Homing Thistle is a premium plant that was released in the 2.9.1 update of Plants vs. Zombies 2. He attacks in a way similar to the Cattail, shooting spikes that home in (as the name implies) on the zombie nearest to the Player's House. However, Cattail shoots two spikes at a time, but each spike is only one damage per shot while Homing Thistle shoots one thistle instead, but each thistle deals two normal damage shots, and he is shot once a second. He now costs 100 gems. Like Cattail, Homing Thistle's attack is triggered by a zombie appearing in any lane.

In the 3.4.4 update of the game, the accuracy of Homing Thistle's attack was changed. Instead of every needle hitting the leftmost zombie, they are now much more inaccurate and will sometimes hit random zombies or even go off the lawn without hitting anything. Sometimes after he has destroyed a zombie, he will attack somewhere random, perhaps not hitting anything or damaging a gravestone.


Homing Thistle is based on thistles, a plant group known for their prickly leaves. His name is a combination of the aforementioned thistle and homing missile, a weapon that is known to target a location or object and adjust his trajectory in order to hit, a quality present in Homing Thistle's projectile.

Almanac entry

Homing Thistle

RECHARGE: Mediocre

DAMAGE: Moderate

RANGE: Full Board

Homing Thistles fire seeking shots at targets that are closest to home.

Range: anywhere on lawn

Don't even think about trying to pull one over on Homing Thistle. He's got a bead on you. He sees right through your facade. It's like he has a laser beam ... aimed at your soul.


Plant Food effect

Homing Thistle Plant Food

Homing Thistle spins relentlessly to unleash barrages of needles

When given Plant Food, it spins and shoots blue needles that target zombies on the screen or tombstones and any lawn obstacles if there are insufficient zombies. The blue projectiles deal 12 normal damage shots each, and they sometimes encircle zombies for a long period of time. If there are no zombies present on the screen, it will fire the projectiles in a spiral shape.

Level Upgrade

Level Seed
Coins Upgrades
Sun Cost Recharge
1 0 0 250 15 seconds 10 seconds 3 bites 2 nds Normal Full Board
2 10 1,000 250 14 seconds 10 seconds 3.5 bites 2.5 nds
3 25 2,500 225 13 seconds 9 seconds 4 bites 3 nds + 1.3x
4 50 5,000 225 12 seconds 9 seconds 4.5 bites 3.5 nds
5 100 10,000 200 11 seconds 9 seconds 5.5 bites 4 nds
6 200 20,000 200 10 seconds 8 seconds 6 bites 4.5 nds
7 400 30,000 200 9 seconds 8 seconds 6.5 bites 5 nds + 1.6x
8 800 50,000 175 8 seconds 7 seconds 7 bites 5.5 nds
9 1,200 75,000 175 7 seconds 5 seconds 8 bites 6 nds
10 1,600 100,000 150 5 seconds 5 seconds 9 bites 7 nds

Costumed (China only)

It now mixes normal blue projectiles with fire projectiles, which do more damage, and ice projectiles, which slow zombies.

Level upgrade (China only)

Level Upgrades Description
LevelIcon2New Homing Thistle Upgrade 1
Spiked Batter
Homing Thistle gains a 25% chance of firing two thistles at a time.
Combat Training
Homing Thistle gains 50% more attack power and health (150% of initial).
LevelIcon3New Homing Thistle Upgrade 2
Strengthen Batter
Homing Thistle gains a 50% chance of firing two thistles at a time.
Cell Activation
Homing Thistle gains another 50% more attack power and health (200% of initial).
LevelIcon4New AbilityAwakendIcon
Ability Awaken
Homing Thistle may be boosted when planted.
Fighting Power
Homing Thistle gains another 50% more attack power and health (250% of initial).


Homing Thistle, in groups, can thin out the ranks of lesser zombies very quickly and pile on damage on single targets, making them a good compliment to any offensive. Their flying thistles can target just about any enemy type from anywhere, including Snorkel Zombies while they are swimming, Prospector Zombies after they have jumped, and even Swashbuckler Zombies while they are swinging (the thistles will wait in ambush where they will land). Homing Thistle is also a good choice against Pirate Captain Zombie as a group of them can quickly kill his Zombie Parrot and prevent the plant from being stolen. Since they always target the enemy closest to the lawn mowers first, enemies closing in on the Player's House can expect to take additional damage even if their row is unoccupied.

Homing Thistle is also useful when only one or two Gargantuars are on screen, as five or more of them can easily overpower a Gargantuar. However, this is not advised when aside from the Gargantuars, there are other zombies on screen because the other zombies on screen might be closer to home than the Gargantuars are, letting the Gargantuars walk closer to your house.

