How to Remove Burdock From a Lawn


Burdock is a plant native to Europe. The large taproot plant can produce thousands of seeds each year. The invasive plant tends to like high moisture areas that are rich in nitrogen. The large burs, which hold the seeds, will also get caught on clothing and on animal hair. Left unchecked, common burdock can quickly take over an area. There are two typical methods for removing burdock from lawns: mechanical and chemical.

Step 1

Wear gloves when working with the removal of burdock, as the plant can stain hands a deep green color. According to Washington State University, the plant may also be considered toxic due to its potential diuretic effects. A diuretic is any substance that increases the flow of urine.

Step 2

Dig the long taproot from the lawn using the hand trowel. Remove all of the long taproot, as any small portion will grow back over time.

Step 3

Mow the burdock plant on the lowest setting possible with the lawn mower. This will keep the plant from reproducing. The common burdock reproduces from a large center stalk. From the long cylindrical stalk, emerges the flower head and then the bur.

Step 4

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide or other relevant herbicide directly on the plant in the lawn. This will take a spot application so the herbicide does not come in contact with other plants. Use a small hand-held sprayer or a wick-type applicator. Consult your local agricultural extension service for herbicides that are used in your area. Not all herbicides may be legal to use in various areas around the country.

Tips and Warnings

  • Exercise caution when using any form of herbicide. Over spraying can kill other plants. Run-off may damage aquatic plants and animals. Keep children and pets away from all areas that have been treated with an herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Hand trowel
  • Lawn mower
  • Herbicide
  • Hand held sprayer or wick applicator


  • Ohio Sate University: Common Burdock
  • Washington State University: Common Burdock
Keywords: lawn weeds, burs, cockleburs

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.