When South Floridians talk about the “snow” on their lawns, they’re not referring to the frozen precipitation that blankets northern states in the wintertime. What turns lawns white in Florida summers is a tenacious, fast-growing weed called Florida Pusley, which wreaks havoc each summer on lawns across the region. We have put together a quick guide on how to get rid of Florida Pusley and keep it from coming back.
How to Get Rid of Florida Pusley, Step One: Know Your Enemy
Florida Pusley is sometimes referred to as Largeflower Pusley or Mexican Clover, though it is neither native to Mexico nor a clover. The scientific name for the plant is Richardia Grandiflora. It is native to South America and in the U.S. is found only in central and south Florida. Characteristics of this persistent pest can make it a nightmare for homeowners and businesses in South Florida whose lawns it has invaded. Some additional characteristics of Florida Pusley Include:
- Florida Pusley takes hold in turfgrass areas and typically stays low to the ground, although it can also grow erect.
- The leaves are one to three inches long and about one inch wide and have tiny hair-like appendages on each leaf.
- While the plant’s stems usually don’t root at the nodes, its fibrous root system extends from a large, dominant taproot that lies just under the soil.
- The weed is relatively easy to remove by hand because the roots don’t run deep, but it grows so fast that manual removal quickly becomes impractical.
How to Get Rid of Florida Pusley, Step Two: Work With a Pro
While there are several home remedies for getting rid of Florida Pusley, they all have serious shortcomings. Some of these include:
- Solutions using salt, vinegar, and/or dishwashing liquid must be applied very carefully to avoid killing your turfgrass and other plants.
- Such solutions are impractical to use when the weed covers a large area, and most commercial herbicides must be applied by a trained professional to be effective.
- Similarly, pre-emergent herbicides that prevent Florida Pusley from taking root are effective only when used as part of a continuous lawn-maintenance program.
One such lawn-maintenance program is Nozzle Nolen’s Super Turf Plus, which includes weed control as part of a comprehensive pest-prevention program that covers lawn-attacking insects, threats to palm trees and ornamental shrubs, and application of custom-blended fertilizer.
How to Get Rid of Florida Pusley, Step Three: Prevention
Like most weeds, Florida Pusley has evolved into a tough plant to eradicate. It lies low to the ground, so it evades mowers. It’s more drought-resistant than grass and withstands sub-freezing temperatures. In addition, Florida Pusley is impervious to many common herbicides, and because it produces seeds so quickly, a single plant can spread across a lawn in a very short time.
If you know how to get rid of Florida Pusley in your lawn, you know it entails the use of a pre-emergent herbicide. Still, the application will be effective only if the correct herbicide is applied at the right time, usually in February or March. The lawn treatment must be applied for several days in a row, and because herbicides that are effective against Florida Pusley tend to be both expensive and difficult to use, weed experts recommend letting lawn care professionals handle the problem.
Here are other precautions when considering the best way to get rid of Florida Pusley:
- Don’t wait too long. Young plants are easier to eradicate than older ones, which have deeper roots and may require multiple herbicide applications to remove.
- To prevent damaging your grass, avoid applying certain herbicides designed to kill Florida Pusley when the temperature gets above 85 or 90°F.
- Largeflower Pusley, spreads faster than other varieties and is tolerant to many common herbicides.
Getting Started With Nozzle Nolen
Florida Pusley is an equal-opportunity invader, ripping through the landscaping of homes and local businesses across South Florida. The best approach to defeating this lawn-wrecker is by relying on the expertise of the trained lawn care professionals at Nozzle Nolen. The company’s Super Turf Plus lawn program focuses on identifying and addressing the conditions that allow weeds to take root in the first place.
Nozzle Nolen has provided professional lawn care services to South Florida businesses and residents for more than seven decades. So, if you need to tame a lawn gone wild or would just like more information on how to get rid of Florida Pusley, give us a call at 800.226.6546, or Contact Us. We look forward to serving you.