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How to Remove Star of Bethlehem from your garden and turf

Star of Bethlehem

Sometimes weeds aren’t an ugly sight. This is especially the case with the beautiful white six-petaled flower, the Star of Bethlehem. But a weed doesn’t necessarily have to be ugly to be unwanted on your lawn. The Star of Bethlehem is a very invasive weed and when you are a homeowner that wants a nice green uniform lawn, these invaders can stick out like a sore thumb.

Even worse is that the Star of Bethlehem plant is a hard to control weed when going through the traditional non chemical methods of management like mowing and hand pulling. We here at Solutions Pest and Lawn know the best methods and products to get rid of this troublesome plant. After reading our control approach and implementing it, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that the Star of Bethlehem is not a problem in your yard any longer.

Star Of Bethlehem Background Information

The Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is a perennial invasive weed that is Native to Europe and is now a common invader in the United States. It is easily identified by it’s distinguishing white, star-shaped petals that bloom in late spring.  A member of the lily family, when observing the plant closely, one may notice that the flowers have a similar, vaguely trumpet shape as do other flowers within the family, with six petals surrounding a round, slightly protruding center. However all parts of the plant are toxic and hence they should be removed immediately from lawns once they have emerged. It’s pleasant appearance and flowers makes some lawn owners not regard the Star of Bethlehem as a weed at all. The way the Star of Bethlehem spreads is through underground bulbs which can each easily produce seven new bulbs annually so of course very quickly your lawn can be overrun with these plants if nothing is done to control them.

Small clumps of leaves appear mid-spring, and continue to elongate into late spring when flowers are produced. The blooming period lasts about 2 weeks, with flowers opening late on sunny mornings and closing by sunset. Flowering is followed by seed set, and subsequently, stems and leaves die back to the bulb by mid-summer.

Star Of Bethlehem Control Options

Recommended Pre-emergent and Post-emergent Herbicides:

As with any invasive weed, the best time to apply herbicides to control Star of Bethlehem is to attack them when the plant is fairly young and tender. All of our recommended products above have had success controlling the plant, with the best control coming from Parazone containing the chemical paraquat. Sequential applications may be necessary for complete control. Mowing should be delayed following application to give the herbicide time to work. Check the area daily for any new growth and remove any new Star of Bethlehem found as soon as possible.

If the Star of Bethlehem happens to resist the recommended selective herbicides on your lawn, your best best is using RoundUp or Glyphosate, which is a non-selective weed killer. Glyphosate is certain to eliminate Star of Bethlehem and get to the bulbs beneath the soil which is the main culprit to eradicate, but will also kill any plants the quack grass is growing near.

Whether you go selective or non-selective with your herbicide, you will need to commit to conducting follow-up applications. Wait one week and treat the area again. While this may seem a like a lot of in order to control Star of Bethlehem, this is the only way to ensure that you have eliminated this stubborn weed.

Star of Bethlehem Control Tips and Recommendations


  • Mix your selected herbicide with a surfactant so that your application can stick to the Star Of Bethlehem weed and not bounce off. Another good idea is to utilize a Spray Pattern indicator to mark areas of your lawn that you have already treated with herbicide to avoid over spraying.


  • Please follow instructions on the label when handling herbicides. Weed killers vary when it comes to application rates.

  • Herbicides chemicals that are handled by lawn owners should always be applied with the proper protection. Protect your eyes, skin, mouth and nose by wearing safety equipment and long sleeved clothes and closed shoes..

  • Want a more comprehensive how-to guide? Browse our knowledge base and check out our helpful How-To Videos to get more thorough step-by-step guidance in applying the herbicides we carry.

To get more information on controlling Star of Bethlehem and other troublesome weeds in your yard as well as receive free help over the phone, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

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