How To Get Rid Of Pokeweed & Pet-Friendly Plants

Otherwise known as phytolacca americana, American pokeweed is commonly found in the United States. It’s most abundant in the eastern part of the country. In this article, you will learn how to get rid of pokeweed.

How to get rid of pokeweed

Source: Wikipedia

All About Pokeweed

The name phytolacca is a combination of the Greek word phytos (plant) and the French term laca (crimson red). Americana was added because pokeweed originated in the US and grows most abundantly there.

Pokeweed is a type of berry that possesses a purple to almost black color and resembles grapes.

The stems of pokeweed range from red to purple in color.

This fruit is a primary staple for birds but is toxic to humans and bigger animals when eaten without proper preparation. This plant can make you ill. It can even kill. Even though pokeweed is considered poisonous to ingest, there are still a lot of people eating it daily.

It is said that the roots of the pokeweed shouldn’t be eaten because there is where most of the toxins are lodged.

Mature fruits shouldn’t be chewed either. These are the more poisonous ones. The seeds of the berries should also be discarded.

Important Note: If you want to consume pokeweed, take precautions. Rinse the berries thoroughly. It is recommended you boil them for 20 minutes. The same method should be applied to the leaves and stems. Do not drink the water it was boiled in. Do not eat pokeweed raw.

More Facts about Pokeweed

Pokeweed was named after the native Indian plant pakon which is used in dyeing or coloring.

The red juice produced by pokeweed berry has long been used by American Indians for staining the feathers in their headdresses. They also color their faces, skin, horses, garments and weapons with pokeweed juice.

This practice has been carried out for centuries and pokeweed was also used in food coloring and as ink but is now prohibited due to its toxic contents.

Pokeweed has also been used as medicinal herbs in earlier times. Reports have it that this plant, however toxic it may be, can also cure serious ailments like syphilis and arthritis. It was used as a lymphatic cleanser and laxative too.

Protein from this particular plant is also being applied these days in some treatments for the HIV virus.

This plant is mainly popular among Native American Indians, presumably because pokeweed sprouts copiously in the wild.

How To Get Rid of Pokeweed The Easy Way

Pokeweed, however beneficial some people claim it to be, is considered by most experts a wild plant and a pest that is harmful not only to humans but to other plants as well.

It grows almost everywhere in the United States as it’s a favorite food of birds. Birds love seed. The birds drop the seeds indiscriminately. They germinate anywhere and everywhere.

Their color and appearance are very enticing, especially to small children. Even adults can be deceived and mistake pokeweed for grapes or other edible wild berries. For these reasons, the American government decided to have these perennial plants eliminated.

How can you do the same if your garden is blighted by pokeweed?

Below are some simple proven steps on how to get rid of Pokeweed.

Read on to learn how to get rid of pokeweed!

  • Firstly, you need to be more educated about what pokeweed looks like. This means you can avoid removing berries that are similar in appearance
  • When you spot one, simply pull the whole plant. Uproot it totally from the soil. It is easier to do this on a budding pokeweed due to its more manageable size
  • Dig deeper for bigger pokeweed plants. You need to remove all possible roots to ensure no more will sprout. You might need the help of a shovel
  • For larger roots,  use a small bolo or axe. Chop them off for ease of removal
  • Place all removed pokeweed parts into a sack or trash bag. Leave them to dry under the sun on cemented dry ground. Pokeweed will manage to grow back it’s left in soil. It will eventually die with the sun’s heat and no hydration
  • When the plant has totally dried up and died, it can be thrown into a bin for complete disposal

Important Note: Pokeweed is an invasive plant. It grows rapidly, especially in soft soil. Thorough removal should be taken care of to prevent future problems.

Additional Tips For Remaining Pokeweed-Free

Once a pokeweed habitation has been established, it will be necessary to continuously check for any new pokeweed growth.

Birds are instrumental in spreading pokeweed. We can always expect new growth to come out anytime, anywhere. Pokeweed is unpredictable.

Watch out for possible regrowth, particularly in the spring and summer. Uproot any suspicious plants while they are just beginning to sprout.

Pet-Friendly Plants

For many of us, our pets are our closest confidants, our children, our best friend, family. We don’t want to do anything that could possibly harm them, or put anything in their path that they try to taste because they got too curious.

It’s natural to worry that having plants might harm your pets since there are so many poisonous ones out there. We do have good news for you, though… There are lots of non-toxic plants that your pets can taste and not be harmed form. Naturally eating too much can give them an upset stomach, so they shouldn’t treat these plants like a buffet, but we know you will be watching them like the pet best friends you are.

Spider Plants

Spider plants are super fun and in style right now. Many people decorate with them and love them all around the home, everywhere from the bathroom to the kitchen. They do well in low light and will be a friend, not a foe, to your pet if they happen to take a nibble. Water them weekly.

Staghorn Fern

This plant is chic and trendy right now. It is common to set it in a plank and hang it on a wall. This style resembles mounted antlers. This is all the rage for the hipsters and millennial’s right now, and it will keep inquiring pet minds away. And they are so low maintenance that their leaves actually help them keep perfectly watered, so you don’t even need to cut them! Non-toxic low maintenance and fashionable. What more could you ask for?

Echeveria Lola

This plant, or weed really, is the definition of a diamond in the rough. it is one of the most beautiful plants in my opinion, and it is so low maintenance it’s embarrassing. Since it grows out of cracks in rocks, it should be really easy to keep it alive inside your house. It’s the perfect decorative piece and it grows like crazy in its natural habitat, so they are not hard to come by. Make sure this baby sits in full and direct sunlight. Even better news, you only need to water it every two or three weeks!

Bamboo Palm

A bamboo palm will give tropical vibes to any room you put it in, and it does not require much from you. All it needs is water a few times a week and to be kept in bright but indirect sunlight. If it outgrows its pot home, all you need to do is get it into a larger holder. The best part, other than being non-toxic for your pet: it’ll purify the air in your home!

Swedish Ivy

The last great plant that cannot hurt dogs on our list is the Swedish ivy. Don’t let the name fool ya, it is not Swedish or Ivy, but it is a great point regardless. It can be placed in a hanging planter (to keep it away from Frodo so he doesn’t make a meal out of it) and it’s easy to take care of, as all the houseplants on this list (you’re welcome). It does well in low light and once a week watering. The only downside is its nickname, which is Creeping Charlie… Yikes!

Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Pokeweed

We hope we have supplied you with as much knowledge as you need with regards to pokeweed plants. You should now have a solid overview of how to get rid of pokeweed the easy way.

If you have any comments, queries or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always more than happy to help you.

Please also feel free to share any of our articles on your social media.

Happy weeding!

Dianne T. Lampe
 

Hi there, I’m Dianne! Welcome to a one-stop shop for your gardening needs. We aim here to offer up a very wide range of information about many aspects of gardening. From flowers and planting through to vegetables and accessories, find all the information you need here. We have a true passion for everything green. We’re highly motivated to develop this site continuously and offer any insights we can alongside useful facts and handy hints. Please get in touch and let us know what you would like us to cover. Thoughts and feedback are always welcomed. Enjoy!

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