How to Control Spurge Weed in Lawns


Spotted spurge is a summer annual weed that grows best in bare spots in the lawn. Like most lawn weeds, spurge takes advantage of an unhealthy lawn. To discourage spurge, water deeply and infrequently, mow to the correct height for your type of turfgrass and don't over-fertilize. Once spurge gets a toehold, if the infestation is large, you will need to use herbicide to control it.

Things You'll Need

  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Soil thermometer
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Post-emergent spot spray
  • Hand-pull small amounts of spurge in lawns. Wear latex or rubber gloves as the plant leaks a milky sap that may cause skin irritation.

  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide containing pendimethalin, isoxaben or dithiopyr. Check the soil temperature 1 inch deep in the spring and apply the herbicide when the soil reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Withhold water for 24 hours after the herbicide application unless the product's label suggests otherwise.

  • Spray any remaining spurge in the summer with a spot spray labeled for use on broadleaf weeds.

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