How to burn weeds

Updated November 21, 2016

Most gardeners eliminate weeds with herbicides, either sprayed on or applied manually for added control. However, some gardeners choose to use organic means of weed control, including burning or flaming. This method involves using a burner or wand that runs on propane or parasene gas.

Put on safety glasses, gloves and closed toe shoes for protection before lighting and working with a weed flamer or weed wand.

Prepare the weed flamer or wand, following the manufacturer's directions. Fill the fuel tank or insert a propane gas cylinder into the flamer or wand. Pump the tank to pressurise the fuel, if necessary, and open the control valve for lighting. Light the end of the flamer with a long stick match or lighter and allow to preheat.

Position the end of the flamer or wand so the flame will not contact the weeds. Instead, use the high heat to singe the leaves.

Apply a short burst of flame above the weeds and direct the heat to all exposed leaves.

Move slowly through the garden or landscape, taking care to avoid contacting flowers, vegetables or landscape plants with the heat or flame.


Monitor the burnt weeds for signs of die back. The heat from the flame will cause the cells of the leaf to burst and the sugar production for the weed plant to get disrupted. The lack of sugar will cause the weed to die.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Weed flamer or wand
  • Flamer fuel (propane or parasene gas)
  • Long stick match or lighter
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.