Spotted Spurge Control: How To Kill Them?

Spotted Spurge (Pityrosporum peltatum) is one of the most common annual weeds in lawns. It causes a great deal of damage to lawns due to its aggressive growth habit and ability to spread rapidly through grassy areas. Spotted spurge is very difficult to eradicate because it spreads so easily from plant to plant, especially when there are many plants growing together in close proximity.

The best way to control spotted spurge is with a systemic herbicide. These products work by killing all parts of the plant including leaves, stems, roots and flowers. There are several types of systemic herbicides available today; however, they all have their drawbacks. Some of these chemicals may not be effective against certain species of plants or at specific locations within the lawn.

Also, some of them require frequent application to achieve full effect. A better option is to use a natural method to control spotted spurge such as using garlic mustard or other herbs.

Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard is a perennial herbaceous plant native to warm climates around the world. It has a strong smell and pungent flavor similar to that of garlic. It thrives in areas with rich soils and full sun exposure. There are three main varieties of garlic mustard: narrow leaved, broad leaved and wild form.

All three grow best in warm, moist soil and produce seeds through the spring and summer months. The leaves have a broad leaf structure with clusters of white flowers arising from the stem. The seeds have a high fat content making them an important food source for birds.

This hardy plant is very difficult to eliminate once it establishes itself in an area. The flowers are short-lived and do not produce viable seeds unless they are cross-pollinated by several types of Brassicales plants nearby.

To control garlic mustard you should routinely pull up entire plants or use one of the available herbicides.

Garlic Mustard Control With Herbicides

There are several types of herbicides that can be used to control garlic mustard. They can be found in most garden stores and are pretty easy to apply for the average gardener. The best time to apply them is in the early spring just as the leaves begin to grow or in the fall before they go dormant for the winter months.

Tips For Spotted Spurge Control on

Some of the more popular herbicides used to control garlic mustard include:

Picloram Plus 2,4-D is a combination of two herbicides that eliminate broad-leaved weeds and moss. It also has some effect on grasses.

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide that kills any green plants that come in contact with it. It is very effective but must be applied repeatedly to get rid of garlic mustard.

Trifluralin is an herbicide that kills broad-leaved plants while leaving grass intact.

Spotted Spurge Control With Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard can be used to control spotted spurge. It is recommended that you apply a small amount of herbicide to the soil surrounding the plant. An organic herbicide such as Round-Up (glyphosate) works well and is readily available in most garden stores.

Mix the herbicide with water according to the directions on the container. Soak a rag or sponge with the mixture and apply to the base of the spotted spurge. Let it soak into the soil for several hours or even overnight.

Sources & references used in this article:

Spotted spurge control and phytotoxicity to daylily from preemergence herbicides by JG Norcini, JH Aldrich – Journal of Environmental …, 1992 –

Prostrate and Spotted Spurge Management in Home Landscapes by T Beddes, M Caron, K Kopp, C Ransom – 2017 –

Interaction of prodiamine and flumioxazin for nursery weed control by G Wehtje, CH Gilliam, SC Marble – Weed Technology, 2010 – BioOne

Introduction to the symposium: history of sulfonylurea herbicide use in turfgrass environments by PC Bhowmik – Weed Technology, 2012 – BioOne



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