Lawn Weed Library
Other Names: Verdolaga, red root, or pursley
Botanical Identification: Portulaca oleracea
Appearance: This weed has yellow flowers with five regular parts. Stems are reddish with green, round leaves. It can grow to be 16” tall.
Risk: Purslane isn’t picky and will grow in all types of conditions.
Timing: Seeds germinate best when soil is 90 degrees or above so this weed won’t appear until early- to late-summer.
Outlook: This weed spreads through seed and taproots, so it is a clever survivor. You might only have one plant this year, but by the next, your yard could be covered. Also, seeds can survive in the soil for years, so you might see it pop up again later down the line after you think you’ve gotten rid of them for good.
Uses: Purslane may be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste.
How to Control Purslane
Purslane seeds need light to germinate so a heavy layer of mulch can prevent a purslane outbreak.
Be mindful of where you source your planting stock and seed. Because it grows easily from seed, you might accidentally introduce the weed into your yard. Also, clean mowers, planters, and other equipment that has been used in infested areas.
If weeding manually, be careful about your process. This weed also spreads by taproot, so if you accidentally miss part of the root when lifting up the plant, you will give it even more opportunity to grow. Be sure to get out all parts of root, stem, and leaves because any part of the plant can result in new growth. Once you have the entire plant out, place it in a paper bag before disposing.
Herbicides can be used to control this weed, but it works best when applied when the plants are still young. As always, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper herbicide use.
If purslane has to go, you can call your neighborhood lawn pros at Shades of Green Lawn & Landscape. In addition to preventing and treating weeds, we have lawn care packages that address the overall health of your lawn. Call us today at 765-771-9998 for more information and a free quote.
Need Help with Purslane?
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