Terms of the Trade: What Is a Spotted Spurge Weed?

Spotted spurge is a rogue lawn weed that can become a serious nuisance in your lawn or flowerbeds if left uncontrolled. Spotted spurge is easy to recognize, with dark green small leaves and reddish stems. It can easily cover ground, invade grass and other open areas in a garden or a yard, and can even grow on sidewalk cracks.

This persistent summer lawn weed multiplies rapidly due to its excessive seed production. For this reason, it needs to be addressed immediately. Even a single plant can manage to form a dense mat up to three feet in diameter, producing thousands of seeds which can remain in the soil until summer or until the conditions are otherwise suitable for germination.

The best way of managing spotted spurge is preventing its formation in the first place because it's difficult to control once established. Use weed-free plants, seeds, and soil in your landscaping efforts. Always keep your gardening equipment clean to avoid spreading the seed to uninfected areas of the lawn. Make sure your grass is of fine quality. The better the quality of grass, the easier it will be to control the spread of spotted spurge weed.

As with all weeds, if you prevent them from getting sunlight they will suffocate and die, so spread a fine or coarse layer of mulch over the spotted spurge until it's completely covered. The weeds will eventually die and you can then remove them.