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How to Kill Desert Broom Plants

By Elizabeth Balarini ; Updated September 21, 2017

Desert broom is an evergreen shrub that grows wild. Its botanical name is Baccharis sarothroides, and it is also known by the names broom baccharis. In Spanish, it is known as hierba del pasmo, which means "grass of amazement," although the only remarkable thing about this plant is its ability to take over land and choke out other plants. It is possible to kill desert broom if you find it in your lawn or property.

Pull the entire desert broom plant out of the ground, if the plant is small and young. Grip the plant at its base, near the soil line, and pull upward gently but firmly. The key is to remove the plant and all of its roots. If the roots rip in the process, the root pieces left in the ground will continue to grow and regenerate into new, more deeply-established plants.

Cut established, mature desert broom plants down to the soil line. Place the shrub in a garbage bag to prevent it from spreading seeds. Apply a broad-spectrum herbicide to the exposed wound of the desert broom's trunk stump. The herbicide penetrates the plant and kills it. Herbicides work best if they are used during the hot spring and summer months.

Treat desert broom plants that you happen to find during the fall and winter time differently. Cut the plant all the way to the soil line, the same way as those found during spring and summer, and dispose of the removed shrub. During the cooler months, however, do not apply herbicide. Wait until the temperatures warm up during the spring, and cut off any new growth back down to the soil line. Apply broad-spectrum herbicide to the fresh wound.


Things You Will Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Broad-spectrum herbicide (like Roundup)

About the Author


Elizabeth Balarini is a freelance writer and professional blogger who began writing professionally in 2006. Her work has been published on several websites. Her articles focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, home and garden, and health and wellness. Balarini majored in English at the University of Texas at San Antonio.