A hairy bittercress plant with small white flowers, growing at the edge of a border

Hairy bittercress

Clear hairy bittercress from your garden, with help from our 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

Left unchecked, hairy bittercress can quickly spread to infest the whole garden. This weed can complete its lifecycle in three to four weeks to disperse thousands of seeds, all of which can germinate to release their own seeds in quick succession. Bittercress may be introduced as seed, seedlings or as plants in compost when buying new plants from nurseries or garden centres. It may also spread from neighbouring gardens or remain dormant at depth in the soil to be brought to the surface by cultivation. Plants are also able to overwinter.



Small short-lived annual plants which spread rapidly by means of small seeds dispersed from spring-like seedpods.

Find it on

freshly-cultivated ground in borders, pots, paving, walls, vegetable plots


Remove young plants before they get a chance to flower and set seed. Pull them out individually by hand or hoe off young seedlings and remove from the soil surface. Avoid deep cultivation which brings up new seeds. Apply a mulch to the surface after weeding to prevent further germination.



Use contact weedkiller to kill seedlings and young plants before they grow and get a chance to flower.