Asked on Jul 03, 2017

How can we get rid of milkweed plants? They are invading our yard!!

Wendy Molnar
by Wendy Molnar
We live next door to a vacant lot. We know that milkweed is vital to the monarch butterflies, however the lot is full and we just want to eliminate the plants closest to the property line without killing all the plants off. Anyone have suggestions?

  5 answers
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Jul 03, 2017

    You can spray weed killer in your own yard. Use a big piece of cardboard to protect the vacant yard if you wish. When the plants start dying in your yard, you start digging. Don't put them in with compost; put them in a plastic bag each time and put it inside a trash bag. With that much seed and pollen, the milkweed will continue to spread to your yard. You could be neighborly and keep the lot cut, if the owners are not doing it. Our Dallas gardening specialist always said, the best way to keep weeds out is to keep them from flowering in the first place. Bless your heart 😇

    • See 1 previous
    • Wendy Molnar Wendy Molnar on Jul 04, 2017

      Thanks for your suggestion. I think we will cut them down first. Then take the flowers to center or back of empty lot and hope more will come up next year. Then spray the stems that remain with weed killer. As for mowing, that's a no. Because along with the milkweed we have a beautiful lot full of all kinds of wild flowers in the spring that the birds and other animals feed off, I love watching the baby rabbits munch on the clover,along with the hummingbirds and bumblebees. I pray no one ever decides to build there.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jul 03, 2017

    Please watch out for the caterpillars eating the leaves and the chrysalis that they make to grow into the butterflies. You need not kill all the plants in the empty lot, just deflower some of them to lessen the risk of the seeds floating over into your yard. Cut off the ones real close to your property line and in your yard and put the weed killer only on the cut areas of the plant. That way you won't have overspray. Use a paintbrush if you want to. If you see a caterpillar eating leaves or a chrysalis on a plant you want to kill, move the caterpillar to a section you are leaving alone, well away from any poisoned plants, and the chrysalis you can just cut a little section of the plant off and give it to a child so that they can watch the transformation, actually you can do the same with the caterpillar and make sure you tell them to put fresh milkweed leaves in the jar each day for it to eat and they can watch the whole process. It is festinating to watch! I applaud you for not wanting to kill off the milkweed in the lot so the Monarchs can continue on!

  • RM RM on Jul 04, 2017

    Please do not kill the milkweed. It is one of the few plants that a monarch will eat. Call your local ag center, garden center, girls/boys club, dig them up and sell them--whatever you need to do. The seed pots are like dandelions when they spread so you're be rid of them any time soon. Enjoy the colors of the plants and especially enjoy the butterflies.

    • Wendy Molnar Wendy Molnar on Jul 04, 2017

      Thanks for your suggestion. But we will get rid of them buy cutting and disposing top part of the stems in the middle or back of the lot so they can grow wild farther from our property line. What's left will be sprayed and dug up. Trust me there are plenty already out there for all the monarchs in our entire area.

  • Kimberly Tirona Kimberly Tirona on Jul 06, 2017

    dig up the plants and sell them to a nursRey or to a local butterfly garden. They sell for $4-$15 each here depending on size.

    • Lori Collins Brandt Lori Collins Brandt on May 25, 2018

      I have a section...of native milkweed I will sell... right now I cut or dig and burn.... If I can make a few dollars count me in... NE Oklahoma.

  • Kimberly Tirona Kimberly Tirona on Jul 06, 2017

    In fact you have a money machine right there. the seeds are worth money. I wish I could grow it like that here. My monarchs are jealous