Weed Eradication

Weeds in Cemeteries

The following species are considered to be invasive and should not be allowed to establish in any cemetery. If they are already present then efforts should be made to remove and eradicate them.


i. There are major infestations in many cemeteries, both in graves and outside. Agapanthus have aggressive root systems and are prolific seeders through wind and gravity. Agapanthus is a problem in many Auckland cemeteries. It needs to be grubbed out and/or weed sprayed until eliminated.

b.Iris Foetidissima
i. This is a recognised weed and grows initially in small clumps but needs to be eradicated as soon as noticed. Its orange seeds are spread by birds.

c. Potato Vine
Is a prevalent weed but easily controlled by spraying or regular pulling.

d. Ivy
Infestations should be eradicated through cutting back and roots poisoned.
ii.Re-growth may need a further poison.

e. Ladder fern
It smothers everything and grows into high clumps.
ii. Remove and spray residual re-growth until eradicated.

f.Vinca major
(periwinkle) vine, should be cut back and then re-growth sprayed.
g.Arum lily
(Jasminum polyanthum)

2.Seedlings and suckers

Pohutakawa, coprosma, cabbage tree, totara, daphne, flax, ngaio, sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), pampas grass, banana passion fruit, and others are common varieties in cemeteries throughout New Zealand

i.Seedlings of all these are easily spread and constitute a major problem if not eradicated as soon as they appear as they will all eventually destroy the fabric of the graves and topple headstones.

ii.Pull seedlings or spray. A regular spraying programme, using Roundup with pulse, is essential during the growing season.
iii.If larger cut at ground level and poison stump with “Vigilant” see www.hortresearch.co.nz/index/page/503


There are many species of Cotoneaster, but only three of them are causing concern.. Native to China, Cotoneaster is a spreading evergreen shrub that can grow in a range of habitats including forest gaps and open rocky bluff communities.
Cotoneaster flowers about year four, followed by large numbers of red drupes which are taken by birds.