What is the best way to get rid of wild onions?

Asked April 2, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

Is there a way to kill wild onions. My flower garden is completely over run by them. I have tried to dig them out, that worked for about a season but we must have missed some

Coos County Oregon

1 Response

Probably you will benefit from trying a number of approaches in their control.

First, continue to pull or dig out. There are often a number of bulblets left behind after initial removal; taking this on when the soil is moist will often make the job easier. If you are trying to use the least obtrusive methodology, also try mowing or covering with cardboard and/or mulch which will weaken them.

Wild onion plants are difficult to control for two reasons.

  • First, because they grow from bulbs and bulblets, which break apart from each other easily, so it is difficult to remove an entire clump without leaving some roots behind.
  • Second, the thin waxy leaves make it difficult for herbicides to stick to the leaves and, even if it does, the wax makes it difficult for the herbicide to penetrate into the wild onion plant.
Mowing or roughing up the leaves some may help before applying herbicides if you decide to take that route. You can find the active ingredients to use in the article from University of South Carolina below:

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/weeds/hgic2311.html Good luck in ridding yourself of these plants!