Creeping thistle

Time to act:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Creeping thistle, Cirsium arvense, is a pernicious weed that will quickly take over your garden unless kept in check. Winter is the only time of year that offers a reprieve, but for the rest of the year the best way to tackle it is to dig it out as soon as it appears. It's armed with extremely sharp stems from tip to ground, so don't tackle it without a sturdy pair of gloves.


Creeping thistle is a rampant weed that's spread via wind-blown seeds, as well as roots that can grow 6-12m per year. If left unchecked, it can rapidly dominate areas of your garden.

Find it on

all over the garden



The best way to deal with thistles is to get a fork under the plant and gently tease out as many of its spreading white roots as possible. Although a new plant will generate from any pieces of root left behind, these will become weaker and easier to remove each time you dig them out.


Use a total weedkiller, such as glyphosate, on this weed, as it'll kill the plant without leaving a residue in the soil. Avoid spraying on a windy day and near other desirable plants.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Hedge bindweed




Related offers


Save £4 on Pond Clear

Use EcoSure Pond Clear to remove algae and blanket weed from your pond without harming fish, pets or wildlife. Enter the discount code at checkout to save £4 on a pack of four tablets (enough to treat a pond approximately 5x4m ).

Use code: ECO17

Order now