6 Ways To Get Rid Of Daphne - Remove Spurge Laurel

6 Ways To Get Rid Of Daphne - Remove Spurge Laurel

Get rid of daphne for good

Cut daphne to ground level

Cut it to ground level with loppers, hand pruners or a hand saw. Cutting alone will not eliminate daphne but it is an important first step.

Pull daphne out from the roots

Small and young daphne plants can be pulled out from the roots. This is easiest when the soil is soft and wet.

Be careful of spreading seeds

If the daphne you are cutting has green or black berries it must be disposed of properly. The green berries will continue to ripen even after the plant is cut. It is very important to take the plant to a disposal facility or bag it in a plastic bag so further spreading of seeds does not occur.


An alternative to pulling out the roots or using a herbicide is to mow the area regularly. If the area is flat enough to mow this is an effective method. The area will need to be mowed regularly in order for it to be effective.


Be sure to read and follow all the instructions on your herbicide label. It is best to have a licensed professional apply herbicide. Natural methods such as vinegar will not kill daphne. The only effective daphne killer is a herbicide. Herbicide can be applied to the stem immediately after cutting or to the foliage 1-3 months before cutting.


Cut the daphne to ground level. Cover the area in an opaque tarp or sheet of plastic. It is very important no light can pass through the covering. This will prevent the daphne from photosynthesizing and the plants and root system will eventually die after one year or more of being covered.

What is daphne?

Daphne also known as "spurge-laurel" is an invasive species widespread on Vancouver Island. Daphne is a poisonous plant that produces toxic sap that causes skin rashes, nausea, swelling of the tongue and in rare cases coma and death when ingested. It grows in sun or shade and rapidly takes over native vegetation by forming dense thickets in the understory of our forests.

Why is daphne invasive?

  • A single daphne plant can turn into a patch containing thousands of stems
  • Daphne spreads underground through a rapidly expanding root system that constantly sprouts new plants
  • Daphne produces extremely resilient growth that re-sprouts after cutting

Why is it crucial to remove daphne?

  • Daphne berries, leaves, and bark are poisonous to humans, cats, and dogs
  • Daphne is most poisonous to children and pets
  • Daphne is highly invasive
  • Daphne crowds out native species
  • Daphne infestations will get worse over time
  • Daphne can harm natural waterways
  • Daphne can spread to neighbouring property
  • The spread of daphne degrades natural areas and displaces native plants
  • Daphne thrives and spreads rapidly in the understory of our Pacific Northwest forests

Permanently removing daphne

Small plants will be pulled out including the roots, large plants will be cut to ground level and have the roots ground out with a stump grinder. All cut material is cleaned up and hauled away.

To permanently eliminate daphne, a herbicide is often a necessary measure. With this method, the daphne will be cut to ground level with gas powered cutters, the cut material is cleaned up and hauled away. Two months later the daphne will have sprouted new shoots and new foliage. This new foliage will be treated with herbicide. Following the herbicide treatment the root system will die. Our herbicide will not kill other plants and has no soil activity or run off.

Ascent Yard Care has permanently removed hundreds of daphne infestations since our business was founded in 2017. We carry a license from the province of BC for landscape herbicide application.

Daphne removal cost

Contact us for a free in-person quote in Victoria, BC and Jake will provide an exact work order and quote.

Won’t the daphne just grow back?

In the worst infestations, up to 2 follow up visits may be necessary to completely eradicate re-growth. Most daphne patches we service are completely and permanently removed in one visit.

Expert Help:

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