Bamboo Lawn & Pest Blog

White and Yellow Dandelions: What’s The Difference?

If you are like most people, you’ve wondered what the difference is between white and yellow dandelions. Why do two different weeds have the same name? The truth is, white and yellow dandelions are the same type of weed, just at different stages of development. Both are distraction when you want a green lawn in Utah.

The Dandelion Life Cycle

Dandelions make their way through a distinct life cycle each year. The success of the previous year’s fertilization process increases the number of dandelions that are seen the following year. Dandelions transform in the following ways:

First Springtime Bloom

Dandelions are one of the very first flowers to emerge each spring. These yellow dandelion flowers can provide a crucial food source for beneficial insects such as honeybees, which in turn help to pollinate dandelions. However, dandelions can spread their seeds and pollinate on their own too without outside help. 

From Petals to Seeds

Yellow dandelion petals eventually dry out and reveal a seed head. During this transition between being a white and yellow dandelion, the weed looks like a slender green tube on top of a thin stalk. It may have a small tuft of feathery white seeds sticking out. The tube eventually opens to reveal a round head of cotton-like seeds.

Seeds in the Wind

Most people have a common childhood memory of making a wish while blowing dandelion seeds. It only takes a small gust of wind to scatter dandelion seeds all over your lawn, your neighbor’s lawn, or even miles down the road. Since each head contains approximately 100 seeds, one yellow or white dandelion can turn into thousands of dandelions. 

Taking Root

After scattered seeds settle into moist soil with plenty of access to sunshine, they germinate and take root. Dandelion roots look similar to long, skinny carrots buried deep underground. Since dandelions are perennials, their roots become longer and harder to remove with each passing year.

How To Get Rid of Dandelions

You can effectively remove dandelions in one of three ways. The most labor intensive option is to pull each dandelion up individually. However, if the entire root is not removed, the dandelion will just grow back. A high quality pre emergent fertilizer early in the spring is the most effective way to stop dandelion growth. If you are already seeing dandelions, a post emergent fertilizer is your best option for disturbing the dandelion growth cycle and increasing your chances of a green lawn that isn’t dotted with yellow or white dandelions.


Now that you know that white and yellow dandelions are the same weed, but at different stages of development, it’s time to do the hard work of keeping dandelions out of your lawn. For more information on how to have the best looking lawn on the block, contact Bamboo Servicing, a top rated provider of green lawns in Utah, at 385-429-2847.


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