How to Get Rid of Burdocks


Burdocks may be impressive plants that are virtually indestructible, but they are one plant you don't want in your yard. These big, boisterous plants grow quickly and sport hundreds of burrs that will stick to pets and children alike. To get rid of them, you need to catch them early before they have time to set up residence in your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Spade
  • Weed whacker
  • Black plastic
  • Pull burdock plants up by the roots in early spring before they begin to leave out. These plants have gigantic roots that can grow up to a foot or more. In early spring when the soil is soft and wet, the roots can often be pulled up and destroyed. Grasp the base of the leaves and pull with a even, firm pressure. Go slowly, or you risk breaking the root in half. If you break the root, you will need to work harder to remove it.

  • Dig along both side of the root with a spade. Be sure you dig deeply enough to get the whole root. Pull the root and discard.

  • Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar on the base of the burdock plant. Try to pour it in between the leaves so it will run down to the roots.

  • Let the plant sit for 2 days. The stems to the leaves will be soft and begin to turn brown. Grasp the leaves and pull any roots you can. The vinegar will kill the leaves, and if you have applied it liberally, it will penetrate the root and kill that, too.

  • Repeat the application of vinegar if the root sprouts new leaves. Pour liberal amounts of vinegar directly on the burdock root.

  • Keep burdocks cut back to the base of the plant. The use of a weed whacker on a weekly basis will keep them under control. As soon as new leaves emerge, cut them back to ground level. Eventually the burdock root will die off without leaves to provide it with the nutrition it needs to grow.

  • Cover burdocks with black plastic to discourage growth. A season under black plastic will kill them off.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not give burdocks the chance to grow to full size. They will return bigger and stronger in the next growing season. Killing them off when they are young will save a lot of work in the future.
  • Never throw burdock roots into the compost bin or near the garden. They will quickly set root and grow into new burdock plants.

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