How To Get Rid Of Purslane? 4 Effective Methods

Homeowners across the country take up gardening as it’s a relaxing activity that brings peace at the end of a challenging, long day. There’s tranquility in mowing your lawn, planting seeds, watering your plants, and doing gardening-related tasks. Not only is this activity akin to therapy, but the colorful flowers and neatly trimmed bushes also do the job of beautifying a house.

The problem, however, comes in the form of unwanted visitors to a prospering garden. You’ve guessed it right; we’re talking about weeds overtaking beautiful yards and creating issues for the avid gardener. This issue can be pretty vexing to budding and professional landscapers as the weeds tend to come back to the backyard year after year.

Out of the various types of weeds capable of growing in a yard, we’re discussing the one known as the “comeback king.” For those of you wondering, we’re referring to the annoying weed purslane. 

Fret not! We’re here to provide DIY gardeners with four effective methods and additional information on eliminating these pesky weeds from their backyard.

The best ways of getting rid of Bindweed include Hand Pulling, Soil Solarisation, Using a Broadleaf Herbicide, and Mulching.

If you want to get rid of purslane by yourself, you can do that either by using organic methods such as pulling it by hands, solarizing the soil, using a broadleaf herbicide, or mulching. Or you can apply the inorganic technique, such as herbicides, that can kill the purslane.

How To Get Rid Of Purslane?

Getting rid of purslane from your garden can be pretty taxing. This is simply because the weeds have a powerful root system that travels nearly 12 inches deep in the soil. Additionally, the plan produces an immense number of seeds that can be spread easily throughout the yard and can lay dormant for decades.

How To Get Rid Of Purslane 4 Effective Methods
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This stubborn weed is perennial to make matters difficult, meaning it will naturally grow every year. Even a small portion such as the stem or a leaf is enough to sprout an entire purslane plant during favorable weather conditions.

While there is no best time to remove purslane from your yard, gardeners should ideally take up this task during early spring before the plant emerges. Although the plant can be killed once it has fully grown, allowing it to reach maturity increases the chances of seeds spreading across your lawn.

If you’re a frustrated landscaper dealing with a garden filled with purslane, continue reading to find four effective methods to get rid of purslane from your garden.

#1. Hand Pulling the Purslane Weeds

Since a single purslane plant occupies a large area, hand-pulling the weed is a simple and effective solution for getting rid of purslane in a single go. While this sounds like child’s play, purslane is notorious for sprouting back if a small part of the plant is left behind. 

Hand Pulling the Purslane Weeds
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Here’s how you can go about pulling purslane weeds by hand and ensuring there are no leftover roots:

  • The ideal time to use this method is before the plants have completely matured and seed formation hasn’t begun.
  • Use a garden hose or watering jug to dampen the soil around the area covered with purslane weeds.
  • With the help of a spade or a weeding instrument, loosen the soil around the purslane root.
  • Locate the central part of the rosette and remove it from the soil by tugging firmly, making sure the entire root system is pulled.
  • Put the plant away in a sealed bag to prevent any scattering of seeds. Gardeners should not add this plant to their composting mix as this will reintroduce purslane seeds to the soil.
  • Thoroughly check the cleared area for any plant fragments like leaves and stems that could regenerate.

#2. Soil Solarisation to Kill Purslane Seeds

Soil solarisation is a technique used to kill unwanted seeds lying dormant in the soil. The idea behind it is to raise the temperature of the soil beyond the ideal conditions for the seeds. 

Soil Solarisation to Kill Purslane Seeds
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Yard owners can effectively kill purslane seeds in their gardens by following these steps.

  • This method works best during the summer months when the temperatures are high and the plants are in the sapling stage or are yet to sprout.
  • Begin by moistening the soil by using a sprinkler or watering can. This will help in increasing the humidity in the soil.
  • Cover a purslane-infested area with a black plastic tarp or high-quality trash bags. Hold the cover in place using rocks or heavy objects to weigh the plastic down.
  • Leave the tarp for 4-6 weeks and allow the temperature to rise.
  • The black plastic will trap all the heat and bring the soil temperature to over 50 degrees Celsius, thus killing all purslane seeds in the soil.
  • The absence of sunlight will kill all the budding purslane plants and prevent resprouting and re-emergence of these weeds in that region.

