Garden Care

Will Vinegar Kill Wild Violets? How To Apply It Properly?

Wild violets may look pretty, but they can be a real problem if they take over your garden or yard. They spread quickly and can crowd out other plants.

People often wonder if vinegar can help get rid of these pesky weeds.

But will vinegar kill wild violets? Vinegar is a common household item, so it’s natural to wonder if it can do the job. Let’s find out the answer and other useful ways to deal with wild violets!

Will Vinegar Kill Wild Violets?

will vinegar kill wild violets

Yes, vinegar is considered the best way to kill wild violets in lawn naturally. However, you need to mix it with water and be careful not to hurt your other plants.

Vinegar is a natural and cheap way to kill these weeds, but it might take a few tries to remove them completely.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Vinegar To Kill Wild Violets?

Environmentally Friendly

Vinegar is a natural substance that poses minimal harm to the environment. It is a greener choice than commercial herbicides laden with harsh chemicals.

Therefore, gardeners usually use it to remove Bermuda grass, wild violets, and nutgrass.

It won’t unleash potentially harmful pollutants into the soil or water, so it’s an eco-friendly option for weed control.

Moreover, vinegar is biodegradable, meaning it breaks down naturally over time, leaving no long-lasting residue or adverse ecological impact.


Gardening and landscaping expenses can add up quickly, with the cost of specialized herbicides being one of the factors. Vinegar, on the other hand, is an economical alternative.

It’s widely available at a fraction of the cost of commercial herbicides. In fact, you may already have vinegar in your kitchen pantry.

Thus, choosing vinegar can maintain a beautiful garden without breaking the bank.

Less Harmful To Surrounding Plants

While battling garden pests, minimizing collateral damage to your beloved plants is crucial. When used properly, vinegar is a precise and targeted herbicide.

It’s less likely to cause significant harm to neighboring plants. Thus, you can focus your weed control efforts on violets without disrupting your garden ecosystem’s overall health and balance.

How To Apply Vinegar To Kill Wild Violets?

Step 1: Gather Materials

Ensure you have all the necessary materials at hand before beginning the application:

  • White vinegar or apple cider vinegar: Either type works effectively, with white vinegar often being more cost-effective.
  • Water: You’ll need water to dilute the vinegar and create the solution.
  • Spray bottle or garden sprayer: Use this to apply the vinegar solution evenly.
  • Protective gloves: They can prevent any contact with the vinegar solution.
  • Protective eyewear: Protect your eyes from potential splashes or accidental contact with the solution.

Having these materials ready will streamline the process.

Step 2: Protect Yourself First

Before applying vinegar to kill violets, it’s crucial to protect yourself from any potential harm. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Put on protective gloves to shield your hands and skin.
  • Wear protective eyewear to safeguard your eyes from contact with the solution.

Taking these precautions will ensure your safety while working with the vinegar solution.

Step 3: Make Vinegar Solution

Creating the vinegar solution requires proper mixing to ensure its effectiveness. Follow these steps:

  • Mix 80% water with 20% vinegar in a spray bottle or garden sprayer. You can choose between white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar is often the more economical.
  • Next, thoroughly shake the spray bottle or garden sprayer to ensure the solution is well-mixed.

Step 4: Apply The Solution

It’s time to apply the vinegar solution to the violets. Follow these guidelines:

  • Apply the vinegar solution directly to the plants using the spray bottle or garden sprayer. Ensure you cover the leaves and stems thoroughly.
  • Wait for a few hours to observe the results. The wild violets will begin to wilt and turn brown, indicating that the vinegar is taking effect.

Step 5: Repeat The Process

You may need to repeat the process for larger areas or if the wild violets are particularly stubborn.

Keep an eye on the affected areas and reapply the vinegar solution as necessary until the wild violets are effectively controlled.

By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can successfully apply vinegar to eliminate wild violets from your lawn or garden.

What Are Other Ways To Kill Wild Violets?

how to get rid of wild violets in lawn naturally

Pull Up Wild Violets By Hand

How to get rid of wild violets in flower beds? Hand weeding is a manual method that can directly remove wild violets. It involves physically pulling the plants from the ground, including their roots.

This method is the most effective during the spring and summer when wild violets are actively growing. The soil is now more pliable, making it easier to extract the entire root system.

You should dampen the soil before weeding to facilitate root removal and reduce soil disruption. Next, use a weeding tool or a hand trowel to ensure you can reach the roots without breaking them.

Killing wild violets in flower beds should apply to the entire plant, including leaves and flowers, to prevent rhizomes from regenerating new growth.

Use Organic Herbicides

How to get rid of wild violets organically? Natural or organic herbicides offer an eco-friendly alternative to chemical options.

One such method is to apply corn gluten meal, which acts as a pre-emergent herbicide, preventing wild violet seeds from germinating.

Another natural herbicidal solution involves mixing equal parts of vinegar and hot water. Adding a small amount of dish soap helps the solution adhere to the waxy leaves of wild violets.

These natural herbicides may not kill the roots completely, so you may need to repeat the application as the violets regrow.

However, they are safer for the environment and pose no harm to beneficial insects.

Cover The Plants

You can use the smothering technique when wild violets and other weeds have infested a large area. It involves laying down multiple layers of cardboard, newspapers, or mulch over the affected area.

Smothering is a gradual process that may take several months to a year. During this time, the plants underneath are deprived of sunlight, causing them to die and decompose.

