How to Kill Wild Onions from Your Lawn or Garden

Allium canadense, commonly called wild onions, is a perennial plant often found in many lawns and gardens. Many gardeners deemed it frustrating, as the weeds are tough to control, let alone get rid of.

However, it can be eliminated immediately with the proper method, some hard work, and determination. See four different ways how to kill wild onions in the following.

Four Possible Ways on How to Kill Wild Onions

Wild onions, along with their close relatives wild garlic and wild onion, bear a striking resemblance to chives or green onions in appearance. They are akin to the onions and garlic plants deliberately cultivated in gardens. These persistent weeds can thrive in various soil conditions, from wet and heavy to dry, hard, and cold.

Their distinct pungent odor when mowed and the unique flat leaf shape, which appears thin, waxy and non-hollow, easily identify them. The waxy leaves of wild onions are flat, making them distinct from the more rounded leaves of their relatives.

how to kill wild onions

Wild onions grow during colder seasons, so you may not see them appear on your lawn well until fall. That being said, it is not rare to see them continue to grow during the early spring days.

Regardless of when you are planning to remove them, here are several possible ways how to kill wild onions in your yard:

Hand Pulling

Despite being feasible, this method is not usually recommended, especially if your soil is the hard type. It is because it carries the potential to leave the parts of the broken-off bulb of wild onions when you’re trying to pull out the wild onions from the ground. You may dig the wild onions using a thin trowel for optimum results.


Mowing wild onions is another alternative but it cannot kill the plants. That being said, regularly mowing your lawn could help weaken them and prevent the plants from setting and spreading their seeds.

Using Vinegar

The following solution is to kill wild onions with vinegar. You must pour the vinegar directly on the plants to destroy the parts above the ground. Yet, just like the prior methods, this alone cannot eliminate the bulbs underneath the soil. You must also soak the soil with vinegar to kill and remove them manually to ensure they will not return.

Using Chemical Control

The next method of killing wild onions on the lawn is chemical control. Currently, no weed preventers or herbicides are made explicitly for wild onions. So, you will need to use and spray post-emergent herbicides. An example of this ingredient would be glyphosate.

However, as a nonselective herbicide, glyphosate will kill nearly all sprayed plants. It would be best to be extra careful when using it to damage your beloved plants or neat lawn grasses.

To effectively kill wild garlic and wild onions, it’s essential to understand their growth cycle and structure. Both plants have thin waxy coatings on their leaves that protect them from many herbicides, necessitating a targeted approach for eradication. Regularly test your lawn for these invasive species and take prompt action to prevent them from overtaking your garden.

When combating these persistent weeds, remember that patience and persistence are key. Early detection and the right combination of physical removal and chemical treatment can lead to a weed-free lawn. Additionally, improving your lawn’s overall health through proper pool maintenance and soil care can make your garden less hospitable to these unwanted guests.

If removing wild onions is impossible for you or keeping them as edible plants, keep them trimmed well. Otherwise, the guide on killing wild onions provided above will help prevent them from spreading uncontrollably in your yard.

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John Burns is an experienced author and expert home improvement advice. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects related to home improvement, including installation, maintenance, and repair.