Field horsetail

Field horsetail

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do not Time to act in January

Do not Time to act in February

Do Time to act in March

Do Time to act in April

Do Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do not Time to act in December

Field horsetail is also known as marestail. Once established, it has roots that extend to 2m deep, and spreads by means of creeping rhizomes. The plant produces light-brown stems in late spring, topped with cone-like structures, and these are followed by light-green shoots up to 60cm in height. The plant spreads among cultivated plants, making for a messy appearance and competing for water and nutrients.



A deep-rooted, herbaceous weed, with tough, light-brown or green shoots that resemble pine needles. It dies back completely in winter.

Find it on

undisturbed ground, cracks in paving, walls, waste ground


Remove rhizomes by digging as deeply as possible. The deep roots of established horsetail colonies will re-grow. Regularly removing the shoots and rhizomes as soon as they appear will weaken the plants, but total eradication requires determination over a number of years. Where horsetail is growing in grass, regular close mowing will cause it to die off, although it may persist in borders at the edge of lawns.



Spray shoots with glyphosate in summer. Tread down the shoots before spraying to bruise and crush them, which will allow the herbicide to enter the plant and be taken down to the roots.