Tired of dandelions overtaking your lawn or garden, but want to stay away from harsh chemical weed killers? Good choice: harsh chemicals can be really damaging to the ecosystem. Dandelions are resilient plants with deep roots, but getting rid of them with natural solutions is both simple and an effective way of keeping your backyard looking great. We’re here to walk you through how to eliminate dandelions and keep them from spreading in this comprehensive guide on how to kill dandelions naturally.

This article is based on an interview with our garden and landscape designer, Ben Barkan, owner and founder of HomeHarvest LLC. Check out the full interview here.


Hand Pulling

  1. Moisten the soil with water, grip the dandelions tightly by their bases, and pull them out of the soil. Try to remove as much of the taproot as possible—at least several inches of it. Most dandelion taproots will be around 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) long, and removing as much of it as possible is the key to ensuring that your dandelion won’t grow back.
    • If you don’t destroy or remove the roots of a dandelion, it will likely grow back.
    • If you’re having trouble pulling out the roots, try using a dandelion digger. Insert the digger into the soil at a 45 degree angle, and pry the dandelion out of the soil.
    • After pulling out the dandelions, you can put mulch or horticultural vinegar over the area where you removed the dandelions to keep any missed roots from regrowing.[1]
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Boiling Water

  1. Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it over the dandelion. The heat will kill the dandelion, and once the flower has shriveled up, it will naturally fall off on its own.[2]
    • Be careful not to pour the water on any surrounding plants—you might end up hurting them.
    • This method is a quick solution to getting rid of any pesky dandelions temporarily. Since the root system of the dandelion grows deep, for a permanent fix, you’ll need to pull it out from the ground.[3]

Horticultural Vinegar

  1. Use horticultural vinegar as a heavy-duty dandelion killer. Horticultural vinegar is 4 times as strong as household vinegar, which makes it very effective at killing weeds. Pour or spray a small amount of horticultural vinegar onto the dandelions to kill the plants.[5]
    • Although horticultural vinegar is a natural product, it is a strong acid, and needs to be handled carefully. Wear long sleeves, gloves, pants, and a mask when using this product.
    • Horticultural vinegar can damage surrounding plants, so be sure to use it in small amounts and only in the area with the dandelions.

Mowing Your Lawn

About This Article

Ben Barkan
Written by:
Garden & Landscape Designer
This article was written by Ben Barkan and by wikiHow staff writer, Nihal Shetty. Ben Barkan is a Garden and Landscape Designer and the Owner and Founder of HomeHarvest LLC, an edible landscapes and construction business based in Boston, Massachusetts. Ben has over 12 years of experience working with organic gardening and specializes in designing and building beautiful landscapes with custom construction and creative plant integration. He is a Certified Permaculture Designer, is licensed Construction Supervisor in Massachusetts, and is a Licensed Home Improvement Contractor. He holds an associates degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This article has been viewed 22,665 times.
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Co-authors: 4
Updated: October 10, 2023
Views: 22,665
Categories: Home and Garden