#3. Using a Broadleaf Herbicide

Using a common weed herbicide is one of the most effective ways to deal with a purslane problem. However, this method has a minor drawback. Spraying the herbicide too close to edible plants in the garden will render them unsafe for consumption. Follow these steps to get rid of purslane weeds with the help of an herbicide.

Using a broadleaf herbicide
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  • Prepare the area for spraying by hand-pulling the mature purslane plants on your lawn.
  • Spray any weed-killing herbicide such as 2,4-D or Roundup, which is known to be effective against weeds.
  • Use another pre-emergent herbicide in the areas where the matured weeds were. This will kill any dormant seeds lying in the soil and prevent the re-emergence of the weed.

Also Read: When to Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide – Preemergent Weed Killer

#4. Mulching

Mulching is a natural and effective method to get rid of weeds in your garden and boost soil health. Not only does the mulch act as a protective layer over the soil, but it also blocks out any sunlight required by weeds to grow.

Mulching
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Follow these steps to kill purslane weeds by mulching.

  • Use a lawnmower or a garden tractor to mow the grass in your yard.
  • Collect all the clippings using a bagging attachment.
  • Start by spreading the grass clippings over the soil, creating a thick layer of mulch.
  • Since the purslane weed is a low-growing plant, a 3-inch layer of mulch will prevent any new seeds from sprouting and kill immature plants.

Materials Required For Getting Rid Of Purslane From Your Lawn

Here is a list of tools and pesticides which should be kept handy when dealing with a purslane infestation in your backyard.

Materials Required For Getting Rid Of Purslane From Your Lawn
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Equipment

  • Pitchfork or garden spade
  • Gardening gloves
  • Hose or sprinkler
  • Weed puller

Materials

  • Appropriate herbicide like Roundup or 2,4-D
  • Weed resistant grass seeds

What is Purslane?

Purslane, also known as portulaca, is a summertime weed with a tendency to sprout annually. These pesky plants begin germinating during the early summer or late spring and peak during mid-summer. Before dying off in the winters, these weeds leave behind dormant seeds, which only start to grow once the favorable conditions of spring return.

What is Purslane
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Similar to other weeds like dandelions and Canada thistle, these stubborn plants can regrow their entire root system from a minute part of their stem or the leaf system. And to make matters worse, this weed produces over 50,000 seeds in a season, making it a nuisance to deal with even highly experienced backyard caretakers. 

That’s not all; these seeds can lie dormant for up to 40 years, meaning you’ll be tackling this problem for decades to come unless adequate measures aren’t taken to eradicate purslane from your lawn.

How to Identify Purslane?

Before starting an elimination operation, gardeners need to be certain the problem is purslane and not any other weed. Identifying the weed can help landscapers pick the appropriate control measures and avoid wasting resources and time. 

How to Identify Purslane
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Listed below are the main identifying features of the purslane weed:

  • The stems have a reddish hue and are smooth to touch. Also, the leaves grow in opposite or alternately arranged clusters.
  • The weed flowers for a few hours on sunny days and bears small yellow flowers having five separate parts.
  • The seeds grow in a small pod which only opens once the seeds have matured. 
  • Purslane has a strong taproot system with a dense network of secondary roots, which enable it to thrive in poor growing conditions like compacted soil and even drought.

By following these guidelines, homeowners can quickly identify purslane growing in their garden.

Is Purslane Dangerous?

Although these plants are termed as weeds, consuming them raw or cooked does not present any danger to humans and animals. Surprisingly, if the plant’s young leaves are consumed, they bear a striking resemblance to spinach in terms of flavor.

Is Purslane Dangerous
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The issue with purslane is the speed at which these weeds conquer a garden. Purslane spreads rapidly throughout any yard, and since it’s not a picky plant, it can grow in a healthy environment as well as a dry and unkempt one. Once the weed has populated your lawn, they can drastically drain the nutrients and minerals of the soil, leaving you with unhealthy plants and blooming weeds. 

Furthermore, purslane has a short growth cycle and reaches maturity quicker than most plants in a garden. The weed also stores water in its leaves which dries the soil out and prevents your plants from developing healthy roots, further drying out the flora.

Verdict

With these solutions, gardeners now have various ways to tackle a purslane overgrowth in their yard. Since killing the purslane plant is not enough, techniques like mulching can help lawn owners prevent another weed outbreak in the garden.

By implementing weed-control strategies, landscapers can maintain a healthy garden without having to deal with pesky plants. 

Remember the mantra – prevention is always better than cure when it comes to weeds.

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About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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