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How to get rid of burdock weeds in 5 easy ways

Burdock weeds are plants that grow in pastures. You will find them along ditches, roadsides, and other disturbed areas. The weed is large, oval, and triangular, with leaves that look like elephant ears.

Burdock weeds are invasive. They can grow and spread quickly in your lawn or garden and overrun it.

As a homeowner, you have to figure out how to permanently get rid of burdock from your land. If you allow it to flower, it will set seed and pose challenges in eradicating it.

You can get rid of burdock weeds in different ways. For example, you can mow taller plants, use a selective herbicide, dig it up, use vinegar, or use a weeding tool. Other methods you can use include covering the plant with plastic to discourage its growth.

When is the best time to spray burdock weeds?

The best time to control the burdock is in the fall. It is a time when young plants store enough food reserves in the roots for use during the next growth cycle.

When spring comes, the plant takes the food from its roots to produce leaves. Once it has the nutrients it needs, it starts growing tall stalks and blooms.

What are the different ways of eradicating burdock weeds?

You can get rid of burdock weeds using the following methods:

1. Herbicide control

The quickest way of controlling burdock plants in your yard, especially those in their first year of growth, is by using herbicides.

The best herbicides to use in the treatment of burdock infestation are 2,4-D, MCPA, 2,4-DB, and dicamba. You can also use glyphosate-based herbicides to eliminate weeds.

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Here is what to do:

  • Read the herbicide labels and follow the guidelines laid out by the manufacturer before spraying.
  • Spray the chemical in the right weather conditions.
  • Avoid spraying it during rain or wind conditions. The herbicide will drift into nearby flower beds or other areas and harm desirable plants.
  • Use a foam applicator to target burdock plants only.

You can use either a selective or non-selective herbicide. However, ensure you do not spray the chemical on good weeds.

2. Use salt

Burdock weed (Arctium asteraceae)

Image: Pinterest/Heartfallen

You can use salt to kill burdock weeds on your lawn or garden. When plants absorb excessive amounts of salt through the root systems, it disrupts the water balance. That causes the weed to wilt and die eventually.

When using salt to control burdock:

  • Use a ratio of three parts salt to one part water.
  • Dilute the salt to dissolve it in the water.
  • Pour the solution directly on the burdock weeds.

You can increase the ratio to make the treatment more effective since too much sodium damages the root structure of many plants. If you don’t have normal salt, consider rock salt or Epsom salt.

3. Use vinegar

You can kill burdock with vinegar and remove the plant from your lawn. Vinegar contains acetic acid.

When sprayed on weeds, the acid draws moisture from the plant and causes it to wilt and die. The best way of making vinegar effective is to mix it with liquid dish soap.

Dish soap will stick on the plant, which will ensure it absorbs much of the vinegar.

  • Use one gallon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap.
  • Mix the two liquids in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the weeds.
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The best time of using the treatment is during the sunniest time of the day.

Note: Vinegar is non-selective. It will kill burdock weeds and any other surrounding plants.

4. Burn the weeds

You can also consider burning burdock as a way of controlling the weed. Fire causes the moisture within the weed to evaporate immediately.

Flames destroy plant tissues which eventually causes the weed to die. However, fire only kills the above-ground portion of the weeds and not the roots.

Since the common burdock is a perennial weed, it will re-grow if you leave the roots in the soil.

You can burn the common burdock by subjecting the whole area to fire. Alternatively, you can use a weed torch to burn the weeds.

An advantage of using flames to eliminate weeds is the method is instant. Just make sure to use a good weed removal tool afterwards to get rid of the root system.

The best weed torches to consider are:

The torches will help you crank up the heat on even the toughest weeds.

5. Pulling

Pulling weeds

Pulling is an effective way of removing weeds from your lawn permanently. By pulling, you’ll remove the plants from the roots, which helps to prevent them from re-growing.

The best time to pull the common burdock is before the plant seeds or during its first year of growth.

  • Start by grabbing the plant at the base.
  • Avoid snatching a handful of weeds and giving them a sharp tug. Most of the time, they will snap in two and leave the bottom half and the roots still in the ground.
  • Instead, grab each weed individually and then pull slowly and steadily to ease the roots from the soil.
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You may have to bend over or kneel to pull out the weeds.

If you do not want to do it by hand, you can use hand tools like:

If you do not prefer bending or kneeling to remove weeds, you can use stand-up weeding tools like:

The tools are ideal for cutting and digging out weeds. They will get rid of burdock weeds from the roots. That will ensure the plant does not re-grow on your lawn.


You can get rid of burdock weeds in different ways. One way is to burn them using a weed torch. Alternatively, you can use a natural method like wilting them using salt or vinegar.

If you prefer chemical treatment, use herbicides like 2,4-D, MCPA, 2,4-DB, or dicamba. Another option is to pull the weeds by hand, which will ensure you remove the roots altogether.

But pulling the weeds by hand can be time-consuming. Use weeding tools to dig out the plants.

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