I know that there are plants that can sprout from cuttings, so I wonder about this. I have a mulching mower that deposits clippings back on the lawn. There are some weeds like thistles and violets that seem to thrive the more I mow them. Is it because my mower is propagating them?

  • 1
    What height are you mowing at? Too short (a common error) and you can favor weeds over grass.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 21, 2023 at 11:22
  • @Ecnerwal I've never tried to measure, but it's the middle setting on my mower. Jun 21, 2023 at 12:45
  • Yes, mowing spreads the seeds faster than leaving them to nature. Jun 22, 2023 at 18:10
  • @YosefBaskin in this case I think I'm mowing before the seeds have a chance to develop. For sure on the thistles, and I think for the violets as well. I didn't even mention dandelions because it's an obvious problem with them. Jun 22, 2023 at 18:50

2 Answers 2


Highly unlikely that your mulching mower is causing cuttings to grow. The cut weed parts won't have good soil contact and will dry out and die. Weeds that have gone to seed stand a better chance of seeding, but they'll do that regardless of your mower.

Cutting too short, on the other hand, can definitely favor weeds over grass, where grass can shade out weeds if permitted to grow tall enough. Fairly stock recommendation is 3"/75mm cut height, and cut when it gets to 4"/100mm. Apart from tipping the balance in favor of grass, that also permits enough root growth for the lawn to be more drought-tolerant than very short grass.

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    Speaking from experience, the point about cutting too short is especially true about violets (mentioned by the OP) and wild strawberries. Jun 21, 2023 at 17:06
  • There's a few exceptions here, which is something like Japanese Knotweed which will root readily if a length of stem with a node is trodden into the ground. Jun 22, 2023 at 6:22

Violets, maybe. But not thistles, unless you cut them when they have seeded. As far as I know, thistles will grow from root cuttings, but not stem or leaves.

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