Controlling Thistle


Thistles are categorized as weeds simply because they can be an unwanted plant. One of the main reasons people do not want thistles on their property is because they contain sharp prickles that can hurt when you brush up against them. There are a few items you probably have in your house that will control the thistles for you. You can use this formula to kill some or all of the thistles.

Step 1

Dump the salt into a bucket. If you don't have a small bucket, you can use an empty milk jug. Salt is well known for its ability to kill any type of plant, including thistles.

Step 2

Add vinegar to the bucket and stir until the salt has dissolved. Vinegar breaks down the cell membranes of the thistle's plant tissue.

Step 3

Drip in your liquid dish soap. The dish soap helps the other two ingredients stick to the thistle when sprayed. That makes the solution more effective.

Step 4

Place your homemade thistle killer in an empty spray bottle and spray the thistles you want to kill. If you want to keep a few thistles, do not spray those.

Step 5

Sprinkle cornmeal on the ground once your thistles die. Cornmeal will keep new thistles from growing in the future.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves if you decide to remove the thistles by hand. Be careful because there are a lot of sharp points on a thistle.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1-gallon bucket
  • 1 qt. distilled vinegar
  • 2 tsp. liquid dish soap
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Cornmeal


  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Thistle Control Alternatives
Keywords: thistle control, killing thistle, homemade thistle killer

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.