Chickweed is a common name for plants in the Stellaria genus of the Caryophyllaceae flower family. The plant can be found in gardens and landscapes throughout North America, and its hardy nature makes it a pest for many gardeners. Commercial weed killers can kill chickweed but often depend on toxic chemicals. Learn how to kill chickweed using organic weed killer and natural weed control methods to remove the plant without compromising your yard's natural health.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Organic herbicide
- Organic vinegar
- 1 tsp isopropyl alcohol
- Quart-sized spray bottle
- Rock salt
- Water kettle
Spray the chickweed with an organic herbicide. Coat the chickweed evenly from its base to the top of the plant. For best results, spray during the morning after the morning dew has evaporated. Most organic weed killers use a blend of natural citrus acids to dehydrate and kill plants. Example products include Nature's Avenger's Organic Weed & Grass Killer, St. Gabriel Labs' Burnout Weed & Grass Killer, and Nature's Wisdom's Natural Weed Control. Purchase at nurseries, garden supply stores, some health food stores, and online retailers. (see Resources).
Douse chickweed seedlings with organic white or apple cider vinegar. The natural acidic nature of the vinegar will burn the young leaves and stems of the plant, causing the chickweed to wither and die. Apply daily for two to three days to kill most young chickweed plants.
Make your own organic herbicide. Pour a teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol into 887ml of water in a quart-sized plastic spray bottle. Shake to mix thoroughly. Spray on chickweed twice daily until the plant dies.
Sprinkle rock salt around the base of the chickweed. Salt naturally sterilises the soil and prevents plant growth. This option is best in areas you do not plan to plant in the future. For easier application in large areas, mix one part salt with two parts hot water. Stir to dissolve the salt, then empty the saline solution into a spray bottle. Spray the soil around the chickweed until the soil is moist to the touch.
Use boiling water. This is the best option for those who want the most natural, organic method possible short of manually uprooting the chickweed while it is still alive. Boil water in a kettle and pour it directly on the chickweed, dousing the entire plant and the soil around its base. Repeat twice daily for three to four days. Boiling water collapses the plant's cells and kills it. Additionally, the water may also help make uprooting of the dead plant easier.
Tips and warnings
- Practice natural weed prevention to stop chickweed from growing in your garden. Physical barriers, such as weed block fabric, will prevent the weed seeds from sprouting and maturing.
- Most organic weed killer solutions are non-selective, meaning they will kill all plants besides just the chickweed. Apply carefully and avoid getting it on plants and grass that you wish to keep.
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