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How to Get Rid of Thistle Weed?

If you’re like most homeowners, the last thing you want is an unsightly weed taking over your garden. Thistle weed can be particularly difficult to get rid of, but with this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to eliminate them in no time! We’ll answer some common questions about thistle weed and provide helpful tips on how to eradicate them from your property. So don’t wait any longer – let’s get started!

Thistle Identification

The first step in getting rid of thistle weed is to correctly identify the plant. Thistle weed typically has long, sharp leaves that are dark green in color. The flowers are small and purple, and they grow in clusters at the end of the stem. If you’re not sure whether or not you have thistle weed on your property, take a sample of the plant to your local nursery or gardening center for identification.[3]

Systemic herbicide

Systemic herbicide is the most common and effective method to kill thistle weed.

Systemic herbicide is absorbed into the plant through the leaves and moves down to the roots.
This method is especially effective in killing mature plants. When using a systemic herbicide, be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully.

Another method for getting rid of thistle weed is to physically remove it from your garden or yard. This can be done by hand-pulling, hoeing, or tilling. Be sure to dispose of the thistles properly so they don’t spread and re-root elsewhere.

Systemic herbicide

Thistles are difficult weeds to control, but with persistence and patience, you can get rid of them for good![3]

Selective weed killer

If you don’t want to kill all the plants in your garden, a selective weed killer is the best option. Roundup is a popular brand of selective weed killer that can be found in most hardware stores.

To use Roundup, mix the required amount of concentrate with water in a pump sprayer following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, simply spray the leaves of the thistle weeds until they are thoroughly wet. The glyphosate in Roundup will be translocated down to the roots of the plant and kill it.

Roundup is effective at killing thistle weeds, but it will also kill any other green plants that it comes into contact with. So, be careful when spraying and avoid getting any on your other plants. Also, Roundup can be harmful to animals and humans if ingested, so keep it out of reach of children and pets.

If you have a large area of thistle weeds, it’s best to contact a professional weed control company. They will have the equipment and expertise to quickly and effectively get rid of the thistles for you.

There are many different types of thistle weeds, but they all have one thing in common – they’re very difficult to get rid of! But don’t despair, with a little patience and the right method, you can get rid of them for good. In this article, we’ll show you how to get rid of thistle weed using Roundup weed killer. Read on for more tips on getting rid of thistles.

Competing plants

The first step is to get rid of competing plants. Thistle weed loves open spaces with plenty of sunlight, so getting rid of other plants will give it less space to grow. You can either pull up the other plants by hand or use a herbicide. If you’re using a herbicide, make sure to read the label carefully and follow the directions.

You should also consider mowing your lawn regularly. This will help prevent thistle weed from taking over your yard.

Once you’ve removed the competing plants, you’ll need to take care of the thistle weed itself. There are a few different ways you can do this.[1]

Manual removal

The first step is to manually remove the thistle weed from your garden. This can be done by pulling it up from the root or by using a hoe to dig it up. Be sure to dispose of the thistle weed properly so that it does not spread.

If you have a small area of thistle weed, you may be able to remove it by hand. However, if you have a large area of thistle weed, you will need to use a hoe or other gardening tool to remove it.

Manual removal

Once you have removed the thistle weed, be sure to dispose of it properly so that it does not spread.
You can either compost it or throw it away in the trash.[1]


Mowing is one of the most effective ways to get rid of thistle weeds. By cutting down the weed’s growth, you’ll prevent it from flowering and setting seeds. This will also help stop the spread of thistle weed to other areas. However, mowing alone won’t kill the weed – it will just keep it under control.

To effectively get rid of thistle weed, you’ll need to combine mowing with another method, such as herbicide application or hand-pulling. Keep reading for more tips on how to get rid of thistle weed.


If you have a small thistle problem, till the soil to a depth of about six inches. This will kill the roots of the thistles and prevent them from coming back. Be sure to do this in early spring before the thistles have a chance to flower and spread their seeds.

Tilling is also a good way to control thistles in larger areas. However, it can be difficult to till an entire field or lawn by hand. In these cases, you may want to consider renting a tiller from your local hardware store.

Another option is to use herbicides. Herbicides are chemicals that kill plants. There are many different types of herbicides, so be sure to read the label carefully before purchasing one. You will also need to decide whether you want a selective herbicide, which will kill only thistles, or a non-selective herbicide, which will kill all plants.[1]

Physical coverage

The first step in getting rid of thistle weed is to cover up as much of the plant as possible. This will prevent the spread of seeds and stop new plants from growing. You can use a variety of materials for this, including black plastic, cardboard, or even old carpet. Be sure to secure the covering so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind.

Another method of physical removal is to pull up the plants by their roots. This is best done when the ground is wet, as it will be easier to get a good grip on the roots.

If you have gloves, wear them to protect your hands from the prickly leaves.


Livestock integration is another popular method for getting rid of thistle weed. This involves using grazing animals to eat the thistle weed and prevent it from spreading.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using this method:

  • Choose the right grazing animal. Sheep and goats are good options because they will eat both the leaves and stems of the thistle weed. Cattle can also be used, but they tend to only eat the leaves, which means the thistle weed will regrow quickly.
  • Make sure there is enough food for the grazing animals. If there isn’t enough other vegetation for them to eat, they may not touch the thistle weed. This can actually make the problem worse.
  • Monitor the grazing animals closely. You don’t want them to accidentally eat too much of the thistle weed and make themselves sick.

