Spotted Spurge (Euphorbia Maculata) is a highly invasive weed that can quickly invade a lawn or garden and make a nuisance of itself. It is mainly naturalised in the Moreton district of South-East Queensland, but is widely naturalised in eastern New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT. Spurge loves hot, dry conditions, and thrives in unhealthy and weak lawns and landscapes.
This weed grows in gardens, footpaths, lawns, parks and other high traffic sites. It can be identified by its small dark green leaves with red spots. The entire plant is covered in small hairs, and in spring and summer will produce small pink flowers. It grows in a mat formation with a central tap root that sucks the nutrients out from deep within your lawns soil. It moves quickly and can adapt to grow between garden pavers, paths and garden beds.
Killing Spurge is relatively easy, the hard part is keeping it from coming back. The tap root is very long and its seeds are hardy, and the plant can grow back from root pieces and seeds.
Because of its mat like growth pattern, hand pulling is a good option. The plant does produce a milky white sap that can irritate the skin if it makes contact, so be sure to wear appropriate PPE when doing this. Make sure to pull the weed before it has developed seeds otherwise it will spread rapidly, undoing all your hard work.
After you have pulled the weed, keep an eye out for it to sprout up again from the tap root, and pull it up as soon as possible. Eventually, the tap root will use up all of its stored energy and will die.
The use of herbicides is also an effective method of eradication. Many herbicides will only be effective while the plant is young, and once they reach maturity non-selective herbicides will be the only effective treatment.
When using herbicides on Spurge it is best to apply in the early spring or summer, be careful when using herbicides as incorrect application can result in dead patches of lawn. It is worthwhile having herbicides professionally applied to prevent any issues occurring in the future.
As always the best treatment method for weeds is prevention. Our Lawn Care Program provides preventative and reactive weed treatments for all lawn types, our speciality products will give your lawn all the nutrients it needs to defend itself from nasty weeds such as Spurge and stay lush and green year round.
To learn more about our weed treatments or our Lawn Care Program, get in contact today!