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Green leaves reminiscent of four-leaf clovers, white to pink flowers in April… This could be wood sorrel. Whether on lawns in the garden, on pastures or elsewhere - many gardeners do not like to see them, but consider them an annoying weed.

Sorrel should not be fought with chemicals if possible, so as not to harm other living beings

Projectiles with an urge to multiply

The sorrel has two ingenious survival strategies. On the one hand, it spreads at lightning speed with the help of its seeds. Your help is not required for this. The sorrel does this by itself.

As soon as its fruit dries up after ripening, the fruit chambers open explosively and shoot out the seeds they contain. The seeds can fly up to 250 cm. They self-sow in moist soil and new seedlings will appear next spring at the latest.

A stubborn root weed

Along with its seeds, its roots are considered a secret weapon in the fight for survival. With the help of root suckers, a sorrel plant becomes two, three, four,… Even if the plant is torn out with some root parts, the suckers survive. They are stubborn and difficult to remove.

Control remedy #1: weeding

Before you resort to hard stuff like chemical clubs, try mechanical combat. The sorrel is weeded. This method requires patience and should be started early in the year - ideally between March and April.

Before the flowers and seeds have a chance to emerge, the leaves of the wood sorrel that become visible should be weeded out. Be rigorous! All roots must be removed and completely! Leftover roots grow back. Admittedly, it is difficult to completely grasp and eliminate the roots. But if it succeeds, you have peace of mind for the time being.

Control agent #2: weed killer

When mechanical control is unsuccessful, most gardeners turn to weed killers. Remember that you pollute the environment with such chemicals and also destroy crops if used incorrectly. Always use such remedies only selectively and in good doses!

Other means of destruction

Furthermore, wood sorrel, which is rampant in the lawn, can be covered with ground foil. It dies while the grass recovers after the foil is removed. Also, digging out the part of the lawn where wood sorrel grows can help. Ready grass is now being planted at this point. Last but not least, the sorrel can be stopped for a short time if the lawn is mowed twice a week.

Prevent sorrel from overflowing

Prevention can look like this:

  • Scarify the lawn regularly
  • Lime the soil (sorrel does not like lime)
  • Cover the ground with bark mulch
  • Fertilize the lawn sufficiently and regularly
  • Sow other strong plants that will prevail over sorrel


No matter which control method(s) you choose. Remember: wood sorrel is poisonous in large quantities and also poses a danger to animals.

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