I have this stuff growing throughout my yard. I live in Southern NJ, USA. It seems to only appear Mid/Late July - August. It grows in patches and if I don't pull, can spread pretty rapidly across the lawn.

It can be sort of "sticky" when I manually pull it from the yard. How do I control/remove it?

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2 Answers 2


It is a variety of Spurge, mostly likely Spotted Spurge.

I use to have some of it in my cool-season lawn. Two cutting seasons of hand pulling it, has eliminated it from my lawn.

Is best to pull it out (roots and all) while it's still small, otherwise it will form a decent size mat & smother (kill) the grass.

Some additional information from University of Missouri Extension:

  • After some googling, I agree, this appears to be Spotted Spurge. Now, how to keep it at bay without hand picking...
    – Brian
    Jul 27, 2011 at 17:13
  • @Brian, read through the documents I pointed your towards, they contain information on how to control Spurge via a chemical approach. Also Shane's answer gives you "selective herbicide", your local garden center should be able to sell you the correct broad-leaf weed selective herbicide you need for chemical control...
    – Mike Perry
    Jul 27, 2011 at 17:19

I've battled this same weed for years. It can be pretty aggressive, especially if you're watering often and it's getting a lot of sun. I've had some success with a selective herbicide in the mid to late summer and using pre-emergents in the spring to minimize it's effect, but I've never been able to eliminate it completely. The good news is that it's a relatively easy weed to pull. I hope this helps!

  • 3
    @wax-eagle: Well it was a two part question, only 1 part of which did I have an answer. I would argue that in this case I answered the part he really cared about. I mean, does Brian really care what it's scientific name is if he gets good advice on how to control it? Also, there are probably many times when one person wouldn't know the answer...but the combination of several answers could contribute to the provide the ultimate answer. I find your down-vote and comment confusing.
    – Shane
    Jul 27, 2011 at 18:13
  • Good point I should read the whole question. We should really standardize this.
    – wax eagle
    Jul 27, 2011 at 18:18

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