Asked on Mar 8, 2020

How can I get rid of these invasive thorny plants?

Lynn SorrellRockyroadJanice
+16

Answered

New home in SWFL has these thorny plants all over yard that irritate skin if touched. Desperate to rid my yard of them. Help!

18 answers
  • Mogie
    on Mar 8, 2020

    If you would rather stay organic, you can try using vinegar as an herbicide. Some organic gardeners even use something as simple as boiling water to kill weeds. But do not get your hopes up too high, because, the fact is, neither vinegar nor hot water will work on everything.

    Since the weed is thorny you might rather to use a screw driver and pop it out. But be careful to try to get as much of the root as possible.

  • This looks like thistle. You can try vinegar and salt in a spray bottle. I cover the bottom of the bottle with salt and fill with vinegar, but you may have to dig out the roots.

  • Vimarhonor
    on Mar 8, 2020


    Hello. A commercial herbicide would work if you dont mind chemicals, or a flame torch like a weed dragon.


    We had a 200 foot pea gravel driveway that was a nightmare to maintain. Weeds grass and nuisance vegetation constantly popped up. Our options were to use round up vegetation killer or the weed dragon.Both worked but needed continued reapplication which seemed like 7-10 days. We ended up putting in a concrete driveway to solve this issue and I’ve never been happier!

    Weed dragons are a big hit to ignite fire pits too.


    They come in different sizes and prices depending on individual need. Great for gravel driveway weeding.


    If your weedy situation is too close to a flammable structure this weed burner won't be an option!

    Never burn poison ivy!


    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004Z2FP/ref=asc_df_B00004Z2FP5265072/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B00004Z2FP&linkCode=df0&hvad=pla-373115546834

  • Deb K
    on Mar 8, 2020

    Hi Kristine, I would try using a weed puller, be sure to wet weed down to soften the ground before you pull, I have attached a video for you, also, once you rid yourself of these you may want to fertilize, healthy lawn will choke the weed out.

  • Gk
    on Mar 8, 2020

    Thistle plants! If you soften the ground with water or wait until after a rain so the ground is soft you can put on some work gloves, get two fingers under the bottom leaves around the stem and pull them out. Be careful where you dispose of the plants or they will root in that area. I let mine dry in the sun and then burn them in the backyard fire pit!

    • Barbara Metzger
      on Mar 10, 2020

      I've been trying to get rid of thistles for 8 yrs. According to garden books & nurseries the roots are several feet down in the ground. What we pull up is just a portion of root that broke off. No matter how much I pulled out and covered with 3" of mulch - they came back every year. I was away for 4 months & had 6ft plants when I got home.

  • J Brown
    on Mar 8, 2020

    with gloves on grab at the base and rip them out, only way to be sure they are gone

  • Linda Sikut
    on Mar 8, 2020

    Hi Kristine,

    I got rid of a TON of them last summer by pouring a mixture of salt and vinegar on them. We had tried pulling them out, but even when the ground was wet, we couldn't get out all of the root. The recipe I used is similar to the one in the link below. Just be VERY careful not to get the mixture on other plants. Salt will kill all plants and it affects the soil. I expect I will get some back this year, but I'll be ready to douse the new ones immediately. Wishing you the best.

    https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/planting-and-maintenance/make-your-own-natural-weed-killer

  • Peggy Burnette
    on Mar 8, 2020

    Hi this is Peggy. Yes these are terrible weeds. Hope this helps you get rid of them.


    View all



    Apply herbicides to kill thistle, especially in spring and fall, before thistles can flower and seed. Use glyphosate for your garden, and use a broad-leaf herbicide containing 2,4-D or MCPP for your lawn. Since glyphosate kills all plants, you must keep application specific.Jul 17, 2017


    How to Get Rid of Thistle Permanently | Hunker

    www.hunker.com › ... › garden & lawn › pests, weeds & problems


  • Betsy
    on Mar 8, 2020

    Hi Kristine: The recipe I use is:

    1 gallon of white vinegar

    2 cups of Epsom salts

    1/4 cup of dish washing detergent, like Dawn.

    Mix the vinegar and salt until the salt is completely dissolved.

    Mix in the Dawn until mixed well, but not all fuzzy and sudsy,sort of swirl it around.

    Put in a spray bottle and spray the weeds liberally, using the stream position and spraying right in the middle of the weed. Spray in the morning after the dew has gone. Then, by evening the weeds should be dead or on their way out. Don't spray anything you want to keep or it will die too. I have used this and it works quite well. Also, it's good for making an edging as it kills only what it touches. If you have something like a piece of cardboard, hold it up and down, edgewise, and spray the area you want as an edge. Just be careful not to spray your flowers and/or bushes. Good luck

  • Cynthia H
    on Mar 9, 2020

    Wear gloves, long sleeves, and use a gardening shovel. Digging out the roots is the only thing I found worked for a plant like this.

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    on Mar 9, 2020

    I get these and use my gardening gloves and bunch all the leaves up so they are in my hand and then pull and twist to get it all out. There will be a big solid root that should come out and then you'll know you got it all.

  • Kristine McWilliams
    on Mar 9, 2020

    Thanks everyone!

  • William
    on Mar 9, 2020

    Vinegar and salt will kill everything. Even the lawn. Roots are long a go deep. Digging out can snap the root and they will come back. Use Specatracide Weed and feed in the hose end sprayer. No mixing, no mess. Kills the weeds and feed the lawn. A thicker lawn leaves no room for weeds.

  • Chloe Crabtree
    on Mar 9, 2020

    Here is a video tutorial to show you how to get rid of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_fTgrAi3GE

  • Redcatcec
    on Mar 10, 2020

    Here's my recipe:


    1 gallon white vinegar

    1 cup salt

    3Tablespoons of Blue Dawn dish soap


    Mix and spray on the weeds. Do this on a hot dry windless day.

  • Janice
    on Mar 11, 2020

    If resort to pulling them, be sure to place each thistle into a bag to dispose. Some weeds, when pulled and left to lie on the ground have seeds that then create new plants. Best to pull out, contain it within a gag and throw in trash.

  • Rockyroad
    on Mar 20, 2020

    If they are in an area that can be covered with black plastic , this is a very effective method , heat from plastic kills the Thistle , roots and all .

  • Lynn Sorrell
    on Mar 20, 2020

    wet soil put on leather gloves and pull each plant up by the root system and do it before they bloom or the plants will continue to fill your yard or pour straight vinegar onto each plant enuf to soak into roots below do in full hot sun plant will die in a few days remove it asap when roots begin to release from soil as it can still continue to bloom dispersing seeds even after it begins to die or after it is dead

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