How to Get Rid of Dandelions in Your Yard

Get expert advice for how to get rid of dandelions and keep them from coming back. Plus, find out why you may want to leave dandelions alone.

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) meadowMartin Ruegner/Getty Images
A field full of dandelions

If your lawn is currently covered with dandelions, you’re not alone! Whether you think of these yellow flowering weeds as a nuisance or a delight, they’re certainly a reliable sign that spring has arrived. Read on for expert advice on how to get rid of dandelions (if you prefer).

Discover surprising facts about dandelions.

How to Get Rid of Dandelions

how to get rid of DandelionsCourtesy Bev Miko
Keep your lawn healthy to help get rid of dandelions

“Are there any natural ways to get rid of dandelions?” asks Birds & Blooms reader Char Jasinski of New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Garden expert Melinda Myers weighs in with a few options: “Many gardeners are opting to leave a few dandelions in the lawn and garden to help feed early visiting pollinators,” she says. “But you can do a few things to manage the plant if that is your goal.”

If the amount of dandelions in your yard is small, Melinda recommends consistently digging them up with a forked-tip weeder to pop out the taproot. Spot-treating with an organic weed killer and removing the seed heads can also help.

“Organic weed killers that use plant oils, vinegar and soaps as the active ingredients only burn the tops of the plants and leave the roots alive and ready to grow again,” Melinda says. “But repeat application can eventually weaken and kill the unwanted plants.”If you choose to use organic weed killers, keep in mind that these products can also damage nearby grass and any desirable plants they contact.

Melinda also suggests another option: Mulching garden beds helps suppress dandelion and other weed seeds from sprouting. Check out the 6 best types of mulch for your landscape.

Tips to Keep Dandelions From Coming Back

251894425 1 Karin Mitchell Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Karin Mitchell
Dandelion seeds

It may sounds simple, but having a healthy lawn is actually your best defense against weeds, including dandelions. Melinda recommends mowing high and fertilizing properly to increase the vigor of the grass so it is better able to outcompete the weeds.

Melinda also points out that an iron-based weed killer containing FeHEDTA is showing promise for managing dandelions and some other broadleaf weeds in lawns. As always, be sure to read and follow any label directions carefully.

Follow these tips and tricks for a weed-free backyard.

Benefits of Dandelions

Monarch butterfly on a dandelion flowerCourtesy Deborah Eberhart
Some pollinators, like this monarch butterfly, will stop by dandelions.

You can also choose to live with dandelions. The seeds ripen just in time to nourish goldfinches and indigo buntings during their spring migration. Humans can enjoy dandelions, too! The greens go great in salads and taste similar to arugula.

Next, learn how to stop bindweed from taking over your garden beds.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.