Weeds: Redroot pigweed (Rough pigweed) – Amaranthus retroflexus

categories: Pr-Sc Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 10:59

  • Family: Amaranthaceae
  • Cycle: Annual
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Redroot pigweed.
Redroot pigweed
Photo by: D.G. Swan


Redroot pigweed is a coarse, erect plant, growing two to three feet tall. The lower stems and branches and the upper portion of the taproot are frequently red or striped with red. Leaves are alternate, with long petioles and distinct veins. Branches or small flower clusters typically occur in the leaf axils. The majority of the flower clusters are at the top of the plant and appear as greenish, somewhat prickly, bushy-looking spikes. The small seeds are black and shiny. Redroot pigweed reproduces only via seeds, which can germinate any time conditions are favorable.


Redroot pigweed is a common weed of gardens, cultivated areas, and waste places. Rarely, pigweed can become a lawn weed, where mowing will force it to lie close to the ground rather than growing upright. Redroot pigweed is widely distributed.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Maintaining a healthy planting or turf area to provide competition will prevent weed establishment.
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Hand-pull to eliminate weeds.
  • Mowing to prevent seed production is a very effective means of management. In lawns, mowing regularly at the proper height for the grass species may help minimize weed growth and invasion.
  • Careful digging is useful to manage weed populations. However, digging can carry undesirable weed seed to the surface and foster further germination.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply according to label directions.
  • Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only!
  • NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination.
  • Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.


Landscape areas

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate
  • oryzalin
  • products containing diquat
  • trifluralin

Turf areas

  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing MCPA
  • triclopyr

Bare ground areas

  • glyphosate
  • oryzalin
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing diquat
  • triclopyr

Additional Images