Dandelion Identification in Kansas City, St. Louis and Omaha, Nebraska

Taraxacum officinale

Synonyms Dandelion, Lions Tooth, Blow-ball
Life cycle: Perennial
Growth Habit: Basal rosette
Propagation: Seed and generation from taproot segments
Coarsely lobed
Lanceolate with irregular lobes
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Root Type: Thick and long taproot, sometimes branched
Flower Color: Yellow

Dandelion Identification

How to Kill Dandelions

Dandelion Identification is essential to eradication of the weed in the lawn. If a dandelion does germinate in the yard, the first thought in many homeowners minds is to simply pull the plant from the soil, and this is a tempting reaction. There are a couple reasons why your lawn service company will ask you to not do this:

Its nearly impossible to remove the entire plant from the soil by pulling it or even digging it out. The root is very brittle and any piece left behind in the soil, however small, can regenerate a completely new dandelion plant. These plants know how to survive!

If the dandelion is pulled from the soil, your lawn service technician has no plant material with which to spray. This leaves us to simply wait for the plant to regenerate so that it can be sprayed with a weed control.

So if you begin to see the tell-tale signs of Dandelions coming up in the yard, call your lawn service company quickly, and resist the urge to pull them from the yard. They are actually one of the easier weeds to kill with herbicides, as they are supported by a comparitively large amount of green leaves which give them the energy to sprout so quickly.

If you feel something must be done today, mow the yard. You can also pull the heads off of the plant, this will keep them from sending out more seeds that would probably germinate next year. Beware though, the dandelion plant has a lot of energy stored and can usually send up another head even once its been mowed or plucked.

How to Kill Dandelions Naturally

Boiling Water
If you can boil water, you can kill dandelions. All you need is a stove-top kettle or electric kettle and water. After bringing the water to a boil, pour it directly onto the leaves of the dandelions, making sure that enough water reaches the root. Within two to four hours, you’ll notice the leaves have turned brown. You can then pull out the dandelion, root and all.

Rubbing Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is readily available in the first aid section of most pharmacies. Mix 2 tablespoons of the alcohol with 1 quart of water. On a sunny day pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spritz your dandelions. Be certain to wet all the leaves so that the leaves suck in all the alcohol and kills the plant. The best time to apply this mixture is on a sunny day when there is little wind. If the leaves haven’t withered in two hours, reapply the solution.

Pure Vinegar
Pro Turf recommends customers use the natural acidity of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to destroy your dandelions. You can spray the unwanted plant until it is covered in vinegar.  Doing this on a hot, sunny day will help speed the demise of the dandelion. After the plant dies back, pull it out and rinse the area with water.

Joe RandolphDandelion Identification – How to Spot and Kill It