How To Kill Petty Spurge
Petty Spurge is a common weed in Australian lawns, gardens and open spaces, and while it can be of nuisance value, it really has very little impact in terms of environmental or health impact. It is a rather weak structured weed which is easily controlled.
Petty Spurge is rarely found in healthy lawns as it is the weaker species and cannot establish itself through the thatch layer of a lawn. The weed will generally be found in garden beds and pathways of the home.
Identification of Petty Spurge
This garden and lawn weed is generally made up of one stem, and sometimes up to four stems per plant which are weak and easily broken, with a milky sap inside. The stem of Petty Spurge begins at the base with a reddish colour, and tapers out to green as it reaches the top of the plant. Leaves are bright green and oval shaped, numerous in number creeping all the way up the stem. The flowers and seed are very difficult to see as they blend in very well in colour and shape to the leaves of the plant, which can grow to a height of around 30 cm.
Removal and Eradication of Petty Spurge
When found in the garden, the best method of controlling Petty Spurge is hand pulling, as they are easily removed with a weak fibrous root system. They can generally be hoed into the garden bed also, but care should be taken not to do this in Spring as this is when the well camouflaged seeds will be evident, and all we’ll be doing is planting more weeds.
The stems of Petty Spurge are quite weak in structure and will easily break off at the crown, which means that care must be taken not to just break the plant in order to remove it, but to ensure the plant is removed below the crown and into the roots. The roots themselves don’t need to be removed but we need to ensure the base of the plant is.
Chemical control can be used in controlling Petty Spurge, such as selective weed spraying for lawns, or spot spraying with Glyphosate for garden beds and pathways.