What is Purslane and How Do I Control It?

Follow our steps to banish it from your landscape.

When it comes to purslane, most people have a love it or loathe it relationship. Because it’s edible, some companies actually sell purslane seeds to a small set of enterprising folks who want to grow it so they can cook with it or feed it to chickens. To virtually everyone else, though, purslane is an unwelcome weed that mars the beauty of a well-maintained lawn. The key to preventing it from invading your yard, of course, is to learn how to identify and control it.

WHAT IS PURSLANE?

Purslane is an annual weed that grows in the summertime throughout North America. While it prefers moist, nutrient-rich soils, purslane isn’t picky and does quite well in poor-quality soil and drought conditions.

WHAT DOES PURSLANE LOOK LIKE?

The plant has a fleshy, reddish stem and yellow flowers, with rounded, teardrop-shaped leaves. Instead of growing upright, it tends to sprawl on top of the ground.

One of the biggest challenges with purslane is that each plant produces loads of tiny black seeds, so it can overrun your lawn if you don’t take quick, bold action.

3 WAYS TO AVOID A PURSLANE INVASION

  1. Maintain your lawn.

    A thick, lush lawn is its own best defense against marauding weeds like purslane, producing an extensive root system that leaves no room for weeds to take up residence. To encourage a thick lawn, you'll need to feed it 4 times a year to ensure it’s getting the nutrients it needs, and raise your mower height so you don’t cut the grass too short.

  2. Don't pull purslane by hand.

    If you try to get rid of purslane through hand-pulling, you’ll waste your time. That’s because if you miss even the tiniest part of a stem or root, not only will the plant just keep growing, but it may even produce new plants.

  3. Kill it with Roundup® For Lawns products.

    The best time to tackle purslane is when plants are still small and haven't yet developed a strong root system. Take action by applying Roundup® for Lawns, which is specially formulated to kill weeds without harming your lawn when used as directed.

    For solo pop-up plants, reach for Roundup® For Lawns1 Ready-To-Use (for Northern grasses), or go with Roundup® For Lawns4 Ready-To-Use (for Southern grasses).

    If you need to kill large patches of purslane, look for Roundup® For Lawns3 Ready-To-Spray (for Northern grasses) or Roundup® For Lawns6 Ready-To-Spray (for Southern grasses).

    For those of you who prefer a tank sprayer application, we offer Roundup® For Lawns2 Concentrate (for Northern grasses) and Roundup® For Lawns5 Concentrate (for Southern grasses).

THE KEY TO KILLING PURSLANE

The best thing you can do in the fight against purslane is to treat it with Roundup® for Lawns products when it is young and actively growing. Catching it early will prevent it from developing seeds, which it can (and will) scatter far and wide. Killing it will also make sure that it can’t replant itself by leaving behind a leaf or stem to take root.

Be patient! Even though Roundup® For Lawns products will start working right away, visible results may be a little bit slower compared to what you would see when treating weeds in your patio or driveway. 

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