The Q&A Archives: Getting Rid of Mint and Wild Violets

Question: How can I get rid of wild violet plants, and mint plants as they are speading all over my garden and lawn. I have tried pulling them up and not getting all of the plants. Plus some oretho products and covering the area to block out the light but them still come back. What can I use that will remove those plants but not harm the rest of the garden?

Answer: Members of the mint family are often considered invasive because the plants will spread by roots, seeds, and by fallen stems that come in contact with the soil. To completely eradicate mint, you must hand dig the roots plus remove the stems. Any plant part left in the soil can root and become a new plant. There's no easy way to get rid of mint, especially in established beds. Just begin digging, and don't give up until the last of the plants have been pulled! Another approach is to starve the plants out. If you can keep the plants cut down, especially keeping the flowers from developing, the roots will eventually run out of energy to produce stems and leaves and will die out. It will take a while, but keep cutting and digging and you'll get the upper hand! Violets are just as difficult to eradicate. You can pull or cut off the tops, but the bulbs beneath the soil store energy and will just replace the lost foliage. Again, you can starve the bulbs by continually cutting off any leaves that they send up. Wish there were other ways to eradicate those pesky weeds!

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