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The Best Way to Control Purslane in your Lawn & Gardenpurslane

Purslane is another one of those weeds that gives lawn owners and landscapers fits because even after control methods are applied, they keep creeping back up as if they were rising back from the dead. However there’s no need to let these wannabe zombies stress you out because there is a way they can be controlled.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a summer annual weed that reproduces by seed. It is a common problem on lawns, gardens and landscape beds throughout the United States. Purslane tends to grow vigorously in moist, warm, well fertilized soils, and can be very persistent in damp areas.

The distinguishing characteristics of the purslane plant is its thick and succulent leaves and and a fleshy stem which is slightly red in tone. It also features a thick taproot with a multitude of fibrous secondary roots.

At Solutions Pest and Lawn we can help you to win the weed war with high quality herbicide products and exceptional how-to guides that will lay out exactly what you need to know about your target plant and how to eradicate them from your yard. Read on to learn our tips and tricks and recommend herbicides to treat pesky purslane.

How To Get Rid of Purslane: Solutions 4 Step Process

Step One: Identification. It's important to properly ID the weed that is invading your lawn before moving forward with any control methods and approaches. Knowing the exact weed you are dealing with on your lawn can help you in researching the particular tendencies and characteristics and can also point you in the direction of products which can best control that particular weed.

If you mistakenly ID a weed on your lawn as purslane when it actually isn’t, and then you purchase an herbicide meant for purslane and not for the weed you have it can likely lead to disappointing results and will be a waste of your money.  If you are unsure of what weed you have, you can contact us at identification@solutionsstores.com and send us a photo of your weed and we will identify it for you and suggest treatment options.


Step Two: Inspection. Once the plant has been properly Identified, you can then move to the inspection process. Purslane invades poorly maintained and newly sown lawns. Lawns that are regularly mowed and watered are less likely to have purslane infestations. In moist, warm conditions, purslane grows in dense mats of red stems up to 12 inches long and ½ to 2 and a ½ inch long oval shiny, succulent leaves. It’s yellow summer flowers are follow by seed pods fill with tiny, reddish-brown or black seeds.

Step Three: Control. After the area has been surveyed you can then move on to using herbicides. For pre-emergent control, we recommend Diuron 4L Herbicide or Isoxaben 75WG. If purslane has already emerged, broadleaf weed killer such as 2 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer or 3-D Herbicide Triplet Alternative have proven to do a great job in knocking out purslane.  Be sure to read and follow label directions so you get the proper application and mixing rates.


Step Four: Prevention. The best defense against purslane is a healthy lawn which is regularly maintained and well-fed. Mulching is also a great way to keep purslane away from your lawn and garden as a layer of organic mulch can smother purslane plants and prevent seeds from sprouting. A lawn should also never be scalped by mowing. A thick dense lawn that is well-fertilized will be better able to choke out weeds and not allow them room to establish. Solutions carries various fertilizers that you can purchase to give your yard a steady diet of essential nutrients.

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Learn More About Purslane

The life cycle of purslane starts in the springtime when the seeds first germinate followed by blooming between June through November where finally a hard frost and cold temperatures kill it off. Purslane features small yellow flowers which come about singly or in clusters. These flowers are made up of five yellow petals with two green sepals and numerous yellow stamens.

Common purslane is a prolific seeder with a single plant having the ability to produce up to 240,000 seeds, which may germinate even after 5 to 40 years! Purslane is also an edible plant and is used in salads with the taste being described as “lemony spinach”.

For more information on controlling purslane and other problematic weeds in your yard or to receive free expert assistance over the phone, send us an email at
askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

Purslane can be a frustrating weed to eliminate when relying solely on cultural weed control methods. You can have some control by hand-pulling, but it is important to make sure no stem fragments are left behind. Your best bet for complete control are professionally applied herbicides. Above you will see our recommended herbicides.

If purslane is a problem in your lawn, you can prevent most of it by applying a pre-emergent herbicide like Isoxaben in early May. If purslane is already present upon your lawn than a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide will work best. Purslane weed is best dealt with while the plant is still young so you need to act fast to improve your chances of control. If allowed to grow to the seed stage, Purslane actually has the ability actually throw their seeds some distance away from the mother plant and infest several other parts of your yard.


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Purslane: One Of The Worst Summer Weeds

While Spring and Fall are the typical times of the year that weeds like to creep up and make their presence felt on lawns, it can be the summer time when they conditions cause a lot of stress to lawns which allow them to thrive.  


One particular weed that can a huge chore to deal with in the middle of the summer heat is purslane.  n the heat of the summer, this weed is in it’s element. Without the proper intervention, purslane can very quickly overtake a lawn and is very difficult to manage.


For gardeners, purslane can be the bane of their existence. If purslane sprouts up in your flower beds, you will become very well-acquainted with it because it’ll be very likely to choose to stick around for the long haul.


