En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Need help with an invasive ground cover type plant filling in damaged areas in lawn.

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 25, 2009

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Need help with an invasive ground cover type plant filling in damaged areas in lawn.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Since the drought this summer, there is an invasive ground cover type plant filling in the damaged areas in my lawn . It is dark greenish/purplish very small clover type plant, difficult to pull up and breaks off close to the ground. It's spreading like wild fire. Do you have any suggestions? I live 20 minutes south of Austin, Texas.

ANSWER:

It is generally difficult, if not impossible, to identify a plant from a written description, but you have given a clue that makes Mr. Smarty Plants think you may be talking about a plant in the genus Oxalis. Compare the images on this page for Oxalis with the plant in your yard. You didn't mention flowers, but if the plant is flowering, it it much easier to identify. If the images on the NPIN page don't match your plant, go to the Plant Identification page and follow the directions for sending us some photos.

Oxalis is a broad-leaf weed, and there are herbicides that can control it. We generally don't recommend their use, but we don't condemn their use either. We just ask that you use them carefully, and strictly follow the directions on the label. 

You didn't mention the kind of lawn, the type of damage, or the size of the damaged area. Mechanical removal, ie. pulling, can be an effective means of getting rid of the pest if the area isn't too large. As your lawn recovers, the grasss could choke out the invader, so you might just leave it alone and see what the grass does.


Oxalis stricta

 

 

 

 

More Turf Questions

Native grass for lawn in Round Rock, Texas
May 16, 2010 - I am interested in your recommendation for the grass at my home. I currently have St. Augustine but have become very aggravated by it. I am looking for a low maintenance grass that I can replace it wi...
view the full question and answer

Blocking stolons of St. Augustine grass
July 25, 2008 - I have St. Augustine in my yard, and I am sick of edging the stolons that grow onto the sidewalk and driveway. Is there any way to stop the stolons or block them so that I can just mow and throw away ...
view the full question and answer

Acre-scale Grass Removal near Austin, TX
July 04, 2014 - How do I get rid of 10 acres of Kleingrass?
view the full question and answer

Habiturf in Houston
January 30, 2012 - I want to install a Multi-Species Native Lawn, like HABITURF. However, I live in Houston, Texas and most of your information on this topic doesn't address my region. As I don't have a heavily shaded...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center