This Speckled Weed Thrives in the Heat of Summer
Spotted spurge is not only an unsightly nuisance in the lawn, taking up residence in weak areas of the turf, but also invades landscaping beds, sidewalk cracks and vegetable gardens. You can also find spotted spurge in citrus groves, creating hiding spots for insects that can destroy your crop.
Prevention and Maintenance
Connect the Dots
Spotted spurge spreads quickly throughout weak areas in your lawn by producing several thousand seeds per plant. Even though it is a summer annual, late-season seeds can sprout next spring after lying dormant during cold temperatures. This warm- weather pest begins seed production a mere 5 weeks after germination, so early detection and treatment is key.
Control Spotted Spurge with Prevention
An easy way to prevent an infestation is to weed your garden before spotted spurge begins to produce seed. Make sure your lawnmower and garden tools are clean. Keep a dense, green turf to ensure that this non-competitive plant won't have room to grow. When these weeds do pop up, pull them out before they have time to produce seed.
Spotted Spurge Defined
In addition to its signature red spots, spotted spurge can be distinguished by the milky sap that is emitted when any plant part is split open. Once established, each bright green plant forms a thick mat that can be up to 3 feet in diameter. Its hairy, reddish stems branch out from a central point and carry many tiny, oval leaves. After germinating in mid-spring, the plant's inconspicuous, green flowers bloom from June until September.