How to Rip Out Flowers


If there is a flower bed causing you trouble either through disease, overgrowth, or an unwanted plant has shown up on the scene, then you’ll want to take a day to rip out flowers that you don’t want to make room for other plants you do want. While it might be tempting to grab a hold of the main stem of a plant and pull, that doesn’t always guarantee that you'll get rid of your problem permanently.

Step 1

Look over the shaping of the flower to determine the perimeter of the plant on the ground. Any area of ground directly below branches and stems may contain roots.

Step 2

Dig straight down along this perimeter and work your way in a circle around the plant. Dig down as far as a foot. For small plants or plants that are next to other flowers, you may be able to use a hand trowel. Larger or isolated plants can be dug with a shovel.

Step 3

Dig under the main roots of the plant until you have loosened the soil all the way around and the flower until it is loose in the hole. Insert the hand trowel or shovel directly under the flower, and lift it away from the hole.

Step 4

Use a cultivator to rough up the soil inside the hole, scraping back and forth, to release any stray roots left behind. Remove the roots and fill the hole in with garden soil all the way to the top.

Step 5

Plant new plant seedlings into the fresh garden soil, or spread grass seed or sod over the garden soil if the area is to become lawn. Water any new plantings regularly for the first month.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you find the type of flower you are removing has a longer root rather than a more ball-like shape, then you may need to dig further down than just a foot to ensure you get the whole thing. Wear gloves if working with a flower variety that has thorns or prickly leaves and stems.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or hand trowel
  • Cultivator
  • Garden soil
  • Plant seedling, grass seed, or sod


  • "Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening"; Carroll C. Calkins; 1993
  • "New Complete Guide to Landscaping"; Better Homes and Gardens; 2002
Keywords: ripping out flowers, removing unwanted flowers, digging up flowers

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.