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How to Get Rid of Purslane

By Barbara Fahs ; Updated September 21, 2017

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) can become a bothersome weed in lawns, flowerbeds, vegetable gardens and even between the cracks in your sidewalk. It’s a small, low-growing succulent with fleshy leaves and insignificant flowers containing plenty of seeds, which drop to the soil and grow into more plants. But purslane is edible—and nutritious, with good quantities of omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin C, making it a good antioxidant. Also, purslane is cherished in France and used in salads in fancy restaurants. One of the ways you can get rid of purslane is to pull it out by the roots and add it to your meals.

Getting Rid of Purslane

Prevent this plant from invading your yard by not introducing it and by selecting planting stock and seeds of other plants that are free of weeds. If you use a lawnmower or any other garden tool that has been used in an area where purslane is known to exist, be sure to clean these items thoroughly before bringing them onto your property.

Pull out any purslane with your hand weed puller tool immediately upon discovering it. Be sure to get the entire root system and try to weed it before it flowers and sets seeds.

Spread mulch in areas where purslane is known to exist. You can even use cardboard to smother the purslane underneath it.

Solarize the soil in areas with heavy infestations of purslane. To do this, spread a sheet of thick clear plastic over the soil area for four to six weeks during the warmest time of year. Anchor it with rocks or bricks around the edges. All plants and their seeds under the plastic will cook.

Use chemical herbicides for severe infestations of purslane. Home gardens usually do not require you to resort to this control. Both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides can be effective in controlling purslane. Recommended pre-emergents include dithiopyr and pendimethalin. Post-emergents include Dicamba, MCPP, MSMA and 2,4-D.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Hand weed puller
  • Mulch
  • Clear plastic
  • Herbicide (optional)

Tip

  • If you keep your lawn healthy it should not become the victim of a purslane invasion.

Warnings

  • Pre-emergent herbicides are not recommended for use in or near vegetable gardens.
  • Always follow label instructions closely whenever you use any herbicide or pesticide.

About the Author

 

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.