Environmental weeds are plants that take over bushlands, waterways and native grasslands.

They are a threat to local biodiversity and compete with local plants for resources.

Controlling weeds

To control weeds in your garden, you need to identify them correctly.

Check our common environmental weeds section below.

You can manage most weeds in your garden by:

  • regular hand pulling
  • digging out roots and tubers
  • mulching garden beds to stop growth.

To learn about how we control weeds on Council-managed land, visit our weed management program page.

Removing weeds

Depending on the type of weed, there are different strategies to remove them.

Manual removal

This is suitable for small or scattered weeds. You can do this any time of the year.

  • Pull out small weeds or seedlings by hand. This works best when soil is wet.
  • Remove larger weeds, roots and rhizomes with a fork, spade or mattock.
  • Begin at the outer edge of the weed patch and work inwards.
  • Cut off and dispose of dead or drying flower heads before seeds ripen and fall.
  • Cut off and dispose of fruit before it ripens.

Cut and paint

This is suitable for woody weeds, climbers, shrubs and trees. Do this when the plant is growing.

  • Cut the stem at ground level.
  • Immediately apply herbicide to the cut surface with a paintbrush or eye-dropper.

Drill and fill

This is suitable for woody weeds such as climbers, shrubs and trees. Do this when the plant is growing.

  • Drill and fill small holes at regular spacing around the base of the trunk at a downward angle.
  • Immediately apply herbicide into the holes.


Use the heat of the sun to kill shallow-rooted weeds.

Simply cover them with black plastic in summer.

Mow or brush cut

This is suitable for grasses.

  • Remove flower heads using a mower or brush cutter before seeds ripen and fall.
  • Clean your equipment to prevent weed spread.


    If other methods are not successful you may choose to spray weeds.

    • Cut back large weeds first, to reduce plant growth.
    • Follow the product instructions to dilute the herbicide.
    • Spray or paint on to leaves and stems when the plant is growing.

    Don't use herbicides on stressed plants, such as during periods of drought. This is because when stressed, plants will not absorb the herbicide.

    Avoid spraying on windy days to prevent herbicide drifting onto nearby plants.

    After you remove weeds

    After removing weeds you should:

    • dispose of them carefully in your FOGO or green waste bin
    • replant and mulch to fill empty space and stop weeds regrowing.

    Indigenous plants are ideal replacements for weed species.

    Use organic mulch around 7-10cm in depth.

    Boroondara weed swap 

    We’re running an environmental weed swap to help support Boroondara residents who are removing environmental weeds from their garden. Environmental weeds are often common garden plants that invade natural bushland and displace local plants and animals.

    To get involved, simply email [email protected] with a photo of the weeds you’re planning to remove, and we will send you a voucher for 10 Indigenous tubestock replacement plants. 

    Common environmental weeds

    Download our Environmental weeds booklet for a list of common weeds, pictures of them and advice on how to manage them.

    The booklet also includes suggestions for plants to replace them with.

    More information

    Visit Agriculture Victoria for information about:

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