Dicamba, 2-4-D Damage Self Induced

Last week I used my 8 gallon battery sprayer to spray the poison ivy filled ditch at my other property with this poison ivy & brush killer:

These are the active ingredients:
2,4-D, dimethylamine salt… 12.10% Mecoprop-p, dimethylamine salt… 2.92% Dicamba, dimethylamine salt… 1.34% OTHER INGREDIENTS… 83.64%

The label has instructions for mixing a 2.3% to 4.6% mix. My mix was probably between 2.5% and 3%. I used it all up, drove home and forgot about it. It was pretty empty when I was done, nothing really sloshing around but I would think there was a tiny bit in there. Totally forgot to clean the tank. Today I sprayed my grapes and some plums with Triazicide for Japanese Beetles with the same sprayer. I initially used 4 gallons of water in the sprayer. Then put another 8 gallons in when that was empty and did my peaches.

Feel pretty sick about it. How much damage am I looking at?

  1. Catastrophic
  2. Moderate
  3. Minimal

Thanks for any input

Jeepers, i dont know. Good luck.
I have 3, 2 gallon sprayers each labeled for different chemicals


I’ve done something similar with just 24d esther, and it stunted severely some grapes, and had a lot of curling but grew out of it. (I rate grapes as the most sensitive plant there is.) If they are like wild plums it probably won’t even curl any leaves(with just 24d).

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sorry to hear that, i made a different kind of mistake, but with live stock, i set rat poison out for an infestation, the chickens got out and eat it all up, oddly that didn’t kill them, but whey were not happy and crapped green for a day, took two weeks before their behaviors returned to normal. they were going crazy and crying more than normal. So i know how you feel, i thought i lost my flock.


Probably shortened thier lives significantly. Dont eat the eggs for a few weeks at least. Bet they dont have any parasites anymore. :wink:

Any curling in the grapes or dieback?

Curling on the first few vines I sprayed, some of the newest growth is wilted. Today didn’t seem any worse than yesterday but maybe I’m only seeing what I want to. Maybe the mixture was worse on the bottom of the tank and that’s why the first vines look worse, but who knows. The most mature leaves seem okay for now.

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I suspect your grapes will take it worse than anything. I wholeheartedly agree with @KS_razerback that grapes are by far the most sensative to 2, 4-D. I’ve seen overspray that had to drift over all kinds of other trees and plants but have the worst effect on grapes that were much further away.
What you will see is not just curling. The new leaves that grow out of the plant in the coming weeks will be thin and spindly and just look odd, that is if the plants survive. I bet it won’t kill them, but they will be messed up the rest of this year and POSSIBLY even show next year to a lesser extent. Then again, its hard to know from the situation you described just how much product your plants got. As someone who has been victim to overspray more than once, I feel your pain and wish you well.


I’ll take picture in the morning of damage on grapes and recovery on my grapes in the morning. If you don’t see any dieback in a week they should be fine and recover I would think.

Actually thinking about it now.

If none of the older mature leave are curling and only the new growth looks deformed they should be in the clear from dying in my limited experience.

The arrow points at the damaged (curled) new growth.

The upper big part that comes off it is growth that is taking over as the new end of the vine. The old tip usually dies like this.


Those are exactly what I’ve seen happen. In my cases it rarely affects existing growth unless it gets hit hard enough to kill it, but the new growth will have that leggy, long, thin leaves with curls. It will do this for several weeks and maybe the rest of the year, but in most (not all) cases there are little to no signs of it next year. On the other hand, I had a couple pear trees that took a heavy, heavy dose of 2, 4-D about 8 years ago and are deformed to this day! Really should cut them down but they still manage to give a little fruit and its interesting to watch them and I have space. Anyway, hope this works out for you.


A closer up.


Here are some pics from this morning

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Oh boy…don’t want to cause you more worry but the droop/wilted look is worse, in my experience, than the deformed new growth because it can mean the whole plant is going to die and not just be stunted/deformed for a few weeks. Oh well, we’re all guessing at this point…time will tell the story and I hope its ok


Ouch, I’m guessing they’ll be a loss this season. Hopefully they recover by next year.

I’m a big fan of having clearly-labeled different sprayers for different tasks. And most of those sprayers are just cheap 1 gallon tanks anyway, since when I’m using sulfur for fig rust or nasty stuff while treating under the house for termites for example, I don’t need all that much. Ditto for insecticides.

For one-off or small spraying jobs, especially if spraying insecticides or potent herbicides that would cause all kinds of mischief if sprayed in the wrong place.


Honestly my grapes were getting so out of hand that I was going to prune them hard and start over training them next year anyway. Also, I’ve started a seperate planting of grapes at our other place. I’m just hoping to get a few bunches from each variety this year, though, since I do enjoy eating them fresh. I have a few vines that I didn’t spray with the first tank that look okay. And I have new grapes I planted at the other property. Still hoping these pull through, though.

Ztom, So sorry to hear about the incident. Just a suggestion that has worked for me is to have TWO SEPARATE sprayers with the one for herbicides clearly marked with danger/poison/skull and crossbones, etc. and the other used for fungicides, insecticides and thereby preventing any mixups. All the best. May your damage be minimal. Randy/GA


Yeah, I’ve never used my main sprayer for anything other than my fruit trees for almost 10 years. This was sort of a “one-off” incident. I got poison ivy really bad mowing my ditch at another property a few months ago and I was desperate to deal with the poison ivy situation. The ditch is about 400 feet long so I needed a big sprayer, so I used my main fruit tree sprayer “just this one time” lol. Then I forgot … lesson learned. On a side note, I was out at the other property yesterday and the ditch looks better. Mostly grass now with the poison ivy dying off.


I’m going out on a limb, but perhaps pruning them now might help reduce the damage. Dicamba and 2-4-D are both synthetic auxins, growth hormones. By now the herbicide is well translocated around the vines, but I would imagine it is causing the most ill effect on younger growth and in the roots. Pruning back the plant might reduce the amount of unregulated cell growth that’s going on and so reduce the strain on the plants.

Or it might make it worse. I have no idea, just spit balling.