Effective Spring Management of Multiflora Rose

May 26, 2021
ICM News

Multiflora rose (MFR) is a common weed in pastures, CRP, timber and other areas that are not annually disturbed. Now is an appropriate time for treatment of these weeds in pastures and other areas they invade.


MFR can grow to 5-10 ft tall, and spreads by both seed and arcing canes that root at the tips. It produces an abundance of white flowers in late May or early June. Leaves are key to identifying MFR from other roses. Each pinnately compound leaf contains 5-11 toothed leaflets. The base of each leaf petiole has a stipule resembling a fringe of hairs; cultivated and native roses have winged stipules. For more on identification, check out this Encyclopedia article.

Control with herbicides

Numerous herbicides provide effective control of MFR when applied at the right time and manner. One of the best times to treat MFR is when plants are fully leafed out in the late spring; some products specify that treatments are most effective when plants are in early or mid-flower. The following table provides information on some of these herbicides. Check individual product labels and the invasive species control database listed below for more specific information, including suggested product rates for broadcast treatments to control MFR. Many of the active ingredients are off-patent and sold under different trade names. When using spot treatments it is important to achieve thorough coverage of the entire plant.

Table 1. Herbicide treatments appropriate for foliar treatments of MFR


Herbicide Group Number

Example products

Rate for spot treatments





Banvel, Clarity

1% solution





Roundup, many others

1% solution

Yes (spot treatment)

Will kill pasture grasses



Arsenal, Stalker, Habitat

0.5-1% solution


Less selective than Group 4 products

Triclopyr + 2,4-D


Crossbow, Chaser

1-1.5% solution





Escort XP

0.02 oz a.i./gal (spot treatment)


Pasture grass tolerance may vary

Metsulfuron + 2,4-D + dicamba

2, 4

Cimarron Max

0.5 oz/acre (herb. part A) + 2 pt/acre (herb. part B)




Tordon 22K, component of Grazon P+D

Check product label


Aminopyralid + 2,4-D



2.1 pt/acre + 0.25% v/v NIS


Precautions should be taken to prevent off-target movement that may result in injury to desirable plants. Check labels for any restrictions that may pertain to use near water resources and for grazing of treated areas.

Alternative control options

This plant may be managed with mechanical efforts with significant effort. Mowing plants 3-6 times during the growing season for multiple years should significantly reduce MFR populations. Additionally, mechanical removal by pulling or digging to remove the root crown and as many roots as possible is an effective method to eliminate plants.  

Information regarding both chemical and non-chemical control tactics are provided at the Midwest Invasive Plant Network control database.

As with most weeds, controlling multiflora rose requires a long-term commitment. In areas with established populations, the seed bank will allow reinfestation. Thus, follow up efforts are required to control plants that survive earlier treatments and plants that emerge from the seed bank. Proper pasture management that enhances competitiveness of the pasture grasses will reduce recruitment of new plants from the seedbank.


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 26, 2021. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.


Meaghan Anderson Field Agronomist in Central Iowa

Meaghan Anderson is a field agronomist in central Iowa and an extension field specialist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Educational programming is available for farmers, agribusinesses, pesticide applicators, certified crop advisors, and other individuals interested in...