Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

christine(Z5 Chicagoland)May 4, 2009

If I mow my dandelions before they go to seed, will they still be able to take root and make the problem worse? Can they go to seed after they are mowed if the heads are on the ground?

If we have several that haven't gone to seed, should we bag instead of mulch mow to avoid any potential problems?

I am so adamant about having a nice yard this year, dandelions are our problem now and in 6 weeks it will be the thistle. How do we keep these dandelions at bay?

We did a pre-e with fertilizer just after Easter and just did Weed-B-Gone Max this weekend, so we're good there...just need to know how to deal with what we have got. It isn't outrageous, but even if it is 100 of them, that is too much to try to pull. Lawn is KBG if that matters.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dandelions will pop out new flowers a few days after you mow the current ones down. They also sometimes send short flowers up so mowing doesn't always cut the flowers.

You can probably minimize seeds from the dandelions in your lawn, but they travel really far with a slight wind, so if anybody else within a couple of blocks has any, you can get seeds no matter how diligent you are about keeping the ones in your lawn from going to seed.

If you mow high, water deeply and infrequently and fertilize once in the spring and twice in the fall, the KBG should fill in and crowd out the dandelions over time.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
andy10917(NY 6a)

Dandelions are actually biennial - so the dandelions that you pick the flowers from may be back next year. But they don't spread other than by seed.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
christine(Z5 Chicagoland)

BP - definitely planning on doing all that.

Andy - interesting, I did not know that!

I am still curious however, if we mow them before they 'go to seed' if they can still root and get worse or if we mow the heads off before they go to seed if that keeps them from taking root...? Anyone know?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The ones that are already in the lawn have already taken root. Mowing before they seed will keep new ones from germinating. Some plants also propagate by way of specialized roots (rhizomes and tillers) or above ground stems (stolons), but dandelions don't.

The only way dandelions create more dandelions through their roots is if you try to pull one out by the root and the root breaks off just below the surface, the root will sometimes sprout several new dandelion plants in that spot. But they won't spread.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think christine was wanting to know, and this is my question as well: If I mow dandelions, will the flower head still go to seed after being cut and then still spread dandelions in my lawn?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you cut the flower heads off, they won't go to seed. It's possible that the flower is already pollinated and if it's not chopped up, it could possibly still go to seed.

If the flower heads are below the blade, they'll still go to seed. Dandelions continue to make new flowers every couple of days, so if you cut all the flowers off today, there will be more in a couple of days.

Trying to control dandelions by cutting off the flowers is nto going to be the most successful approach.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:40PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need help with my grass
Each year my grass is having more dead spots and brown...
What's wrong with my lawn, what do I do in Spring?
I live in Eastern Washington and believe I have Kentucky...
New Ant Hill on top of Grass Seedlings
I put down a layer of topsoil in my front lawn before...
Need Advice About Sturdy Grass that Stands Up to Active Pets
We have a bare spot (large) in our backyard from our...
I want the best yard in the neighborhood
Hello, my name is Wes and I'm pretty much a first time...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™