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Is Dog Fennel Invasive? Does It Spread Quickly? [Solved]

Do you know Dog Fennel can spread through seeds and rootstocks, assumed to be invasive? But are they really? 

Generally, Dog Fennel is a plant resembling a Fennel herb and is a perennial with rapid growth. Eventually, the Dog Fennel plant can become invasive due to its self-seeding and wide-spreading nature.

You can still enjoy a maintained Dog Fennel plant by regular pruning and deadheading.

How Does Dog Fennel Spread?

Belonging to the Daisy Family and native to woodland ranging from Florida to Massachusetts, Asteraceae is a fast-growing perennial. 

Dog Fennel can reach anywhere between 6 inches and 3 feet in height and spreads up to 3 feet. 

You can find them growing from Zone 3 to 10, with their feathery fern-like green leaves and greenish-red stem. 

dog fennel outdoors
Dog Fennel grows rapidly in moist but well-drained soils.

But as the temperature drop below 0°F, you will see the plant losing its vegetation and going dormant from January to March.

Owing to their perennial nature, the plant revives as the warm spring begins, and the growth proceeds. It then tends to take over the garden when left unattended.

Adding to it is the plant’s prolific seed production capacity.

The Dog Fennel plant continues growing and produces daisy-like white bloom with a yellowish center in mid-summer, often called Dog Daisy.

And upon pollination and fertilization develops, the seeds. 

As the seed matures and disperses via wind or water, it will likely germinate and establish a new plant in an unwanted location. 

This rapid spreading and invasive nature of Dog Fennel makes them a less desirable plant in the garden.

However, according to research conducted in 2011, the essential oil from these wildflowers had the potential to act as biological pesticides against various pests.

Fun Fact: Despite the name Dog Funnel, these weeds are neither dog friendly nor have any connection to the herb Fennel except for its appearance.

How To Get Rid Of Dog Fennel Naturally? 

The spreading could turn into an invasion and shade out the plants in your garden.

The complicated roots of Dog Daisies compete with the nearby plant and hinder their regular growth.

Especially if you have your pets running, keeping the poisonous Dog fennel controlled is mandatory to prevent the pets from nibbling on them. 

Here is how you can control Dog Fennel in the garden.

  • Manually remove the Dog Fennel plant, pulling out the entire root system to prevent re-growth. Use a gardening glove for safety.
  • Pinch or Deadhead the white flower to avoid seed production and self-seeding of the Dog Fennel.
  • Regularly mow the plant to a short height to discourage photosynthesis which deprives the energy reserve of the plant and eventually exhausts the roots.
  • Apply a layer of organic or plastic mulch to suppress the growth of new seedlings.
  • If the above methods fail, use herbicides like Crossbow (2,4-D + triclopyr) and Alligare (2,4-D + dicamba) after mowing the plant.

From Editorial Team 

Keep Dog Fennel Away From Pets!

Help your plant and pet co-exist by keeping them at a safe distance, either by fencing or using pet deterrents. 

In case of any mishaps, contact the pet poison helpline or professional to seek help for your pets.