Killing Wild Onions In Your Yard

Wild onions in your yard. What to do?

Wild onions (Allium canadense) can be found in many gardens and lawns, and wherever they are found, a frustrated gardener is sure to be found nearby. These difficult to control weeds are the bane of many gardens, but with determination and a little hard work, you can get rid of wild onions once and for all.

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.

Killing wild onions starts with removing as much of the clump of wild onions as possible. Don’t try to pull the clump of wild onions out of the ground. The small bulblets are designed to pull away from the mother plant when pulled, which leaves extra bulbs in the ground that will rapidly regrow. Instead, dig the clump out of the ground with a spade or a trowel. Throw the entire clump away. Do not try to shake excess dirt off back into the hole and do not compost. If you do, this will only respread the wild onion bulblets back into your garden.

Keeping them mowed down or cut off is another way to controlling them. By keeping them under control with mowing, you’re simply discouraging the foliage so they can’t remanufacture the bulb.

And over one or two years they will simply start to go away.