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The Easy Way To Eliminate Purple Nutsedge From Your Lawn

A nutsedge problem on turfs start innocently enough, with usually a single tuber emerging in the middle of a yard or field. Within a year it will become a clump spanning 40- feet wide. By the third year, nutsedge will be all over the field or turf. That’s just how fast purple nutsedge can take over a land if left unmanaged. Purple nutsedge is a common weed encountered by backyard gardeners and can grow to a height of approximately 1 1/3 feet. It has been notorious for crowding out desirable plants on lawns throughout the U.S.

If you're faced with a purple nutsedge invasion, there is a Solution and we here at Solutions Pest and Lawn can provide it with our professional grade products and expert how-to tips.

To get rid of purple nutsedge, you first need to do a little homework on the weed and be armed with some knowledge so you can know what conditions this type of weed likes, what it doesn’t like and then based on the information, approach with an effective control strategy.

View our selection of products we recommend for getting rid of purple nutsedge and then scroll further to learn how to tackle purple nutsedge in depth using our Solutions 4 step process.

How To Get Rid of Purple Nutsedge: Solutions 4 Step Process

Step 1: Identification. When purple nutsedge begins start to germinate up in the spring, they can very quickly become a problem if there is no intervention. The problem is that lawnowners not familiar with out purple nutsedge looks may mistake the weed with another grass which can raise even more problems. Identifying the unwanted plant that is growing on your lawn is vital because once you can correctly ID the weed, you can then research and find out what active ingredients, herbicides and cultural methods work best to tackle that weed and which products are specifically designed to target it. Improperly ID'ing a plant may result in waste of time and money purchasing herbicides which won't work to control the plant.

Purple Nutsedge are most often confused with plants like yellow nutsedge, green kyllinga and white kyllinga. Purple nutsedge look like long grass blades which have reddish-brown flowers at the end and a purplish seedhead and grows up to 2 1/2 feet in height. The plant has rhizomes and tubers which can be fibrous, wiry and dark brown as they mature. The stems are 3-sided and triangular in cross section and the leaves are yellow to green in color with a unique ridge.


When you’re unsure or can’t quite determine exactly which kind of weed you are encountering in your yard, turn to the experts to ID the weed for you. We recommend taking a high resolution photo of the unwanted weed with your phone and shoot it over to our email address at Identification@solutionsstores.com. We will respond back to you quickly with not only the correct ID of the plant, we will also give you expert recommendations of products and techniques to apply to remove that weed from your lawn.


Step 2: Inspection. Conduct a thorough inspection of your lawn or landscape to see where the purple nutsedge is growing. Purple nutsedge is a particularly problematic weed and can grow in a variety of different soils and climates but is most prevalent in the summertime. This plant commonly infests cultivated fields, waste areas, roadsides, pastures and other places in nature.


On residential areas, purple nutsedge grows rapidly in flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. Because of how tall and how quickly it grows, you can see purple nutsedge stand out amongst slower growing grasses

Purple nutsedge loves moisture and they also love sunny areas. They do not thrive in shady areas. In this phase you want to see where the purple nutsedge is growing and what conditions you have so then you can address the issue with cultural practices. This will also help you to guage how much chemical product you need to control the problem and where to focus your application.


Step 3: Control. Chemical control may be the best way to deal with this stubborn weed due to its noxious and persistent nature. A couple of herbicides we suggest Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate or Sedgehammer Nutsedge Killer.

Read all labels and instructions carefully with whatever herbicide you choose to use. If you have desired grass around where the purple nutsedge is growing, you can choose to spot treat. Either way, be careful when using herbicides in general around your desired plants as they could potentially kill your wanted turf. Also, please be sure that when handling ay type of herbicide, you are properly protecting your skin and eyes with safety equipment. Goggles, gloves and love sleeved clothing should suffice.

For best results, make sure to apply herbicides at the right time. purple nutsedge should be treated with herbicides when it is actively growing between the months of May of September. Apply post-emergents in the springtime when the growth is less than 6 inches in length or apply pre-emergents in the fall or early spring to keep their seeds under control. Repeated applications may be necessary so apply every 4 weeks during the growing season.

