How to Remove Japanese Chaff Flower

These recommendations are primarily for homeowners and communities that would like to start working in their neighborhood greenspace. For each species we recommend herbicide-free control methods, but have added an herbicide option for some species for those who are comfortable using them. These methods were selected while keeping in mind limiting soil disturbance, reducing herbicide use, and avoiding harm to other species that may be present whether they be other plants/animals. Manual removal is possible for all of them if you have the time. If the infestation is overwhelmingly severe or these tips aren’t proving effective, we suggest you consider qualified professional services.


Japanese Chaff Flower

Achyranthes japonica – Georgia EPPC Category 1 Alert (significant potential to become a serious problem in Georgia)


Removal of this species is mildly difficult because it is often difficult to remove all root fragments and rhizomes, so the individual will often resprout multiple times. Because of this, follow-up is necessary to successfully remove this plant.


Japanese chaff flower

A patch of chafflower with last year’s seedheads.



This plant is perennial and can grow from small root fragments, so follow-up pulling within a season and in following seasons is likely. To increase your chances of pulling up all the roots, try uprooting the plant the day after a heavy rain, when the soil is still soft. Use a soil knife or small shovel to uproot the plant. If the plant is seeding, cut off the seed heads with pruners and place those in a yard bag before you begin uprooting. Place one hand in the middle of the plant, and the other at the base. This will reduce the chances of the plant snapping off as you pull. As you gently pull, wiggle the plant slightly to ease up the roots. After uprooting, place the plant in a yard bag and take off site.


First carefully remove the seedheads.


Bag the seedheads.


Find the root nodes of the plant.


Use a soil knife or shovel to pop up the roots from the soil.


For larger patches, a shovel may be necessary to pry up the roots.


Successful uprooting with all roots intact.


Root end of Japanese chaff flower

Avoid stem breaking off from roots. The plant will regrow from the roots left behind.


Putting Japanese chaff flower into a compost bag

Bag Japanese chaff flower and dispose off-site, especially if it flowering or has seed heads.



“Category” refers to description of invasiveness based on information from the Georgia and North Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) and do not necessarily reflect the severity of invasions in Atlanta specifically. View our Resource “Atlanta’s Top Invasive Plants (A to Z) Expanded List” for more information.

A great opportunity to learn is volunteering with us at a Forest Restoration project. Please view our Calendar of upcoming service projects or consider enrolling in our annual Forest Stewardship training program. For other species removal, also read: How to Remove Our Top 10 Invasive Plants.

If you have any questions about this guide please email