Dandelions are a common weed pest in lawns and gardens in many parts of the world. Their high reproduction rate and seeds capable of traveling great distances on air currents contribute to this weed's invasive nature. Gardeners and homeowners attempting to control the plant need to understand its life cycle in order to effectively battle it.
New dandelion seedlings require between eight and 15 weeds to reach maturity and bloom. The warmer the conditions, the quicker the plant matures and begins flowering. The quick maturation of the dandelion allows several generations of the plant to grow during the same season.
It takes between nine and 15 days for the dandelion bloom to fully mature into the puffy, ripe seed head. This time frame also depends on the temperature and conditions. The plant seeds mature faster in dry, warm weather. Mowing the plants and cutting the blooms before the seeds mature fully can slow the spread of dandelions.
Dandelions bloom throughout the growing season with greater activity in the spring and fall, depending on temperature and moisture conditions. Seeds are produced throughout the summer.
New Seed Growth
From the time a new seed lands on the ground to the point it produces a viable seed can be as little nine weeks given warm conditions and adequate moisture. The plant requires as little as eight weeks to grow through the seedling stage and bloom, and the bloom matures to seeds in as little as a week. In a 30-week growing season, three generations of dandelions can grow.