Ragweeds are spreading everywhere and more and more in The USA and Europe. Just a few pollen intact can trigger an allergy. Ambrosia blooms in our latitudes from July to October. But how do you recognize the plant? And how to get rid of ambrosia and have a successful ragweed control in the garden?
What is Ambrosia?
Ambrosia is a plant, which is an extremely aggressive weed. Even with the fight and controlling attempts, it can keep its state in the garden.
Why is the ambrosia spreading so quickly?
The primary reason for the increasing spread of Ambrosia artemisiifolia is people’s love of animals. In the cold season, many people set up feeding stations for the hibernating birds. In the early summer, seedlings of ragweed-leaved ragweed grow around the bird feeder and under the bushes in which you have hung tarballs. The seeds can sleep for several years in the soil to germinate, so you have to check the places for years.
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The approximately five-millimeter large ragweed seeds are in the bird feeder. The crops of the annual weed ripen together with sunflowers and are then unintentionally harvested. Unfortunately, you can hardly prevent that mixing. Even with products on the market that are marked as “free from ragweed seeds,” impurities were repeatedly found in random samples. Besides, agricultural machines whirl the ragweed seeds through the air, thus spreading them.
How to recognize ambrosia in the garden?
If the leaves are green on the underside and the stalks are hairy, the probability is very high that it is the ambrosia. Our photo show also helps you to identify ambrosia as such.
The Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture lists the following as differences
The leaves are lighter and silvery in common mugwort and very green in ambrosia.
The stems are hairless in mugwort, hairy in ambrosia.
The development of common mugwort is faster.
Flowering begins in common mugwort from June and in ambrosia from July to August.
The inflorescence is pyramid-shaped in mugwort, elongated in ambrosia.
Consider taking a photo of the plant and submit it to the registration office.
If you are not sure whether a plant is actually ambrosia, you can use a digital photo to contact one of the central reporting points that many federal states have now set up. The databases on the spread of weeds are kept in those offices. Amateur gardeners are advised on how to deal with the stubborn plants best.
The JKI, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, has also set up an online registration office for ambrosia finds. The improved documentation is intended to make the state’s fight against the further spread of weeds better organized and more efficient.
How to get rid of ambrosia in the garden?
To destroy and get rid of the ambrosia in the garden, remove it from the ground entirely with the roots before flowering. If the branched inflorescence has already formed, you must first cut off the flower stem. After this pruning, you should dig out the root, because the plants regenerate quickly. Dispose of the vegetable waste in the residual garbage and never in organic waste. This is namely the composting. Ambrosia plants disposed of here would only contribute to the further spreading of the weeds.
Ambrosia is one of the most potent triggers for allergies.
When removing ambrosia from your garden, you should be careful. Gloves are recommended in any case to avoid rashes. Allergy sufferers should best keep their hands off the weeds and let less sensitive family members do the fighting. The health burden from the pollen is considerable.
Ambrosia is a strong allergy trigger like hardly any other plant. Even a low concentration of five to ten grains per cubic meter of air is enough to trigger allergic reactions.
Usually, the general pollen pollution in the air decreases in August at the latest, so that hay fever allergy sufferers could then breathe freely again. However, the period of the symptoms increases. From July to September, the ambrosia forms large amounts of pollen transported over long distances by the wind. You can even be troubled by the symptoms of allergy and be 200 kilometers from the nearest plant.
Symptoms of Ambrosia ragweed allergy
The pollen can like hay fever symptoms – the so-called allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.
- Red eyes
- Eye tears
- Itching of the eyelids and nose
- Runny nose
- stuffy nose
- Itchy palate
And in the worst case, even trigger bronchial asthma. Allergic skin reactions upon contact with the plant are also possible.
A cross allergy can also cause discomfort when eating celery or carrots, but also bananas or melons. The cross allergy can spread to spices such as peppers or parsley.
Mugwort is also dangerous for ragweed allergy.
People who are allergic to ragweed often also respond to mugwort pollen with physical discomfort. This is the mugwort ambrosia complex. Both plants are closely related in botanical terms. Ambrosia is also known as ragweed.
Image Credits: t-online