Burning Weeds vs Roundup – Which is Better for Weeds ?

If you have been struggling to get rid of stubborn weeds, you may be wondering which method will work best: burning them or using Roundup? The answer will depend on a number of factors, such as where you live and what weeds you are trying to get rid of. This article will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages to each method.

Burning weeds vs roundup- which is bettter for you?

Burning Weeds

To burn weeds, you will need a landscaping torch, which can be purchased from a home improvement store. You will also need a propane tank to attach to the torch. For safety, you should remove any leaves and debris from the area and saturate it with a hose before beginning to burn. To protect your skin from the flame, wear rubber gloves, heavy close-toed shoes, and long pants.

Once you are ready to begin, ignite the landscaping torch and slowly wave it over the entire area. Keep the flame about 2-3” above the surface. The flame will kill visible weeds as well as ones you cannot yet see. It only takes a fraction of a second for the heat to kill visible weeds. You are looking for them to wilt, rather than burn. Heat is intended to kill the weeds on a cellular level, rather than incinerate them.

Advantages of Burning Weeds


Burning kills both visible and unseen weeds and it destroys seeds so they don’t have an opportunity to germinate. It also works on weeds that have become resistant to herbicides. Plants will not develop resistance to high heat. Weed burners have a small tip which helps you to isolate the weed while leaving surrounding grass and plants undamaged.

No Chemicals

Burning kills weeds without using any chemicals. This means that it can safely be used around edible plants, and after the burning is complete, the area will be safe for pets and children. It is also environmentally friendly. No harmful chemicals means that burning is an environmentally friendly method of removing weeds. There is no danger of polluting soil or groundwater through runoff. 

Disadvantages of Burning Weeds

Requires Equipment

You need the right equipment to burn weeds. You will need a landscaping torch, a propane tank, and appropriate safety gear. Once you own the equipment, however, the only thing you should need to replace is the propane.

Fire Danger

There is an inherent danger when using fire. If the flame touches your skin, it can cause serious injury. This is why it is important to wear protective clothing and gear. It can also cause accidental brush or wildfires. Burning cannot be done safely in dry, windy climates. Before burning, you can call your fire department to ask about the current fire risk in your area as an extra safety precaution.

Weeds May Return

Burning kills the weeds and their seeds but does not reach the root system itself. This is especially a problem with perennial plants that have deep root systems. Burning perennials is often a short-term solution, with weeds returning in as soon as a few days. It is most effective on annuals. Burning can often stress the roots of annual plants enough to keep them from returning. 

If weeds do return after the first burn, multiple burns may eventually stop them from coming back. After repeatedly having their new growth killed. The weeds may stop putting energy toward regrowing. Without foliage, the root system will eventually die off. If you see weeds beginning to reappear, wait seven days and then reburn.


Roundup is a non-selective herbicide that uses glyphosate to kill weeds. Glyphosate works by targeting an enzyme that is necessary for plant growth. It should be sprayed directly on the leaves of any plants you want to get rid of. You will want to wear long sleeves and gloves while using Roundup so that it does not come into contact with your skin.

Roundup can be purchased in different concentrations and different packaging. Highly concentrated formulas need to be mixed with water and are applied using a spray tank or watering can. There are also premixed Roundup solutions that are sold in ready-to use containers with an attached wand. Be careful not to over-apply Roundup as it can travel to the roots of nearby plants and grass.

Advantages of Using Roundup


Unlike burning, Roundup kills weeds down to their roots. It travels through the plant, deep into the ground, where it stops weeds from germinating. This usually keeps them from regrowing after just an application or two. It is effective on almost all weed types, whether they are annuals or perennials, even if they have large root systems.

No Fire Risk

You never have to worry about starting a wildfire with Roundup. This makes it a great choice if you live in a warm, dry climate where there is at high risk of wildfires and burning is not a safe option. If you are unsure about whether it is safe to burn in your area, call your local fire department for up-to-date information.


Newer Roundup products come ready-to-use packaging with attached wands. Premixed solutions and ready-to-use containers are very convenient. You don’t have to worry about mixing a concentrate or having the right equipment to apply the herbicide. The attached wands on these containers have shields to direct the product to the unwanted weeds, while helping to keep nearby grass and plants safe.

Disadvantages of Using Roundup

Resistance and Time

Plants can become resistant to glyphosate after repeated exposure. If this happens, you will need to find another way to kill unwanted weeds. Roundup is a post-emergent weed killer, meaning it will only work on weeds that have already broken through the ground. It needs to be sprayed on the plant’s leaves and from there will travel underground to attack roots.

Roundup is also not the best option if you need weeds gone right away. Depending on the formula, it can take days or even weeks for the chemical to travel to the plants’ roots and cause weeds to die. If you are doing last minute clean-up before a party or a house showing, burning is the better choice.

Chemical Danger

One of the biggest disadvantages of Roundup is that it contains glyphosate, which is a dangerous chemical. Precautions must be taken to protect the skin during application, and exposure can lead to health issues. It is also advised to keep children and pets away from the sprayed area immediately after use.

When not being used, Roundup must be stored properly out of the reach of children. It can also cause environmental harm when the chemical travels by way runoff water. Glyphosate should not be used near edible plants, so it is not a good option for weeds near vegetable gardens or fruit trees.

Weather Considerations

Roundup cannot be used on a windy day. If glyphosate is sprayed into the wind, it will travel and kill unintended plants and grass. It can also contaminate areas on your property where children or pets may become exposed.

Roundup also works best on dry areas so that it does not become diluted. This means you will want to wait for the ground to dry after rain. Do not spray immediately before rain either. It needs to dry before being exposed to water so that it is not washed away.


There are advantages and disadvantages to both Roundup and weed burning. Overall, burning weeds is often the better solution as it gets rid of weeds right away and leaves no harmful chemical residue on your property. If you live in an area that is at high risk of wildfires, however, it is safer to stick with Roundup. Roundup will also be more effective against perennial weeds. Whichever method you choose, be sure to take all proper precautions and work carefully to avoid damaging nearby grass and ornamental plants.

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