Tips and Techniques for Effective Oxalis Weed Control in Your Lawn


Oxalis is a common problem in lawns, and in New Zealand, it is known to be particularly persistent. This creeping weed can quickly take over your lawn if not controlled. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage oxalis, from pulling it by hand to using herbicides.

One of the simplest ways to get rid of oxalis is by pulling it manually. However, this method can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large infestation. Another option is to spray iron on the oxalis to kill it. You can also download a free guide with 9 tips on how to control oxalis in your lawn.

It’s important to note that oxalis can regrow from small fragments, so you need to make sure you remove all of the roots when pulling it. Additionally, oxalis can tolerate a thick lawn, so it’s essential to maintain a healthy lawn to prevent oxalis from taking over.

If you decide to use herbicide, always follow the instructions on the label and apply it carefully. Most herbicides will target oxalis without harming your lawn. However, be cautious not to overdose, as this can damage your grass. It’s also worth knowing that oxalis seeds are tiny, and they can remain dormant in the soil for many years, so ongoing management is necessary.

In conclusion, managing oxalis weeds in lawns can be a frustrating battle. However, with the right approach and persistence, you can effectively get rid of these invasive plants. Whether you choose to pull them by hand, use herbicides, or employ other methods, the key is to stay vigilant and keep up with regular lawn maintenance to prevent their return.


Oxalis is a persistent and frustrating weed that can invade your lawn and garden. It is also known as wood sorrel or false shamrock. This weed is small but mighty, with tiny heart-shaped leaves and delicate yellow or white flowers. Oxalis reproduces through seeds and rhizomes, which are underground stems that produce new plants.

One of the most common types of oxalis is Oxalis corniculata, also known as creeping woodsorrel. It has a creeping groundcover habit and can quickly take over your backyard if left unchecked. Oxalis is a vigorous grower and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it difficult to control.

To get rid of oxalis in your lawn, you need to take a multi-step approach. Here is a guide on managing oxalis weeds:

  1. Identify the oxalis: Oxalis weeds have heart-shaped leaves and tiny flowers. They can grow up to 5 inches tall and have deep roots.
  2. Manual removal: Start by physically removing the oxalis plants. Dig deep into the soil to ensure you remove the entire plant, including the roots.
  3. Apply an organic herbicide: If manual removal isn’t enough, you can use an organic herbicide to kill the oxalis. These herbicides are made from natural ingredients and are safe for the environment.
  4. Keep your lawn healthy: A healthy lawn is less susceptible to weed invasion. Make sure to water your lawn regularly, mow it to the proper height, and fertilize it as needed.
  5. Prevent seed spread: Remove oxalis flowers before they have a chance to set seeds. This will help prevent future oxalis invasions.

Managing oxalis weeds can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can keep them under control. Remember to be persistent and follow these tips to keep your lawn oxalis-free.

For more information and step-by-step instructions, download our free guide on managing oxalis weeds.

Physical Control

If you’re looking for a chemical-free way to control oxalis weeds in your lawn, there are several physical control methods you can employ. These methods involve manually removing the weeds and disrupting their growth, making it more difficult for them to continue spreading.

  • Hand-pull the weeds: The most basic and effective way to control oxalis weeds is to simply pull them out by hand. Make sure to remove the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent regrowth. This method is best suited for small lawns with few weeds.
  • Use a weed fork: If you have a larger lawn with more weeds, using a weed fork can help make the task easier. This tool allows you to dig deeper and remove the oxalis weeds along with their bulbs or parent plants.
  • Mow frequently: Keeping your lawn well-maintained and mowing it frequently will help prevent the oxalis weeds from flowering and producing seeds. Be sure to mow at the correct height to avoid stressing the grass.
  • Thicken your lawn: A thick and healthy lawn will naturally outcompete the oxalis weeds. Improve your lawn’s health by fertilizing, watering appropriately, and overseeding if needed.
  • Use organic herbicides: If hand-pulling and mowing aren’t enough, you can try using organic herbicides specifically formulated to kill oxalis weeds. These products typically contain natural ingredients like vinegar, citrus oil, or soap. Follow the instructions on the product label for best results.

