Chickweed is a treacherous plant. Within 5 to 6 weeks she is already dispersing her seeds, about 15,000 pieces per plant and there are at least 3 generations per gardening season. Even in winter the plants continue to grow. If you don’t want a dense carpet of chickweed in your garden, you have to intervene. Only persistent combating of chickweed leads to the goal. If you let go in between, the plants will immediately be on the rise again. We have compiled for you what you can or must do against chickweed, what helps and what doesn’t. Inform yourself!


  • Not only weeds, but also wild herbs and medicinal plants
  • Latin name: Stellaria media
  • Belongs to the group of carnation plants
  • Annual herbaceous plant, sometimes biennial
  • prostrate growth
  • Stems 3 to 40 cm long
  • Forms carpets
  • White, small flowers, all year round
  • Flowers only open when the weather is nice
  • Forms capsule fruits
  • Very easy to spread and multiply
  • A plant can form up to 15,000 seeds
  • Protects the soil from drying out in vineyards, for example
  • Erosionsmindernd
  • One distinguishes, common bird ants, large-blooded bird ants, pale bird ants

Fight bird ants

Chickweed is commercially available as birdseed for a lot of money for such a small pot. Many garden owners can save the €2.50 that something like this costs, because the plant grows wildly in their garden. They have their hands full getting rid of these weeds. By the way, chickweed is an indicator of very good soil, which is ideal for growing vegetables. Actually, you should be happy if it grows.

Controlling chickweed is important. Not only does a dense carpet of plants quickly form if this is ignored, the roots of the chickweed can harbor nematodes, which in turn are harmful to many plants. Roses, for example, cannot cope with it at all and often die.


Like any other weed, chickweed can be combated by weeding. You should definitely do this before flowering. If you stop the plants from multiplying, you can get them under control. Once seeds are distributed, it becomes much, much more difficult. Simply pull the plant out of the ground very carefully, if possible with the entire root.

  • If root parts remain in the soil, new plants will sprout from them.
  • A large plant grows from the tiniest tip.
  • It is best to remove the plants from moist soil, then the soil is looser.
  • It is important to repeat the weeding regularly so that the plants that grow back do not have a chance to grow big enough and bloom.
  • Only if you stay on the ball can you permanently eliminate chickweed
Note: Do not put unused chickweed in the compost. There, too, the roots will sprout again. The smallest particles are enough. The plant is then distributed in the garden again.


If the area that is “infested” is not needed, it makes sense to cover it with weed fleece or foil. If no light and no moisture reach the roots, then nothing can grow underneath.

  • The film must remain on the surface for at least a year.
  • It must not let any light through
  • It is best to use strong black foil, also pond foil, if you still have some lying around somewhere
  • Dig up the entire area before covering
  • Remove all visible weeds and roots
  • Cover a large area with foil
  • Spread bark mulch on it so that the film holds and stays in place.
  • Alternatively, it can also be weighed down with stones.

This method is effective. However, she also has a catch. If seeds are in the ground, they can sprout after removing the cover. They stay viable for years, I’ve read, up to 80 years (who researched that?)

Tip: Fertilize with potash in the spring and spread calcium cyanamide in the fall to destroy the seeds. Rendering the seeds harmless is the basic prerequisite for the chickweed not to sprout again and again. As long as there are seeds, you can’t get the problem under control.

Combat chickweed in the lawn

Chickweed is not such a big problem in the lawn, at least if it is mowed regularly. The plants cannot tolerate that in the long run. Gradually more and more of the plants disappear and then you usually have peace. However, they can spread again in winter, because then the grass is usually not cut. Chickweed also grows in winter when the temperatures are not below zero, and that is quite often the case.

The lawnmower has to be set quite low because chickweed literally crawls along the ground.

Chemicals against Chickweed

If you don’t have the time and/or patience to remove chickweed by weeding, you can also do this with chemicals. That should always be the last step. I am against the use of weed killers, at least if there is another way. But everyone has to figure that out with their conscience. In any case, it makes little sense to grow vegetables and then treat them with chemicals in this way. Then you can also buy the sprayed vegetables in the discounter or supermarket.

Only glyphosate-based products are permitted in the home and garden. These herbicides are intended to be effective only against individual weeds. That would be beneficial, because then weeds between vegetable plants can be controlled in a targeted manner. The plants absorb the toxins, spread them down to the smallest part of the root and let them die. I can’t imagine that the poison wouldn’t get into the ground, but I’m not a specialist either. The correct dosage is certainly important.

  • Spray the individual plants or plant colonies in a targeted manner
  • It is best to cover all neighboring plants and the ground all around so that no poison can get on them
  • Chickweed absorbs the poison through the leaves.
  • It is distributed throughout the plant.
  • She dies
Note: It is important not to remove the plant from the soil at the first sign of dying. The poison needs some time to reach the last root particles and kill them. If the chickweed is pulled out too early, the smallest particles can break off and new plants can sprout from these parts of the root.
  • Poisons do not work against seeds
  • Weed-free keepers from Bayer Garten – against weeds and grass weeds, has a broad spectrum of activity, extends from above-ground parts of the plant deep into the roots, can be used throughout the entire growing season, also approved for fruit cultivation, not harmful to bees, active substance: glyphosate isopropylamine salt, application is Approval required for paths and squares

The use of both means is controversial. There are many supporters, but also many opponents. The fact is that one well-known lyphosphate-containing agent in particular has been used in agriculture for decades. There have already been one or two difficulties. Numerous resistances have also developed. The remedies are not so harmless. Without wanting to judge here, I don’t use these powerful poisons and never will. I am for manual weeding. As long as it works without toxins, I’m in. We have already damaged the environment enough. They can’t be as harmless as the means are always made out to be, anyone who wants to believe that, I don’t.

Chemicals are not a panacea either. On the one hand, the chickweed is very tough and really difficult to kill, even with poison, and on the other hand, the plants also like to develop resistance. In any case, it is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not dose too high!

Frequently Asked Questions

Chickweed is a wild herb. How can this be used?
Chickweed contains a lot of vitamin A, plus iron, potassium, calcium and silicic acid. Just 150 g chickweed covers the daily requirement of vitamin C. You can add the plants to the green salad or chop them up and eat them on butter or cream cheese sandwiches. Freshly sprouted branches with leaves taste best.

Chickweed is ideal as an addition to salads. However, one should not eat large amounts of it. Simply wash and chop about two handfuls and mix into the salad. Chickweed also refines soups. Simply add chopped chickweed to potato soup or any other soup. Depending on your needs, the leaves can also be pureed. Chickweed pesto is also delicious. On the Internet you can find many delicious recipes on how to best use chickweed. The healthiest is certainly the raw consumption, then all the good ingredients are still present.

Why is chickweed so difficult to control?
Chickweed is a survivor. The plants are active all year round. The seeds germinate at +4°C, so if necessary even under a blanket of snow. Even deep frost doesn’t matter, the plants don’t survive it, but the seeds do, even after decades, they still germinate. In addition, chickweed does not depend on pollination by insects. If there are none, for example because it is still too cool for them, they can bend their anthers towards the pistil and thus fertilize themselves. That’s why there are seeds so quickly and so early in the year.

Chickweed has numerous benefits, but not so many for the gardener. In any case, the plant is an indicator of nitrogen richness in the soil, which in turn is a prerequisite for heavy-duty vegetable crops. Small birds like to eat their seeds, which is probably where the name comes from. The flower nectar of the chickweed ensures the survival of short-nosed insects. Fallow ground is quickly covered by Chickweed and thus protected.

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