How to Get Rid of Pokeweed

How to Get Rid of Pokeweed

Identifying Pokeweed can be trickier than getting rid of it. These dangerously toxic little plants can be a real hazard to your children, pets, and livestock.

Earlier in time, Americans would consume pokeweed as a part of their nourishment and medications while others would simply just add it to their pies. However, pokeweed or pokeberry should be handled with extreme care as it can leave severely toxic physical reactions.

Making it is absolutely essential for every gardener, especially domestic ones, to be well-versed with the identification of the pokeberry plant so as to prevent accidental consumption of the plant by any living being.

Once you know how to distinguish it from other plants, getting rid of it as soon as possible is your best bet to maintain a healthy garden. The pokeweed can grow up to an elevating ten ft. in height.

To get rid of pokeweed, it is important to understand how it works. Let’s dive into its details below.

Pokeweed: What is it?


Often found in pastures, fields, and other damaged soils, pokeweed (also referred to as pokeberry) is a native weed. Pokeweeds can act as an intoxicant for livestock and other beings as all parts of the plants are highly hazardous.

The pokeweed is an undying plant having long maroon woody shoots with oval leaves growing up to ten inches long. Flowers tinged in green begin to appear by July and turn into clusters of berries by the end of September. These should never be consumed raw – while these berries have significant medicinal benefits, they constitute compounds that can cause severe reactions.

Keep Out of Children’s reach

Pay special attention to the existence of any pokeberry plant if you have children residing with you. It is important to make sure no child consumes pokeberries in any way. Consumption of pokeberries in smaller proportions won’t bring any harm to adults but the same cannot be guaranteed in the case of children.

Pokeberry plants are harmful from their roots to leaves with roots being the most toxic of all. All parts of the pokeberry plant are unsafe for children and you must not settle for any risk with children being around a pokeberry plant.

Pokeweed Control Method

Manual Removal

If you plan on eradicating the pokeweed manually, reserve yourself a lot of energy and a shovel. That’s because removing the pokeweed by hand would require you to dig up the earth to a great depth to take out all its taproots.

Removing and Dissecting a Pokeweed
Nate H

And even then entire removal of the plant is not guaranteed as it may leave bits of its roots that will grow up again in no time. Hence, pulling out the plant is not the best technique to get rid of the pokeweed.

If you decide to not go on pulling the entire plant out, that’s okay. Just make sure to cut off the fruits attached to the plant as earliest as possible so they don’t get a chance to spread and remain confined within their spots.

This will substantially assist you in removing the pokeweed as it makes trivial the chances of new fruit growth until some time.

Seeds are the most important factor when it comes to planting growth. Untimely management will lead you to control a huge mess, as a single plant is capable of giving out more or less forty-eight thousand seeds at a time.

And cherry to the cake; the seeds can sustain beneath the earth for more than forty years, meaning that if you delay the work for some other time, you might have to see destruction at various spots in your garden. Hence, well-timed actions are necessary when dealing with delicate matters.

Especially the nectar of the plant. The birds roaming around in your garden are immune to the severe toxicity of the berries and mainly focus on enjoying and devouring the fruit to their fill.

Everything’s going smooth till now? The problem arises when they go on dropping off the seeds wherever they please.

What’s even worse is when the mulch is damp and absorbs the seeds. The roots form and the plants regenerate, making the soil hazardous for pasture, livestock, and other animals.

Chemical Removal

Using chemical removal is often the last resort and is necessary in most cases. The pokeweed plant goes to a great depth in the soil and has extremely fleshy roots, making the removal all the more difficult. Especially if the plant is grown and has a height of seven to eight inches.

When dealing with pokeweed, it’s best to identify them when they are young and defenseless. As young plants require one or two applications only.

However, the mature plants are thicker, stronger, and more stubborn and they do not go away easily. A significant amount of the chemical, patience, and time is utilized in getting rid of an adult pokeweed.

Glyphosate and how to use it

The chemical required to eliminate the pokeweed is called Glyphosate. It is readily available from most general stores. Glyphosate is inexpensive, rapid-working, and offers easy application. For the best results, directly apply the chemical onto the leaves of the pokeweed and let stay for an hour or two.

Chemical Removal with Glyphosate

10 Second Productions

This gives the chemical sufficient time to do its work and weaken the plant if not completely eliminate it. Glyphosate basically works by attacking the vascular system and making the plant vulnerable.

It takes a long time for the Glyphosate to display any results at all but after a certain period, the chemical reaches the roots and begins working on killing the plant.

Glyphosate is irrefutably the most effective and reasonable chemical to be used on pokeweed for elimination, other such chemicals, however, are the two, four D, and the Dicamba.

Also keep in mind

Also, it’s best to spot treat the pokeweed plant for better results and easy applications. You can use the chemical twice a month. Refrain from using the chemical more than four times on a pokeweed plant as it might destroy and dehydrate your soil leaving you with more damage than benefit.

Use a simple amount of the product while applying to the plants and make sure that the chemicals don’t come in contact with the mulch. As Glyphosate too poses dangers to living beings and other organisms.

It’s best if you just wear gloves and cover your arms by wearing any shirt with full sleeves. In this way even if the chemical splashes onto your clothes or comes in contact with your arms or hands, you will be protected.

Can You Use the Pokeweed at all?

Though pokeweed should not be consumed, however, if you feel like doing an adventure, then there a couple of ways in which you can actually utilize the pokeweed berries and fruits. I have jotted them down for you. These are as follows:

  • The fruit from the plant can be used in dyes or ink for pens and markers. As it has a deep shade, dries off quickly, and remains for long periods.
  • If you’re looking for dark kinds of tinges to colors different parts of different things, the berries can help you there. Crushing the berries will provide you with an absolutely huge quantity of juice that you can then use for further purposes. Back in early times, it was used to tinge substandard drinks.
  • You can also utilize the berry juice in dye. It is known to give off a splendid fuchsia color or even crimson in a darker shade.

Bottom Line:

Pokeweed can be hard to get rid of sometimes, but with the right technique, tools, and wisdom, everything is possible, let alone a pokeweed elimination.

Whether you implement the manual removal method or the chemical elimination technique, both will bear results, some absolutely effective, others, not very effective.

And nowadays, though people only consider pokeweed for elimination, you can use it in your nutrition as well as in coloring fabrics and other stuff.

I hope this post helped you answer your questions and proved to be of great help to you. Let me know in the comments section below which method are you going to try and why.

Also, don’t let your ingenious mind skip liking and sharing this article. Happy Gardening!

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