Remember, physical control methods may require ongoing effort and persistence, as oxalis weeds can be quite persistent. It’s important to stay vigilant and address the problem as soon as it arises. By following these steps, you can keep your lawn oxalis-free and enjoy a weed-free backyard!

Other Treatment

If pulling the oxalis weeds by hand is not enough to control the invasion in your lawn, there are other treatment options available to you. Here are some more ways to get rid of this frustrating weed:

1. Chemical Herbicide: Using a selective herbicide specifically formulated to target oxalis weeds can be an effective way to kill them. Look for a herbicide that contains iron, as this type of treatment has been shown to be highly effective in controlling oxalis. Follow the instructions on the label and apply the herbicide directly to the oxalis plants.

2. Physical Removal: Hand-pulling is a simple and effective method, but if the oxalis infestation is too thick or persistent, it may require more drastic measures. You can use a tool like a garden fork or hand trowel to dig up the entire root system of the oxalis plants. Make sure to remove all the bulbs and fragments of the plant to prevent regrowth.

3. Call in the Professionals: If your oxalis problem seems too overwhelming to handle on your own, consider calling in a professional lawn care service. They have the knowledge and experience to effectively control oxalis and restore your lawn to a healthy state.

4. Keep Your Lawn Healthy: By maintaining a healthy lawn, you can prevent oxalis weeds from taking hold. Regularly aerate and fertilize your lawn, water it deeply but infrequently, and mow at the appropriate height for your grass type.

5. Prevent Oxalis Seeds: Oxalis plants produce small pods containing seeds which can spread the weed to other areas of your lawn. To prevent this, remove the pods before they have a chance to spread. Hand-pull or carefully cut off the seed pods and dispose of them in a sealed bag.

Remember, managing oxalis weeds in your lawn is an ongoing battle that takes time and persistence. By following these tips and using the treatment methods that work best for you, you can control the oxalis invasion and enjoy a weed-free backyard.

Click here to download a free guide on how to manage oxalis weeds in your lawn.

Managing Oxalis Weeds: How To Get Rid Of Oxalis Weeds In The Lawn

Oxalis weeds can be a persistent and hard-to-manage problem in lawns. These invasive plants can quickly take over your backyard, choking out healthy grass and other desired plants. If left untreated, oxalis weeds can spread rapidly and become a major headache.

So, how can you effectively manage and get rid of oxalis weeds in your lawn? Here are some tips and tricks to help you win the war against these pesky plants:

  1. Identify the problem: First, you need to identify the presence of oxalis weeds in your lawn. Oxalis typically has small white or pink flowers and three-forked leaves. Keep an eye out for these distinct characteristics to spot an oxalis invasion.
  2. Weeding: One of the most effective ways to control oxalis weeds is through hand-pulling. Put on a pair of gloves and get down to the root of the weed, making sure to remove it entirely. Be thorough in your weeding to prevent the oxalis from regrowing. This physical approach is an organic way to combat the problem.
  3. Spraying: If you have a large oxalis infestation, hand-pulling might not be enough. In such cases, you can use herbicides specifically designed to kill oxalis weeds. Read the instructions carefully and spray the affected areas, making sure to avoid spraying desirable plants.
  4. Water and feed your lawn: Maintaining a healthy lawn is key to preventing oxalis weeds from taking over. Water deeply and infrequently, as this encourages the grass to grow deep roots and compete with the weeds. Fertilize your lawn regularly to give it the nutrients it needs to thrive.
  5. Prevention: Once you have successfully rid your lawn of oxalis weeds, you need to take preventive measures to keep them from coming back. Regularly inspect your lawn for any signs of oxalis regrowth and promptly address any new weeds that appear. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide can also help prevent oxalis seeds from germinating.

Remember, managing oxalis weeds is an ongoing process that requires patience and persistence. By following these tips and regularly caring for your lawn, you can keep your lawn vibrant and weed-free throughout the growing season.

If you need further assistance or guidance on managing oxalis weeds, you can consult with a professional lawn care service or seek advice from your local gardening center. They will have the expertise and knowledge to help you effectively deal with this common lawn problem.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.