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Oxalis smaller

By Candice Fisher

September 1 2023

5 Minute(s) read

If you've ever battled the relentless invasion of creeping oxalis weeds in your garden, you know just how frustrating and persistent they can be. These insidious plants have a knack for spreading rapidly, choking out your prized plants and stealing vital nutrients from the soil. 

But fear not! In this blog, the team at Lilydale Instant Lawn will dive into effective strategies and techniques to help you regain control over your garden and bid farewell to those tenacious creeping oxalis weeds. Get ready to reclaim your green space and restore the beauty and health of your beloved plants. Let's banish those pesky invaders once and for all.


What is a creeping oxalis weed?

Creeping oxalis, or Oxalis Corniculata as its formally known, is often mistaken for clover due to its compound leaves with small, light-green, heart-shaped leaves. Its bright, small yellow flowers are 3–4 mm in diameter, with five petals in a loose cluster. You may also find pink oxalis, which may be commonly mistaken for general flower growth. However, this weed typically pops up during the cooler months in Melbourne but can occur year-round depending on the weather.

Creeping oxalis grows from bulbs deep in the soil, so it can be quite challenging to eradicate. As the name suggests, creeping oxalis quickly runs along the surface of the soil, producing roots and bulbs as it goes. These roots grow deeper into the soil with time, creeping under and through your lawn.


How can creeping oxalis weeds damage my garden?

Creeping oxalis weeds can inflict significant damage upon your garden, posing a multitude of challenges for both novice and seasoned gardeners. These invasive plants have a remarkable ability to spread rapidly and form dense mats that choke out other vegetation. By monopolising vital resources such as sunlight, water, and nutrients, they create an unfavourable environment for your desired plants to thrive. As creeping oxalis competes fiercely for these essential resources, your plants and vegetable garden may suffer from stunted growth, nutrient deficiencies, and reduced vigour. 

Moreover, the dense growth habit of these weeds can smother and overshadow nearby plants, impeding their access to sunlight and hindering their photosynthesis process. Over time, the weakened plants become more susceptible to diseases, pest infestations, and overall decline. 

Additionally, creeping oxalis has a persistent nature, making it challenging to eradicate completely. Its deep and extensive root system enables it to resurface even after thorough removal, perpetuating its damaging presence in your garden.


The best way to get rid of creeping oxalis weeds 

Hand removal can help if the plant is caught early enough, but more established bulbs can be buried as deep as 100 mm into the soil. The most effective method of control is applying pre-emergent fertiliser such as Oxafert at the start of every season. Oxafert provides the soil with plenty of nitrogen, which supports a healthy lawn but creates adverse conditions for oxalis. You should also spray your plants with a selective herbicide such as Bin-Die whenever you see the weeds appear. 

Persistence is key when it comes to eliminating this tough weed. While Oxafert and other broadleaf herbicides should reduce re-occurrence, it may take several years to completely eradicate this weed from your yard.

Other common creeping oxalis plants elimination methods  

Before opting for weed killers or a broadleaf herbicide, there are other methods you can try when aiming to rid your garden of creeping oxalis weeds. This includes: 

  • Hand pulling - for small infestations, hand pulling is a viable option. Grab the weeds at the base and gently but firmly pull them out, making sure to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth. Be thorough and vigilant, as even small fragments left behind can lead to new plants and see the seed pods mature.
  • Mulching - apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, around your plants. Mulching helps suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight and smothering emerging oxalis weeds. Ensure the mulch layer is thick enough to deter weed germination and replenish it as needed.
  • Regular maintenance - consistent and diligent garden maintenance is crucial in combating creeping oxalis. Routinely inspect your garden, pulling out any emerging weeds promptly. By staying on top of the weed growth and preventing its spread, you can weaken its presence over time. Lawn mowing is also essential. Keep your grass at the optimal height to prevent further weeds from forming. 
  • Improving soil health - enhancing the health and fertility of your garden soil can help create unfavourable conditions for creeping oxalis growth. Maintain proper soil pH, amend with organic matter, and ensure adequate drainage to promote healthy plant growth while discouraging weed infestations.

Creeping oxalis botanical weeds may cause damage to your garden over time. Fortunately, self-repairing lawns such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo, Tif Tuf, Sir Grange, and Eureka Premium VG are very forgiving. With time and a little extra fertiliser, any bare patches caused by creeping oxalis will self-repair, returning your lawn to its former glory.


If you have questions about eliminating creeping oxalis from your garden, using a weed killer or overall weed control, get in touch with the helpful team at Lilydale Instant Lawn today.