I think I have pokeweed growing in my yard, which I've read is toxic to...

Asked May 23, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

I think I have pokeweed growing in my yard, which I've read is toxic to children and animals and can spread rapidly. I don't mind it growing in a few controlled areas, but would prefer that it remain under control. It's already sprouted up in a few places where I don't want it and it's roots are deep (I just broke a spade trying to dig up a root). Is this pokeweed, and what's the best way to manage it? Should I cut it back where it's already too established to dig up the roots? Is there an herbicide that will keep it from coming back?

Montgomery County Maryland weeds pokeweed removal

1 Response

Yes, you have pokeweed. It is important that you remove the pokeweed before it goes to flower/seed. As you have observed, the roots are deep and fleshy which doesn't make it easy to remove them, but it is important that you remove all of the root when you dig or pull them up.
Roundup is systemic, of course, but killing the entire root of pokeweed is problematic. The top growth may be burned back before the chemical can reach the total root material.
All parts of the pokeweed are toxic if ingested.
LS