Step 4: Prevention. You can prevent the return of purple nutsedge after it has been controlled with cultural practices that will hinder the redevelopment of this invasive grassy weed. The best preventative measure against bermuda grass is to maintain healthy, thick turf. Mow your turfgrass at the right height and address drainage issues. Don't water so frequently and  and fertilize at the appropriate time and rate. You can also look into pre-emergents if you're worried it will be a problem that will come back.


Learn More About Purple Nutsedge

Purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), also popularly known as nutgrass in some regions, is a common weed in both turf and ornamental areas. Purple nutsedge is typically found in areas which receive full sunlight and areas that enough water and nutrients to maintain its development.. Shade tends to heavily restrict its growth. The plant has slender leaves that are connected to a network of underground stems (rhizomes), roots, and tubers. Although purple nutsedge flowers profusely if not mowed, very few seeds are formed, and few of them can reproduce. As a result seeds are not often the source of new purple nutsedge plants.

The underground tubers and corms (the “nuts” or “nutlets”) are the primary source of purple nutsedge infestations. Some tubers are linked to aboveground growth, but other tubers may not be connected to leaves aboveground. If left undisturbed, purple nutsedge will spread by growing laterally underground, spreading several yards each year. Some other weedy plants can be mistaken for purple nutsedge, these yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.), green kyllinga (Kyllinga brevifolia), and white kyllinga (Kyllinga nemoralis), which have leaves similar to purple nutsedge leaves. Purple nutsedge flowers are brownish colored and its tubers emerge in chains.

Purple nutsedge is a serious weed and one best overcome by constant management. A good strategy is to use a combination of chemical and cultural control methods to reduce the nutsedge population to manageable levels.

To get more information on controlling purple nutsedge and other troublesome weeds in your yard as well as receive free help over the phone, contact us at
askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.


Not the Weed Problem You Have? Check Out Our Other Weeds On Our Grassy Weed Control Page.

Purple Nutsedge Control Options

The products we recommend to treat purple nutsedge are:Tenacity Herbicide, Certainty Turf Herbicide, Sedgehammer Nutsedge Killer, Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate.


Solutions has a variety of specialized herbicides that target nutsedge in general. Aside from the above recommendations, quickest ways to eliminate purple nutsedge is glyphosate. However you have to be very careful when using glyphosate as the chemical is non-selective meaning it is a “kill-all” weed killer so be sure to carefully spray around areas with desired grasses and plants.

For best results, spray the entire area of purple nutsedge with the glyphosate. Even though the other vegetation there will certainly die, this is the quickest and most effective way of getting rid of purple nutsedge. You can then follow up with reseeding your desired turf. This is usually not the most savory option to lawn owners so that is why we also recommend our selective herbicides which are specially made to eliminate nutsedge.

You should wait until two weeks or so pass before re-applying the herbicide to the nutsedge, especially if using a potent one like glyphosate. Weeds are persistent, so you have to be equally persistent to get rid of them. You will probably need to apply the herbicide two to three times, at minimum, before it wipes out the purple nutsedge completely. Wait until after the foxtail reemerges before using another application.

Combine chemical herbicides with organic weed-control methods. While chemical herbicides can take care of the majority of the problem, enlisting the help of certain organic control methods can help in between applications, making the extermination process go quicker overall.

Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment For The Job. SHOP For Sprayers and Other Lawn Care Essentials


Purple Nutsedge Control Tips and Recommendations

  • A good tool to use to aid with your nutsedge herbicide application is mixing your selected herbicide with a surfactant so that your application can stick to the goosegrass and not runoff.

  • In any herbicide control program for purple nutsedge, it is important not to allow the weed to grow untreated for longer than 3 months.

  • A hand-pump sprayer with a fan tip nozzle works best when treating purple nutsedge. This will shoot a mist that will evenly coat the weed for best results in removing it from your lawn.

  • Herbicides can be harmful if you come in contact with it. Protect your eyes, skin, mouth and nose by wearing protective equipment any time you handle herbicide chemicals.

  • Check out our knowledge base or view our informative How-To Videos to get more thorough step-by-step guidance in applying the herbicides we carry.


Better Safe Than Sorry: Equip Yourself With Protective Safety Equipment Before Spraying


Additional Resources on Purple Nutsedge

Purple Nutsedge Control in Turf and Ornamentals Cooperative Extension Service (Hawaii)


Sedge Control for Turf Professionals - Purdue Extension


Purple Nutsedge | NC State Extension Publications


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