Guide to Dandelion Identification & Control

Dandelion broadleaf weed

Type of Weed: Broadleaf

Taraxacum Officinale


Dandelions are a perennial broadleaf weed that is easily spotted in spring and fall.

This weed is fast growing, especially in moist environments, and
spreads by seeds and by new shoots from root segments.

How to Identify

Dandelions are easy to spot thanks to their bright yellow flowers that are an inch in diameter. Their green leaves are known for having serrated edges with no fuzz or “hair” on them (or their stem) and form in a basal rosette.

Their stems are hollow and will leak a white sap/liquid when broken. After maturing, this weeds’ flower will change into a fluffy ball of seed that easily scatters in the wind.

Control Methods

Control Difficulty: Difficult

Digging up the taproot in early spring (at least 6-8” deep, if not deeper) can catch dandelions before they spread. If the yellow flower has already bloomed, try mowing often to prevent the flower from turning from a bloom to seed. Once they’ve turned to seed, you can try using a bag attachment on your mower, or cut them by hand and place in a bag, to prevent the seeds from further spreading.

Prevention Tips

Maintaining a thick, healthy lawn is a great way to deter dandelion growth. You can do so between proper fertilization, mowing at the proper height, and proper irrigation.

Apply a broadleaf herbicide in the fall to these weeds, along with a selective post emergent herbicide in the mornings of spring, (as that time of day is when the weeds growth is fastest, making the herbicide most effective).

This fall and spring herbicide combination should be done annually to control the dandelions in your yard.
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