How do I safely remove polk root from the ground?

by Gail

I had a volunteer Polk plant in my garden last year. I was told the root is poisonous and I wondered if I should burn it out or dig it up? Thank you for your advice in advance!

  4 answers
  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Apr 03, 2019

    Hi Gail, sorry you have this poisonous root in your ground. Here are some ways to get rid of it and some safety tips for removing it too. Be safe and good luck. What kills pokeweed?

    Apply glyphosate directly to the leaves of the plant to kill it. This acts through the vascular system and while it takes a while to see results, eventually the chemical reaches the roots. Other chemicals to control pokeweed are dicamba and 2,4 D. Use spot applications on plants as they occur in your garden.Apr 5, 2018

    Common Pokeweed Control - What Is Pokeweed And How To Keep ...

    Search for: What kills pokeweed?

    Is pokeweed dangerous to touch?

    All parts of the pokeweed plant, especially the root, are poisonous. Severe poisoning has been reported from drinking tea brewed from pokeweed root and pokeweedleaves. ... Don't touch pokeweed with your bare hands. Chemicals in the plant can pass though the skin and affect the blood.

    Pokeweed: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning

  • Marti Bradish Marti Bradish on Apr 04, 2019

    I'm not going to be able to tell you how to kill poke weed, however I will tell u to wear a breathing mask, heavy gloves and be extremely careful using glyphosate (aka:ROUNDUP WEED KILLER)!! There's currently a class-action law suit against the manufacturer of ROUNDUP, glyphosate weed killer. It has been proven to be a carcinogenic chemical... It causes CANCER! Don't use it on a windy day, & don't get any of it on your skin, & don't breathe it in.

    • See 1 previous
    • Gail Gail on Apr 04, 2019

      Thank you! Gail

  • Susan Susan on Apr 04, 2019

    Please don't worry about the poke plant. They are highly ornamental and DELICIOUS. After the leaves are parboiled, they can be prepared like spinach. I'm trying to remember if it has to go through a second water parboil. I grew up being told that every other part of the plant was poisonous, but now am reading that some people make pies out of the berries and use the roots for medicine. I bet they have to parboil those, too.

    Burning poisonous things makes the smoke poisonous. And poisoning poison with a poison seems a poor prospect as well. SK

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Apr 04, 2019

    Our grandparents would have thought all this caution and fear was far overblown. For them, pokeweed was a mundane food—a staple of spring.Elvis had famous song"Polk Salad Annie" But at some point that familiarity with our wild, native plants began to dwindle, and now pokeweed is something of a daredevil food for aspiring foragers. Let’s take back our horticultural heritage and eat some pokeweed (after preparing it correctly, of course). This video should help: Only the root is poisonous--just pull it out and put it in garbage. don't let it flower & go to seed if you do not want more in your yard; birds probably dropped the seeds;cut it off and dump salt/vinegar mix on root/stem that is left in ground if you insist on being rid of it;burning any poisonous plant is highly dangerous if you inhale the smoke your in big trouble same goes for poison oak,ivy,sumac ;also Round-up along with the many other Glysophates not targeted by civil suits have a purpose to kill highly invasive woody stalked plants that cannot be otherwise controlled.If you use them safely and rarely then you'll be fine.They are just over used and safety precautions have been ignored.just as hazardous as the paint, paint thinner everyone flushes down our drains and the pesticides we put on/in our pets or all the fertilizers everyone puts on their lawns regularly.

    • Gail Gail on Apr 04, 2019

      Thank you for the information. I greatly appreciate your efforts! G