Leaves and tiny yellow flower buds of groundsel, Senecio vulgaris


Learn how to manage groundsel in our expert guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do Time to act in January

Do Time to act in February

Do Time to act in March

Do Time to act in April

Do Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do Time to act in December

Groundsel is able to produce lots of seed, and several generations of this weed can grow in a single growing season. Plants can overwinter and act as a host for rust fungus. This weed is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions. Seed can blow in from surrounding gardens, fields and waste ground.



A bushy weed that bears small yellow flowers and fluffy seedheads. Its leaves often have orange-brown pustules of rust fungus in summer and autumn, which can spread to cultivated plants.

Find it on

established flowerbeds, freshly cultivated soil, paving, walls


Pull out young plants by hand before they get the chance to flower and seed. Alternatively, hoe through the surface of the soil to chop them off at the roots. Remove weeds and dispose of them (not on the compost heap) to prevent them re-establishing.



Kill the seedlings and young plants by applying a contact weedkiller to the foliage. It’s important to do this early in the weed’s life, as weedkiller applied to plants in flower may not kill them before they are able to set viable seed.