Once the smothering process is complete, you will have a weed-free area that is ready for planting.

Overseeding With Grass

Wild violets thrive in thin or weak lawns with bare patches. By overseeding your lawn with grass seed, you can promote healthy lawn growth and overshadow the violets.

Choose grass varieties that are well-suited to your region and soil type for the best results. Proper lawn care, including regular mowing and fertilizing, can also help maintain a robust lawn.

Increase Soil pH

Wild violets tend to thrive in acidic soils. You can reduce their growth by increasing the soil pH to make it less hospitable to these plants.

Lime is commonly used to raise soil pH. Follow soil test recommendations to determine the lime needed for your soil type.

Boiling Water

Boiling water is a natural and chemical-free method for killing violets in lawn. The intense heat scalds the leaves and roots, effectively eliminating the plants.

To use this method, you can boil a pot of water and carefully pour it directly onto the wild violets. It’s best to ensure the water covers the leaves and stems thoroughly.

Be cautious when handling boiling water to avoid burns or scalds.

Biological Control

Some natural predators and herbivores feed on wild violets. For instance, rabbits and deer may graze on these plants.

Encouraging the presence of these animals in your area could help control wild violet populations.

However, this method may not be suitable for all locations, and it’s important to consider potential damage to other plants and landscaping.

How To Identify Wild Violets?

These plants are characterized by their low-growing nature, featuring heart-shaped leaves and small, distinctive flowers that come in shades of dark purple, white, or yellow.

The leaves have a waxy texture and grow close to the ground, forming clusters or cones.

The flowers of wild violets emerge on stalks that sprout from the base of the plant. Each flower typically consists of five petals, two having noticeable white hairs near the base.

These charming flowers are relatively small in size.

In terms of height, wild violets typically range from two to twelve inches, depending on the environmental conditions in which they grow.

These plants spread via rhizomes, which are underground stems with fleshy structures that aid in their propagation.

How To Prevent Wild Violets In Your Yard?

killing wild violets in flower beds


It’s best to begin with the foundation of a healthy and well-maintained lawn and garden.

A dense and thriving grass cover, along with well-tended planting beds, creates an environment where it’s challenging for wild violets to take hold.


Mulching involves covering the soil with a layer of organic or inorganic material, such as wood chips, straw, or plastic. This layer serves as a barrier that hinders wild violets’ access to sunlight.

While mulching can be an effective long-term solution, it may take time for the violets to succumb to the lack of sunlight.

In return, this eco-friendly method does not harm beneficial insects or animals in your garden or lawn.


Wild violets thrive in areas with light shade, where regular turfgrass struggles to grow.

Trim and prune trees and overgrown shrubs to allow more sunlight to reach the sections of your lawn where these flowers are increasing.

Increased sunlight can deter their growth.


Wild violets flourish in moist soil conditions. To thwart their establishment, you should enhance the drainage capabilities of your garden or lawn.

It can be achieved through soil aeration or by incorporating coarse organic materials like sawdust, sand, or gypsum into the soil.

Improved drainage creates a less favorable environment for wild violets to develop.


How Vinegar Affects Plant Growth?

Vinegar can inhibit a plant’s capacity to absorb essential nutrients from the soil, potentially leading to stunted growth.

When vinegar comes into contact with leaves, it often results in their discoloration and eventual demise.

Moreover, vinegar can alter the pH of the surrounding soil, rendering it less conducive for plants to access vital nutrients and moisture.

Additionally, this liquid can disrupt the delicate balance of beneficial microorganisms residing in the soil, which are instrumental for overall plant health and development.

How Long Does It Take For Vinegar To Remove Wild Violets?

The effectiveness of vinegar in eliminating wild violets may vary based on several factors. They include the plant’s size, overall health, weather conditions, and the concentration of the vinegar solution used.

Generally, you can expect to see results within a few days to a week following the application of the solution.

Does Vinegar Kill Other Pets Or Diseases?

Apart from not posing harm to children or pets, vinegar does have effects on insects and other wildlife. It can be lethal to insects like boxelder bugs, ants, spiders, and mosquitoes.

However, it’s important to note that vinegar can also take a toll on beneficial insects, particularly bees.

Therefore, if you cultivate plants to attract pollinators like bees to your garden, you should refrain from using vinegar as a weed killer in areas where these pollinators frequent.

What Is The Best Time To Kill Wild Violets?

The best time to control and kill wild violets is during the fall.

During this season, wild violets are actively preparing for the winter months, and their carbohydrate reserves are translocated from the leaves down to the roots.

It makes them more susceptible to herbicides, as the chemicals are more effectively transported to the roots, ultimately killing the plant.

Using a broadleaf herbicide containing ingredients like 2,4-D or Dicamba in the fall is recommended, as it can selectively target and eliminate wild violets without harming the surrounding grass.


Will vinegar kill wild violets? Yes. Vinegar can be an effective natural herbicide to combat wild violets in your lawn or garden.

Its eco-friendly and cost-effective nature makes it an attractive choice to manage these stubborn weeds without resorting to harsh chemicals.

However, it’s crucial to exercise caution when using vinegar, as its acidity can affect soil pH and potentially harm desirable plants if not applied correctly.

Therefore, while vinegar can be a valuable tool in your battle against wild violets, it should be used judiciously and considerately in your overall weed control strategy.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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