Paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum) is a perennial grass weed that starts as clumps and then spreads throughout sparse and poor performing lawns.
Paspalum has a purple tinge at the base of broad grass leaves that stem from a central crown. It primarily grows throughout the warmer months from late spring to early autumn. Paspalum spreads through the transportation of sticky seeds, easily adhering themselves to pets, shoes and objects before falling off in a new location.
Removal by hand
Like most common weeds, the best method is to remove it by hand. Make sure you dig underneath the crown, below soil level and remove the entire root of the plant. If you act quickly you should be able to eradicate it fairly easily from your lawn this way.
If the paspalum has spread throughout your lawn and is out of control, you may need to look at applying a selective herbicide. Paspalum, Nutgrass & Clover Weed Killer is formulated for the control of Paspalum. It can be easily mixed in a pressure sprayer, with the addition of a surfactant or wetting agent to ensure it adheres better to the paspalum leaf. For best results, spray the paspalum when it is actively growing during the warmer months. Repeated applications may be required in order to fully eradicate it from your lawn.
*For kikuyu and buffalo lawns it is best to only spot spray the paspalum and not the entire lawn as it can cause harm to your grass as well. Make sure you adhere to the application rates on the side of the product.
You can also kill paspalum with a non-selective herbicide like glyphosate (Round Up or Zero). You will need to make sure you do so extremely carefully as it will kill everything it comes in contact with. The safest way is to use a small paintbrush and carefully brush the glyphosate only onto the paspalum leaf.
It is always easier to control weeds from the outset rather than to try to remove them once they get out of hand. By choosing a suitable lawn species for your area, keeping it healthy and well maintained and at the right mowing height for your chosen variety, you’ll have a leg up on any potential weed invasions.