling field pansies’ spread. Those intent on field pansy control have found that the standard rates of glyphosate in springtime is helpful. This is true even when 2-4D is added to the glyphosate.
That said, scientists associated with Kansas State University tried applying glyphosate to the common field pansy in the fall, instead of spring. They achieved much better results with even one application of glyphosate. So gardeners interested in how to get rid of field pansy should use glyphosate in the fall to achieve better results.
If you failed to apply glyphosate in the fall, you can also achieve field pansy control by a spring application of glyphosate mixed with dicamba. You’ll have to wait a little longer, however, before replanting the area.