Ragweed (Photo: F. D. Richards)
Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.) is an invasive plant originating in North America. It belongs to one of the strongest allergy elicitor and can lead to asthma.
Do not fight ragweed in its center of origin: In the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, unless it grows in your own garden or near surroundings.
How do I know it is ragweed?
Find out what ragweed looks like: HERE
In Europe ragweed is especially spreading from the seeds in bird food. The most efficient way to get rid of ragweed is by handpulling the whole plants including the roots during the month of June. In June you are already able to identify the plant whilst it is not blooming yet. You should wear gloves while doing this. Especially during the later summer period it is important to protect yourself from the pollen if you want to shed the plants. Filtering facepieces and gloves should be worn by all means if you touch the plants during the blooming. Allergy sufferers should never carry out these duties!
Is ragweed growing on your land or in the surroundings, you should definitely get rid of it to protect youself, your neighbours, and pets from the strong pollen!
Getting rid of ragweed in three steps:
1. Displanting: Handpull the whole plants including the roots every year during the month of June and dispose them in the household waste or on the compost. Keep an eye on the compost, make sure the plants are dead and not spreading or blooming. Plants with seeds belong into the household waste.
2. Prevent: Make sure bird food does not include ragweed (ambrosia) seeds. Alternatively you can offer cutted apples or even better plant a native hedge that grows berries for birds.
3. Educate: The first Saturday after the beginning of summer is „International Ragweed Day“. Let your neighbours help you fighting ragweed by putting selfmade invitation leaflets with information into their mailboxes. Make a day of it!