Canada Thistle



How to Identify Canada thistle

Canada thistles never grow alone, but instead clump together to form patches of the weed. Commonly, each plant grows to about a meter tall, with a rosette armed with spines at the base of the plant. The head of its flower resembles a bell thanks to its oval shape, while the actual flower itself is a firework-like explosion of light red colors, including pinks and light purples. The roots vary in size, with the most common being only a few inches deep, although networks of roots measuring five to even ten feet long are practically as probable.


Life Cycle of Canada thistle

One of the factors that makes the Canada thistle so infamous is that it’s a perennial plant. This means that, unlike annual plants, perennial plants will outlive their yearly vitality by simply regrowing itself. For the Canada thistle, seedlings will start to appear during the spring, and flowers tend to grow during the summer of the following year since the sun is out the longest time then. As mentioned previously, the Canada thistle is not growing alone, and in most cases the seedling will be accompanied by a number of other seedlings.


Canada thistle Habitat

Like most plants, the thistle populates near steady sources of moisture, such as river banks and moist patches of soil. Additionally, thistles are usually found in land that has an abundance of free room to grow and is also free of disturbances, such as land with frequent animal or human traffic.


How to Get Rid of Canada thistle

Due to Canada thistle’s extensive root network, the process of removal can be exhausting. Treatments need to be scheduled on a regular basis, and each and every performance must be carried out with a thorough diligence. This is because if any part of the thistle is left behind and untreated (root, flower, stem, etc.) the plant will easily grow back again, and having done so, it will continue to spread at an alarming rate, forcing you to restart the entire process. There are two preferred methods in removing thistle, manual or chemical. Pick whichever best suits your individual taste and greenery.


Manual removal:

As per the usual, sweep your garden for seeds of thistle before they become protected beneath the soil. Next, get a sharp spade or gardening scissor. When cutting the thistle, it is crucial to only cut the leaves and not the root. Cutting the root is too delicate a process for manual labor, and can result in duplicating the plant rather than removing it. Instead, by just cutting the leaves, you can cut off the thistle’s access to nutrients, and prevent further growth until its diminished all of its energy and dies naturally, without reproducing.


Chemical removal:

Roundup or 2 4 D are the industry leading brands to target Canada thistle. Yet, keep in mind that the application of these products needs to be consistent, and neither of them are on a one time use basis. Be thorough!