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from the book Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management. Pest Management 2012.


Sandspur, or sandbur. Tends to be a problem on sandy soils from the coastal plain to the sandhills.

Management: pull by hand (small areas). Apply 2-3" mulch in beds. Preemergence herbicides in early spring, every 60 days.

GRASS: Summer annual grass


Bermuda grass. creeping perennial, dormant during winter and buds out from rhizomes the following spring. Blooms throughout summer.

Management: plant beds: ground cover fabrics. Handpulling not effective because of rhizomes. Selective herbicides in plant beds.

GRASS: Summer perennial grass

Carolina geranium

Carolina geranium or wild geranium aka cranesbill. Stems are hairy and reddish. Leaves round but deeply lobed. Leaves often on long petioles. Purple to pink flowers, five petals.

Management: 2-3" mulch in beds. Larger plants: pull by hand. Herbicides are most effective on small plants.



Horseweed / mare's tail. if not cut, grows a long single stem that branches at the top. May grow 6' or more. Crowded dark green hairy leaves, smaller toward the top of the stem.

Management: small infestations can be handpulled


Bull thistle

Bull thistle / common thistle is a large coarse spiny winter biennial. First year: grows into a flat rosette of leaves and it sends down a large taproot. Second year: sends up a cental stalk with "wings" running down the stalk from each side of each leaf. Branches are hairy, prickly leaves are hairy on the bottom and smooth on top. Reddish/purple flowers form at the ends of short prickly winged stems from June - October. Flower heads are 1-2" in diameter and surrounded with spiny bracts. Seeds are readily blown about like dandelion seeds.

Management: Hand pull plant beds.



Woodsorrel / oxalis most obvious during the cool season. Small bushy yellow-green plant grows from a central taproot. Stems are slender and sometimes root at the nodes. Blooms May - September. 1/2 inch yellow flowers, five petals. When dry, the pods break open suddenly if touched and throw the seed as far as 6 feet. Reproduces from stem pieces as well as from seed.

Management: hand pull or hoe from plant beds.


Florida betony

Poison Ivy

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