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


Customer Purslane Encounters

We have been getting quite a few calls and emails about purslane and how to get rid of it, as well as hearing the gripes from our customers on their frustrations in trying to eliminate this summer thriving weed to no avail.


One customer shared with us their account:


I first encountered purslane when it entered my garden beds through the irrigation water.  I had no idea just how big of an issue purslane can be when they appear in the area. I thought it was just a regular weed, nothing special, so I just hoed it up. Little did I know, a week later I found more of those succulent, soft purslane weeds, now larger in number, growing in the same area. After a number of weeks of hoeing up the purslane and those weeds repeatedly returning, I was frustrated and at a loss.


Sometimes it feels like a persistent weed such as purslane seems to have a life of their own. They are like a bully on a lawn, taking over where they aren’t wanted and bringing a bunch of their friends along too.


Purslane possesses the capability to root through any part of a plant.  The reason may be due to purslane being a succulent which carries around its own water supply. Purslane can tolerate being dug up and uprooted from the soil only to root itself once again if not properly disposed of. Even leaving behind a single leaf on the soil can cause Purslane to root again.


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


The Way To Get Rid Of Purslane

As you may have noted above, digging out purslane is hardly a sufficient resolution in eliminating this pesky weed from your yard. One way to do so is to pull it out by hand. Simple and straightforward, you just need to pull it out roots and all before it goes to seed.  However, it is important to note that you should not leave any steam fragments behind because they will just keep re-establishing themselves.


The second method is introducing herbicides into the mix. Round-up is known to kills purslane quite well (well, roundup is good at killing pretty much every plant). Roundup though may not be feasible if purslane is growing amongst your desired turf. There are some selective herbicides you could use like 3-D Herbicide Triplet Alternative or 2 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer.

Purslane – Does It Bring Any Benefit?

While this article may have made you place aggressive invasive weed on the lawn owner hate list, you shouldn’t write purslane off as a no-good plant. In fact, consider the quote from poet and author Ralph Waldo Emerson about weeds, “A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”   As far fetched as it may seem for some common weeds that lawn owners pull their hair out over, there are some virtues of purslane that should be taken into consideration.


It may surprise you to know that purslane is actually a very healthy edible plant. This herbaceous leafy vegetable is rich with omega -3 fatty acids (a-linoleic acid) which is more than any other leafy vegetable plant you can find out there. That sounds amazing doesn’t it? You are basically growing a healthy alternative to a fish oil supplement right on your lawn.  So long, Whole Foods.


Purslane is also contains a sizable amount of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is one of the highest sources of vitamin A among all green leafy vegetables providing 44% of RDA.


Need more convincing? Purslane is also a great source of vitamin C and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.


Purslane also has anti-oxidant and anti-mutagenic properties.


Purslane is commonly eaten in European countries and are regularly added to salads. In the US, it has just been beginning to be noticed by culinary chefs and become implemented in recipes at many upscale restaurants. Purslane has also been a part of Chinese cuisine, being stir-fried and mixed with other vegetables.


So, it looks like we’ve had it all wrong. Maybe instead of busting out the handheld sprayer and pumping purslane with herbicide until they reach oblivion, we should have been eating the plant this whole time!


Keep this information in mind the next time you’re out in your yard and happen to come across some purslane. If it’s just a small amount, why not pull them, wash the leaves and then add the plant to healthy smoothies, salads or stews? If you have a large purslane outbreak on the other hand, it would be best then to eliminate them with herbicides.


The biggest issue with purslane when it appears on lawns is its outstanding knack for multiplying and establishing itself in places where they are not wanted. Things can get so bad with purslane that they can outcompete and choke out other plants with relative ease.


As virtuous as it may be to have this nutritious plant growing on your property, you don’t want them barging in and running the show so take note of our control tips and product recommendations above to clear your lawn of purslane or any other problematic weed by shopping for our array of professional grade herbicides.

Purslane Control Tips and Recommendations

  • A good tool to use to aid with your herbicide application is mixing your preferred herbicide with a surfactant. This will help the herbicide break through the surface tension and penetrate the plant better.

  • As always when using a pesticide, read and follow label instructions carefully, and try to target only areas where the purslane is present in the lawn to reduce unnecessary pesticide use.

  • Regardless of the herbicide you select, purslane may more than one herbicide application. Refer to the product labeling to determine when to make follow-up applications, if needed.

    You should always wear the proper
    safety equipment any time herbicides are being mixed and handled. Wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt along with gloves and goggles.

  • If you’re looking for a guide on how to apply herbicides, please refer to our knowledge base or view our informative How-To Videos to get more thorough step-by-step guidance in applying the herbicides we carry.

Additional Resources For Purslane

Common Purslane Management Guidelines--UC IPM


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