Weed out moth plant

15 February 2024

Moth plant is one of the most problematic weeds of North Island kiwifruit orchards and the pods are beginning to develop - they are currently flowering in most locations.

Growers should start the first round of control work now to avoid the need to pull masses of vines and pods out of shelter belts.

Seedlings will be establishing beneath shelter belts, ready to climb into trees before flowering and forming their distinctive seed pods. A skillfully used sharp hoe will kill emergent seedlings and is an effective organic control method. Alternatively, glyphosate at one part to 100 parts water is effective on emergent seedlings. Apply under low pressure ensuring no spray drift.

Moth plant is poisonous – the milky white sap can cause dermatitis so wear gloves and protective clothing when handling it.

Click here for more information about identifying moth plant or contact KVH or your regional council.

Image below: Moth plant (pictured in a Cryptomeria shelter belt) poses a threat to New Zealand’s native trees and is unwelcome in kiwifruit orchards.