With a little bit of planning, livestock integration can be an effective way to get rid of thistle weed.[1]


You can use vinegar to get rid of thistle weed by following these steps:

  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
  • Spray the thistle weeds liberally with the vinegar solution.
  • Wait a few days and check to see if the thistles have died. If they haven’t, reapply the vinegar solution.

Vinegar is an effective method for getting rid of thistle weed, but it does have some drawbacks. Vinegar is a non-selective herbicide, which means it will kill any plant it comes into contact with – not just thistles. So, if you’re using vinegar to get rid of thistle weed, be careful not to accidentally spray and kill your other plants.


Another downside to using vinegar is that it only kills the above-ground parts of the thistle plant. The roots will still be alive and can regrow new thistles. So, if you’re trying to get rid of thistle weed for good, you’ll need to dig up the roots as well. But more on that later.

If you decide to use vinegar to get rid of thistle weed, make sure you use a white vinegar with a high acidity level (at least 20%). Distilled white vinegar is usually around this acidity level, but you can also find higher concentrations at hardware stores or online.[2]


The thistle weevil is a small black beetle that feeds on the leaves of thistles. The adult beetles are about one-quarter inch long and have a snout. They lay their eggs on the underside of thistle leaves in spring. When the larvae hatch, they eat the leaves from the inside out, causing them to turn brown and die. Eventually, the whole plant dies. You can find these insects at your local nursery or garden center.

Another insect that eats thistles is the larva of the yellow dock sawfly. These caterpillars are green with white stripes and black spots and grow up to one-half inch long. They feed on both the leaves and stems of thistles. You can find them in late spring and early summer.

There are also several species of moths that eat thistles, including the black cutworm moth, the common armyworm moth, and the cabbage looper moth.
The larvae of these moths are green or brown and can grow up to two inches long. They feed on the leaves of thistles, causing them to turn yellow or brown. You can find them in late spring and early summer.[1]

Getting Rid of Thistle Using Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a popular weed killer because it’s natural and effective. You can either buy lemon juice or squeeze your own lemons. If you’re using fresh lemons, mix the juice with water in a ratio of one part lemon juice to three parts water. Once you’ve mixed the lemon juice and water, pour it into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the thistle plants.

Getting Rid of Thistle Using Lemon Juice

The acidity in the lemon juice will kill the plants. You may need to reapply the spray every few days for best results.[2]


Does weed killer kill thistle?

Yes, weed killers that contain glyphosate will kill thistle. You’ll need to carefully follow the instructions on the label to make sure you’re using the product correctly and safely.

Remember that glyphosate will kill any plant it comes into contact with, so be careful when applying it around your other plants. You may want to put a physical barrier (like a piece of cardboard) between the thistle and other plants to avoid accidentally killing them.

Roundup is a popular weed killer that contains glyphosate. You can find it at most hardware stores or online.

How do you stop thistles from growing back?

The best way to stop thistles from growing back is to remove the entire root system. This can be done by digging up the plant or using a herbicide. If you dig up the plant, make sure to dispose of it properly so that it doesn’t spread. If you use a herbicide, be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully.

Another way to prevent thistles from coming back is to mow them down regularly. This will weaken the plant and eventually kill it. Be sure to wear protective clothing when mowing, as thistle plants can release sharp prickles that can cause skin irritation.

Does mowing spread thistles?

Mowing thistles does not necessarily spread them, but if the plant is in seed it can help disperse them. It is best to bag your clippings when mowing and dispose of them properly to prevent any further spread. Hand-pulling thistles is also an effective method of control, especially for small infestations. Be sure to pull up the entire root system so that the plant does not regrow. If you have a large area infested with thistle weed, you may need to resort to herbicides for control.

What time of year does thistle grow?

Thistle weed generally starts to grow in late spring or early summer. However, if the conditions are right (lots of rain and warm temperatures), it can start growing earlier. In some cases, thistle has been known to germinate and start growing in mid-winter!

What time of year does thistle grow?

So, if you’re seeing thistle weeds popping up in your yard, chances are it’s because the conditions have been favorable for their growth. But don’t worry, there are still things you can do to get rid of them. Read on for our comprehensive guide on how to get rid of thistle weed.

When should I cut my thistle?

You should cut your thistle when it starts to flower. This will prevent the plant from going to seed and spreading. You can also mow over the top of the thistle to keep it from flowering.

If you have a large area of thistle, you may want to consider using a herbicide. Glyphosate is effective against thistle and will kill the plant without harming the surrounding vegetation. Be sure to follow the directions on the label when using any herbicide.

Are thistles good for anything?

The short answer is no, thistles are not good for anything. In fact, they’re considered a nuisance by most people because of their prickly leaves and tendency to spread quickly.

Thistles are actually a type of weed, and like all weeds, they compete with other plants for resources like water and sunlight. This can harm your garden or lawn if you have a lot of thistles growing in it.

Additionally, the sharp spines on thistle leaves can make them difficult to walk through or work around if you have them in your yard. And if you have pets or small children, those spines can be painful if they brush up against them.

Useful Video: THISTLE: The Worst Weed In Your Garden! Here’s How You Get Rid Of It Along With Its Invasive Roots!


If you have thistle weed on your property, there are a few different ways to get rid of it. You can try manually pulling the weeds, using herbicide, or mowing regularly. The best method will depend on the size and layout of your property. With a little patience and effort, you can get rid of thistle weed for good!

Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences with getting rid of thistle weed, please leave a comment below.


  1. https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Thistles
  2. https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-get-rid-of-thistle/
  3. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/weeds/canada-thistle-control.htm