Mare's / Horse Tail

About Mare's Tail / Horsetail

The name "horsetail" is derived from the Latin Equisetum which translates as equus, meaning horse and seta which means bristle or hair. 

Horsetail is also known as marestail, mare’s-tail is an aquatic weed, Hippuris vulgaris, which is  a slender, tall weed commonly found in ponds or slow flowing streams.

Horsetail prefers moist areas but is increasingly found on waste ground, gardens and non-cropped areas. It has a thick, silica-rich outer layer and small needle-like leaves that make it difficult to get sufficient spray into the plant to kill it.  Repeated cutting will weaken rhizomes but is generally ineffective on its own as horsetail has a deep and spreading root system. Cultural control methods like digging can often make the it worse because each broken root fragment can develop  into a plant itself - multiplying the problem.

Is marestail/horsetail harmful?

Horsetail is a poisonous weed if consumed raw due to the heavy silica content.  Grazing animals usually avoid it but it becomes more palatable as it dies.

Treating horsetail with Kurtail Gold

Kurtail Gold is a total weedkiller and will kill horsetail, weeds and grass in about 7-10 days but you may need successive treatment to control new plants that grow from untreated roots.

Sprayed horsetail usually takes 1-2 weeks to look dead, but it will take longer to rot down and disappear. Once it is is black and dead it may be raked/ or cleared away. In paddocks it will eventually rot down and disappear then it is safe to graze or bale for hay. Although the method of eradication sounds dramatic, there are few alternative chemicals that can reliably control horsetail in grassland.

You can use a tractor or knapsack to apply Kurtail Gold and you can re-plant immediately after treatment on all soils except sands, which require 3 days.  There is no chemical effect on the soil and no residual effect from the treatment.

Please see our table below for information on Kurtail Gold or visit the listing here:


Kurtail Gold

Active Ingredient



50ml for 4.5 L water to cover 100m2

Pack size

0.5 L / 2 L


1,000m2 /  4000m2



Mode of Action


Following crop

No residual effect

Area of use

Natural surfaces not intended to bear vegetation Permeable surfaces overlaying soils, Hard surfaces



Weeds controlled



Yes (spray onto 20cm stems)



Other weeds

Most annual and perennial weeds


In a hard water area?

  • It is recommended to combine Kurtail Gold with Kplus (a water conditioner) if you are in a hard water area as calcium present in water can reduce the efficiency of a herbicide.  Adding KPlus+ will optimise your control and give better control outcomes
    • NB: Always add KPlus+ to your water before adding in your herbicide/weed killer

For more advice please call us on 0800 032 6262 or email us

For more information on Kurtail & KPlus+ click here

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