Homing Thistle, however, requires mass planting for them to be effective by themselves, as groups of enemies with high toughness, such as Buckethead Zombies, can tank through a storm of thistles. This is complicated by their slow recharge time and, ironically, their priority on targets furthest ahead on the lawn, which often causes them to target lesser enemies while ignoring real threats like Buckethead Zombies, or especially high-level enemies such as Gargantuars or Wizard Zombies. If the player is using them exclusively as their only offense, it's best to support them with defensive plants such as Spikerock and Tall-nuts, while using plants such as Cherry Bombs, Chili Beans, Iceberg Lettuce, and similar plants to stall or pick off higher-level enemies.

Avoid using Homing Thistle against Shield Zombie, Jester Zombie, and Excavator Zombie as they will block or deflect its shots, even if were boosted.


Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Homing Thistle.
Homing Thistle2
Visit this page to see it.
Homing Thistle2


  • He is the first non-seasonal plant to cost gems.
  • He is the only plant so far to have two different Plant Food effect animations.
  • He is the substitute of Cattail from Plants vs. Zombies.
  • He prioritizes zombies over stationary objects like surfboards and tombstones.
  • In the 3.4.4 update to the game, he was nerfed so that every thistle would not necessarily hit the left-most zombie, but instead possibly target a random zombie or possibly fly off the lawn.
  • If a Swashbuckler Zombie has not yet landed, his needles will circle around the tile it will land on until it touches ground.
  • If the player uses Plant Food on him after all zombies have been defeated, he will shoot normal projectiles instead of the blue glowing ones.
  • Him, Spikerock and Apple Mortar are the only plants that have a sun cost of 250. However, Tile Turnip will cost 250 sun after he has been planted once.
  • Him, Pea-nut, Pepper-pult, Dandelion, Dusk Lobber and Apple Mortar are the only projectile-shooting plants that do not have a fast recharge speed.
  • His projectile can be deflected by Jester Zombies. However, they will not home in on plants but rather go in a straight line.
  • If there are no zombies on and Plant Food is used on him, there is a bug where the spikes will loop in a circle.
  • His idle animation resembles Hurrikale's and Hypno-shroom's.
  • A Valenbrainz advertisement of the Homing Thistle states "Homing Thistle is where the heart is," a pun on the saying "Home is where the heart is."
  • He technically has a "Full Board" area as he can target any zombie on-screen. In this way, he is similar to Blover and Thyme Warp.
    • Unlike them, he can only target zombies one at a time, rather than affecting all of them.
  • His needles damage Excavator Zombies only when hit from behind.
  • He resembles Flowering Caperticus from Clicker Heroes. However, this is most likely a coincidence.
  • Him, Cattail, Banana Launcher, Missile Toe, Cob Cannon, and Holly Barrier are the only projectile-shooting plants that can target any zombie on the screen without Plant Food.
  • He is featured for free in Big Wave Beach - Days 21, 31, and 32.

See also

V · T · E
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Player's House Peashooter · Sunflower · Wall-nut · Potato Mine
Ancient Egypt Cabbage-pult · Bloomerang · Iceberg Lettuce · Grave Buster · Bonk Choy · Repeater · Twin Sunflower
Pirate Seas Kernel-pult · Snapdragon · Spikeweed · Spring Bean · Coconut Cannon · Threepeater · Spikerock · Cherry Bomb
Wild West Split Pea · Chili Bean · Pea Pod · Lightning Reed · Melon-pult · Tall-nut · Winter Melon
Frostbite Caves Hot Potato · Pepper-pult · Chard Guard · Stunion · Rotobaga
Lost City Red Stinger · A.K.E.E. · Endurian · Stallia · Gold Leaf
Far Future Laser Bean · Blover · Citron · E.M.Peach · Infi-nut · Magnifying Grass · Tile Turnip
Dark Ages Sun-shroom · Puff-shroom · Fume-shroom · Sun Bean · Magnet-shroom
Neon Mixtape Tour Phat Beet · Celery Stalker · Thyme Warp · Garlic · Spore-shroom · Intensive Carrot
Jurassic Marsh Primal Peashooter · Primal Wall-nut · Perfume-shroom · Primal Sunflower · Primal Potato Mine
Big Wave Beach Lily Pad · Tangle Kelp · Bowling Bulb · Guacodile · Banana Launcher
Modern Day Moonflower · Nightshade · Shadow-shroom · Dusk Lobber · Grimrose
Money Snow Pea · Power Lily · Torchwood · Imitater · Starfruit · Chomper · Dandelion · Toadstool · Strawburst · Cactus · Electric Blueberry · Jack O' Lantern · Grapeshot · Cold Snapdragon · Blooming Heart · Escape Root · Gold Bloom · Wasabi Whip · Explode-O-Nut · Kiwibeast · Bombegranate · Apple Mortar · Witch Hazel · Parsnip · Missile Toe · Hot Date · Caulipower · Solar Tomato · Electric Peashooter · Holly Barrier
Gems Squash · Jalapeno · Hypno-shroom · Pea-nut · Homing Thistle · Ghost Pepper · Sweet Potato · Sap-fling · Hurrikale · Fire Peashooter · Lava Guava · Shrinking Violet · Electric Currant · Aloe
Others Marigold