Container Gardening: Weeding Your Container Garden

Weeds show up in our garden beds whether we are first-timers or experienced gardeners. Container gardens are no exception! Weed seeds are often carried by the wind, birds, and even humans. Have you ever walked through the grass and had those tiny brown seeds stuck to your shoes or pantleg? They could be Bidens alba, commonly referred to as beggarticksBidens alba has a white, daisy-like flower that produces a small brown seed that appears to have two teeth at one end, which is how they stick to you! This plant relies on animals carrying its seed for future germination. Although it can be a pesky weed, Bidens alba is a beneficial plant for pollinators and seed-eating birds. It can also be useful to humans! Grind up the leaves in the palm of your hand, and then rub the mashed leaves on an insect bite to help stop the itch!  

Another common weed you may find in your container garden is Euphorbia hirta, a low-growing mat-forming weed. The leaves are dark green and oval-shaped with red stems and has a small, round white flower. 

Remove these weeds by hand as soon as you see them to prevent them from growing out of control. Catching them before they flower and go to seed is ideal. Remove the weed by pulling firmly at the base of the plant. You want to be sure you remove the entire weed—roots and all. If you leave behind the roots, there is a high chance of the weed returning. 

 Bidens alba with seeds 


Euphorbia hirta