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How to Kill Strawberry Plants

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017
Wild strawberry plants are smaller than domestic strawberries.

You may not think of strawberry plants as a weed, but any plant that grows where you don’t want it to would be considered a weed. Wild strawberry plants such as Siberian strawberries or Indian strawberries, which are sometimes planted as a ground cover, can escape a neighbor’s carefully cultivated flower bed or lawn and invade your own lawn. Wild strawberry plants look quite similar to cultivated strawberry plants, but they are smaller than their cultivated cousins and produce tinier berries.

Select a post-emergent herbicide containing fluazifop-p-butyl. Herbicides that contain this chemical are formulated to kill ground covers such as ornamental strawberries.

Protect desirable plants that may be near the strawberry plants with plastic tarps or painter’s plastic drop cloths. Post-emergent herbicides are non-selective, and will kill any plant that they come in contact with.

Put on protective clothing before mixing the herbicides. This includes breathing protection, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and protective gloves. Your skin will absorb the chemical into your body if you come in contact with it.

Mix the herbicide according to package directions. Herbicide mixing directions vary according to the manufacturer.

Pour the herbicide into a spray bottle for ease of application.

Set the herbicide spray bottle to the setting for misting. Mist over the leaves of the strawberry plants until they are saturated with the herbicide.

Wait for the strawberry plants to die before removing them. Strawberry plants will turn brown and their leaves will be brittle when they die.

Pull the strawberry plants up by hand. Grasp the plant near the point where it emerges from the soil and pull upward. The roots will be shallow, and should pull free from the ground if you pull the plant up by the base.

Discard the plant in a garden waste bag. Do not attempt to plow the strawberry plants into the ground or place them in your compost heap. The strawberry plants will still contain herbicide and doing so will distribute the herbicide residue among other plants or the soil.


Things You Will Need

  • Post-emergent herbicide containing fluazifop-p-butyl
  • Plastic tarp
  • Painter's plastic drop cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Protective clothing


  • Take a shower immediately after using herbicide to ensure that it does not contact your skin.

About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.