You never forget the pain of walking on those tiny prickles in the lawn. The culprit is Bindii or Jo-Jo weed and the fine spikes are like needles going into your feet. This troublesome lawn weed that goes by the proper name of Soliva pterosperma is widespread in Perth.
The small plant has soft, ferny foliage and it grows prolifically in winter to spring each year. As it matures, it produces a seed capsule protected by very sharp spikes. This dries and drops off in summer and is then transported around the garden by foot traffic or even in animal fur. A severe infestation can make the lawn impossible to walk on in bare feet and it can also be painful for pets using the area.
Small areas of Bindii can be controlled by weeding the plants by hand. Make sure you have protective gloves and get all the roots out otherwise it will be back. You need to make sure you get all the plants in the area and they can be easy to miss.
The most effective way to control Bindii is spraying with an appropriate herbicide when the plant is actively growing. This means when there is the soft rosette foliage before any flowers appear which will turn to seed (and that means prickles!)
The most common herbicide has a combination of bromoxynil plus MCPA. These chemicals can also be used to control other broad leafed lawn weeds such as flatweed (cats ear), dandelion, capeweed, cudweed, and plantain. Combinations of Dicamba and MCPA will also control weedy clover and oxalis but dicamba is not suitable for use on buffalo lawns.
Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for any use and application rate. Only use as directed and at the recommended rate.
The weeds should be dead 7-10 days after spraying.
For more information about the control of Bindii in lawns, read the Agriculture WA’s advice here.
Please note that this is intended as general information only. Please ask one of our qualified horticulturists for more specific advice for your situation.
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