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How to Get Rid of Burdocks

By Nannette Richford ; Updated September 21, 2017
Burdocks are aggressive weeds.

Anyone who owns a dog that has gotten into burdocks already knows the pain these lowly weeds growing on your property can bring. These aggressive weeds grow to heights of 4 feet or more and produce an abundance of burrs that cling to anyone and anything that crosses their path. Getting rid of burdocks requires patience and work, but the result is well worth the time invested.

Pull burdocks in early spring while the soil is wet. Although some will resist your efforts, most will pull free with the long taproot attached. Dig with a spade to remove any roots that break or resist your efforts. Without the taproot, the burdock will not return. Failure to pull the taproots in spring results in new plants growing from the old root.

Pour white distilled vinegar on young burdock leaves as soon as they appear. Soak the entire leaves and allow vinegar to saturate the root. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar to get those hard-to-reach areas. Within a day or two, the leaves will die and turn brown. Pull the leaves and as much of the root as possible.

In areas where the roots are inaccessible, keeping the leaves cut might be the only choice. Mow or cut any new leaves that sprout to prevent plants from growing. Eventually, the plants will die if leaves are removed regularly.

Check the area often for any signs of new growth and apply vinegar or cut away the leaves immediately.


Things You Will Need

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Garden clippers
  • Mower
  • Garden fork or spade

About the Author


Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.