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7 Easy Steps – How to Get Rid of Pokeweed

How to get rid of pokeweed is not as simple as pulling it out. This doesn’t mean that it’s a very difficult task either. If done thoroughly, the removal process isn’t only successful but also guarantees safety on the plants you want to grow and keep.

In ancient history, pokeberry weed, or most commonly known now as pokeweed, has been used both as food and medicine. Even though it’s often added to certain dishes, people were very careful as it could give reactions that are toxic and usually fatal.​

Danger and Problems of Pokeweed

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Pokeweed is deceitful. It has that appearance that can be attractive to some people’s eyes. Its leaves are also striking transition from green to purple or red violet, which can also be the color for the stems. Despite that, this plant is considered weed and hazardous.

There are ingredients that can cause allergies, but sadly all parts of it are toxic. Thus, knowing how to get rid of pokeweed is very important.

The fruits of this weed can be mistaken as delicious berries by young kids. They can easily pick and eat them. That’s another possible danger this plant imposes. In addition to educating them about this particular plant, getting rid of it for good is a key solution.

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In plants, pokeweed grows really long up to 10 feet tall. It can outgrow other plants and ultimately damage or kill them. Not only that, a single plant produces around 50,000 seeds and can live longer.

Some birds also tend to collect them and drop anywhere else, which suggests more spread. It can be a big problem to gardeners for sure.

Manual Removal of Pokeweed

Obviously, how to get rid of pokeweed has to be done with a lot of pulling and cutting. But as mentioned earlier, it must be dealt with the proper steps.

1. Prepare Necessary Materials

Basically, you only need a couple of tools in removing pokeweed. These are shears, garden hoe or shovel, bow or broom rake, wheelbarrow and gloves. However, other tools may become handy, such as spade, wheelbarrow, rototiller and soil screen.

2. Pull Out

The simplest solution on how to get rid of pokeweed is to pull the plant off the ground. Have a firm grip of the top part of the plant and pull it out. It usually comes with the root. But make sure to remove all roots and no traces of fruits are left behind.

3. Dig up New Shoots

Another thing to check are new sprouts or shoots. This can be more crucial than identifying pokeweed for the first time. Unless you are familiar with how it looks like, this plant whether it’s small or not with its entire ball root should be removed from the soil.

4. Collect Soil

You don’t want a single berry be left behind and start another round of problem to deal with in the next few weeks. So to ensure that’s not going to happen, double check the soil, dirt and everything in the ground. This is when the soil screen and wheelbarrow become very helpful.

Simply place the screen over the wheelbarrow. Dig up some soil with a shovel and pour all over the wheelbarrow through the screen. This should make you see if there’s any roots, fruits, or stems that aren’t pulled out in the first place.

5. Water the Ground

Another one way of making sure you get rid of any single of pokeweed is to spray some water all over the soil where you just pulled out the weed. It helps identify any traces that must be removed.

6. Rake

It also helps if you rake the ground. This is optional but if you want to do this it’s best to start raking before you water the soil. And rake only a shallow part as you don’t want to destroy everything in the soil when it’s still useful for more plants to grow.

Unless you want to burn right from pulling, pokeweed roots can be left dried out in the open. This takes a few hours under direct sunlight though.

7. Dry the Roots

Larger plants may require that you use a shovel and dig around the root loosening it enough to pull the entire root with the plant. Don’t leave any of the roots or you’ll wind up with a new plant (or more).


There are instances in which you may need more than just manual removal. The use of a powerful herbicide is also a good solution on how to get rid of pokeweed. You may use a natural herbicide or roundup (glyphosate) for a much quicker process.

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