How To Kill Rose Bushes: 6 Easy Methods

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Are you a gardening freak and love to grow flowers? Then, you must have roses in your garden. Roses are admired by all and undoubtedly enhance the glory of your lawn. But there might come a time when you want to remove rose bushes from your garden.

It might be due to several reasons. The rose bushes may decay with time, and you should clean your lawn. Moreover, there are times when you look forward to growing other flowers or plants besides roses.

But the aggressive growth of rose bushes might not allow it. In all such cases, getting rid of rose bushes remains the only way. But it is more challenging than it sounds. The invasive growth of rose bushes makes them difficult to kill, thus allowing them to capture the space, nutrients, sunlight, etc., from other plants in your lawn.

How to kill Rose Bushes

You need not fret anymore if you want to kill rose bushes on your lawn. Here we have brought to you the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of rose bushes. You can choose the one that suits you best and enjoy a rose bush-free lawn.

1. Starve the Plants

Starve the Plants

Water and nutrients are essential for the survival of plants. The same holds for rose bushes. So, if you want to kill them, starving the plants is one of the best methods.

You can starve the plants by cutting off their water, sunlight, or nutrient supply. But it would help if you got an early start on this. The stubborn and resilient nature of rose bushes makes them persistent even after starving.

However, the climatic conditions in your area are also a deciding factor if the rose bushes will die on starving alone. A harsh climatic zone ensures quick removal of the bushes if the water and nutrient supply is cut off.

But if you reside in a stable climatic zone with good soil quality, you might have to consider other methods of removing rose bushes. However, a lack of water and nutrient makes the bushes weak and vulnerable.

So, if the rose plants do not die from starving alone, a weak root system will make them prone to attack by diseases and insects. This eventually kills the bushes. So, you can implement this easy way of removing rose bushes.

2. Pull Out From the Root

Pull Out From the Root

The rose bushes keep thriving as long as their root system is strong. Hence, another way of killing them permanently every day is to target the roots. You can dig out the plant from the root, leaving no trace of it behind on the ground.

But pulling out the root takes work and might be labor intensive. You can make the process easier by following these steps.

  • First of all, you need to work on the heavy growth of the rose bushes. You should cut the plant to the ground before aiming for the root.
  • Next, you must water the ground around the cut-off rose bushes. This step makes the digging task easier by softening the soil.
  • Aiming for the complete root system is necessary to make this method work. So, before you start digging, you can make a rough circle around the plant. Typically, it is possible to cover the entire root system of the rose bushes within 3 feet from the plant’s crown. But the most appropriate diameter is 12 inches from the crown.
  • Now comes the tough task of digging. You can use a shovel to cut through the circle and dig out the root ball. The root system may be extensive, and you might need to cut it into pieces to detach it from the crown. Using the shovel as a level to dig the root ball makes the job easier.

So, in this way, you can dig out the roots of the rose bushes and eliminate their means of existence in your lawn.

3. Cut Off the Heavy Growth

Cut Off the Heavy Growth

If digging the plant from the roots is labor-intensive, you can try this method. Cutting the heavy growth of bushes works towards making the plant weak. It is because when you cut the plant several times, the roots utilize the nutrients for the growth of the new shoot system rather than the root system.

This eventually weakens the root system, and the rose plant becomes vulnerable. Moreover, as you remove the leaves of the plant in the cutting process, you decrease the power of photosynthesis. However, it would help if you consistently cut the bushes severely every time it emerges.

Once you successfully weaken the root system, you can pull it out easily from the ground and permanently remove rose bushes. In most cases, you will not even need to dig out the root, as the lack of sugars due to reduced photosynthesis will kill the plant eventually.

4. The Crown Method

The Crown Method

Another easy and effective method to kill rose bushes is the crown method. In this method, all you need to do is cut the plant severely and cover the crown. Covering the crown with an opaque material stops the flow of sunlight to the plant, thus making it easier to kill.

This method saves you from digging out the plant from the root or cutting the heavy growth several times. All you need to do is cut the rose canes severely, only leaving behind the crown.

Next, you need to cover the crown or the stump with several layers of cardboard or something opaque like a tarp. You must ensure the cover does not blow up in heavy winds. You can use bricks to keep the cover intact.

It would help if you kept the crown covered for at least a year to give enough time for the plant to starve in sunlight. Also, the plant becomes prone to microorganisms due to damp conditions in the coveted crown.

Hence, the plant either decays or starves away. It becomes easier for you to remove the root ball later to ensure the removal of rose bushes permanently. You can fasten the process by removing any new growth of shoots by uncovering the crown from time to time.

Also Read:- How to Kill Yucca Plants: 2 Effective Ways (99% Works)

5. Use Herbicides

Use Herbicides

Herbicides are among the most effective ways to kill rose bushes. Non-selective herbicides work best for the removal of rose bushes. The key to using herbicides to kill rose bushes is to choose a suitable herbicide and apply it appropriately.

So, you can get an herbicide meant to kill rose bushes. It is necessary to go through the instructions on the label before using any herbicide. You must use it in the right amount and make sure you wear protective equipment.

You can use a sprayer for the purpose after mixing the herbicide thoroughly. It is important to choose the right time to apply herbicide. Spring is considered the best time for it. It is because of the moving phloem in the tissues during this period. It helps transport the herbicide to various parts of the plant, thus making it easier to kill.

Even during the spring, you must do some weather forecasting and choose a day with no rainfall for several days. It might otherwise wash off the herbicide and make it less effective. It would help if you targeted the herbicide on the rose bushes so it does not affect other plants nearby.

Also, you must ensure you are not using this method for rose bushes near water bodies. Herbicides may enter the water body and affect aquatic life. You may stick to physical methods of killing rose bushes in such cases.

6. Let the Goats Graze

Let the Goats Graze

Here comes a traditional method of killing rose bushes. You can use animal grazing to remove rose plants from your lawn. Goats are the best choice as they can perfectly get their hands on the rose bushes.

Grazing goats also reduce the weeds in your lawn. Hence, you can rent a goat and free it on your lawn.

Also Read:- How to Kill Wisteria in Your Yard?


Now you know the best and easiest ways to kill rose bushes. But little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So, you must know what methods to avoid killing rose bushes. 

You must avoid using Epsom or rock salt against rose bushes. The same holds for vinegar and bleach. Though these chemical substances are considered weed killers, they are highly toxic to the soil and may affect its quality with time.

Moreover, as many gardeners do, you should not use fire to burn rose bushes. Rose bushes do not have enough potential to keep fire restricted to themselves. So, you might burn your complete lawn.


Why are rose bushes challenging to kill?

Rose bushes have an extensive root system and a tendency to grow persistently. Hence, they are difficult to kill.

Which season is the best to apply herbicide?

Spring is the best time to apply herbicide due to phloem flow in the rose bushes’ tissues.

Which herbicides should I use to kill rose bushes?

You can use non-selective herbicides for this purpose.

Is roundup herbicide effective against rose bushes?

Yes. But you should apply it two to three times.

Can I use Epsom salt to kill rose bushes?

No, it is not recommended as it affects the soil quality and puts other plants in danger.


The roses are all red and charming. But it is true only until it does not start taking over your lawn. In such a case, getting rid of rose bushes may be daunting. But you can make the task easier by applying these easy and effective ways of killing rose bushes. So, if you want to plant other flowers in your lawn or the rose plants have taken up too much space in your garden, you can easily get rid of them and enjoy a healthy lawn.

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