Getting Rid of Oxalis


Our backyard is covered by oxalis, how can I get rid of them? Any homemade weed killer that would work?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

Thank you very much,
Bobby from San Francisco, CA



I don't know of any homemade weed killer designed specifically for oxalis that won't kill the rest of your grass. There are several homemade recipes listed on this site if you want to experiment with some, however most are not discriminating and will kill everything they come into contact with.


Oxalis reproduces by bulblets and seeds that need light to germinate. You may have to employ a combination of strategies over several years in order to regain total control of your yard. The first would be to dig out some of the plants with their bulbs. You'll need to dig down at least 6 inches deep. Another is to whack off some of the plants at the surface to weaken the bulbs by keeping them from being fed and to keep the plants from forming seeds. A third is to cover some of the plants with thick mulch or layers of newspaper to prevent new growth from germinating. These are all pretty labor intensive, but they can be effective if you're diligent. Unless of course, your neighbor's yard is overrun and he has decided to surrender. You might also try a book called, "Golden Gate Gardening," by Jan Pierce for more strategies.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


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March 6, 20030 found this helpful


We have a Dicondra Lawn with Oxalis Weed which is an enemy to Dicondra. When using a recipe of Vinegar weed killer on the Oxalis, will this also damage the dicondra? Should the spraying be isolated for the Oxalis?


RE: Getting Rid of Oxalis Weed in Dicondra Lawn
Ali (Guest Post)

I have been battling the dreaded oxalis for several years now with out not much success. It may have been my imagination but roundup appeared to feed it. Short cut knocked it back, the leaves wilted and it died down as before and it became more patchy in the garden. Someone from the plant shop told me to use 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 litre of water and that has been just as effective as the short cut. I have to keep at it every time it appears and it is becoming less.


Dieter Steinegg (Guest Post)

Try some ordinary table salt piled up in the centre of the oxalis plant, (tea spoon full)perhaps some drops of water. This should burst the bulb underground. Good Luck. Cheers Dieter

Ray (Guest Post)

I have recentlly sprayed oxalis weed in my vegetable garden with Pronto, which has tthe same active ingredient in it as Roundup and is much less expensive. So far the results of the spray is that the above ground stems and leaves are wilting very well. Only time will tell if the nutlet will die. I used six ounces per gal. of water and sprayed when the outside temperature was 70 degrees F. for acouple of days. The results would be much better if the outside temp would be 85 or so degrees or so. I don't know where this stuff came from but I don't like it at all.

lhendricsen (Guest Post)

Regarding oxalis infestation: I have only found one product which actually works on oxalis, and it works great. Kills within 24 hours usually, with relatively little lawn damage--only in overly hot weather. It is called "Oxalis X." Yardbirds near my home used to carry it, but they recently stopped and the gardner there does not know why. I have never seen it anywhere else. If you can find it, try it. It is awesome. And if you do find it, please e-mail me and tell me where I can get it. Thanks, Lee at lhendricsen (at) yahoo (dot) com


Post by prplel8dy

We have it all over our lawn and have tried several products that are 'lawn safe' to get rid of it. Some of the products did affect our lawn and most killed some of the weed, but not all. I've found the only way to make sure you get it is pull it up before it goes to seed. When you do it make sure to follow the runners and pull them all and collect any little seed packets you see. I got all I saw last year, but it looks like it's back. The good thing is it looks like about half as much, so I figure it should be almost all gone next year.

Post by Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Previous post sent by email:
I would try to keep the spraying to the oxalis. I know this will kill grass, too but the grass tends to grow back much faster than the weeds. From what I've been able to read the best way to get rid of oxalis is to dig it up. I'll post this and see if anyone else has any ideas.


Good Luck,

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February 25, 20060 found this helpful

I would love to trade you some of your oxalis for a mixture of houseplant slips. Email me at

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March 5, 20060 found this helpful

Dig them up and plant in small plastic /paper cups and give them away or call your local gaden club and donate them to their plant sales. If you have to many to dig up all of them yourself ,call the youth center or boy/girl's club, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts and ask a troop leader if they want to take on a community help project and do the digging,potting and haul them away for fund raising.SOMEONE wants them. You just have to find them. I would take a bunch if I was closer to you... Oh one other thought, call City Hall sometimes they will take plants/trees flowers for their Parks Dept. Good Luck, Great granny Vi

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By Bobby (Guest Post)
March 9, 20060 found this helpful

Thank you all. I think we just let them grow, and enjoy their bright yellow flowers. They grow on every inch of the backyard! Bobby

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By john detore (Guest Post)
March 21, 20060 found this helpful

I have tried everything!!! Roundup does not affect it at all.
I live in Everett, WA..


anyone close so I can see what you do??
tordej @ (remove spaces)

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By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
March 24, 20060 found this helpful

I have been trying to find out if this is the same Oxalis that is sold as shamrock plant in stores before St. Patrick's Day.

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April 30, 20060 found this helpful

I just read your answer to Oxalis control in a San Francisco lawn. The oxalis in question is most likely Oxalis pes-caprae a ubiquitous, aggressive and troublesome weed in the SF Bay area. You mention that it spreads by seeds that require light to germinate, and this is not true. Viable seed for this plant has not been observed. You might want to inform your readers of this so they don't waste time pursuing a non-relevant strategy. For more info on Oxalis pes-caprae see:

By Mike Boss from San Francisco

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By karin (Guest Post)
May 26, 20060 found this helpful

I've been fighting this going on 3 years. I've been using Weed-b-gon (ortho) w/some success, however, it's very damaging to my bemuda grass, even tho it's not supposed to be.

Recently I discovered a product called Dandelion and Clover killer (eliminator) at Wal-Mart. It's been very effective and has had virtully no effect on my lawn grass. It's also much cheaper than other products, which is good. However, I still "walk the yard" about every other day to discover new patches of the *&**#%@. I have to think it comes from bird droppings. Good luck!

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By Rowley Call (Guest Post)
June 20, 20060 found this helpful

Oxalix X seems to work well. It does not kill ground cover, only the oxalis. Also kills burr clover and spurge. I found it at Armstrong Garden Center in Monrovia, CA.

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By MOGI .W NZ (Guest Post)
January 21, 20070 found this helpful


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By Jerry W (Guest Post)
September 30, 20070 found this helpful

Anything that grows considerable above the level of the Dichondra can be eliminated with a good systemic weed killer like Roundup. You have to be careful but it works quite well if done right. Use a set of wheels or skids with a cloth hung between the wheels or skids, at a height that will clear the Dichondra but will come in contact with the taller weeds. wet the cloth with the weed killer and pass it over the area, being careful not to over dampen and allow dripping on the Dichondra. I would advise making several dry runs before applying the weed killer. Be aware of low spots that may allow wheel or skid to drop off and allow cloth to come in to contact with Dichondera

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By Jerry Walker (Guest Post)
September 30, 20070 found this helpful

I sent you a method of weeding Dichondra. I am sorry I was distracted and the description of how to make the device, was for another application. Please disregard the article, it is wrong.
The following is what works. But as you read you will see caution must be taken. You decide if you want to post it or not. Thank You J Walker.
Any thing that grows a fair amount taller than the Dichondra can be taken out with a weed killer. You have to be VERY careful but this method works quite well when done right. On reasonably level areas. It is not a good idea for uneven ground.
Use a pair of wheels or a pair of skids about 14 inches apart (your terrain will determine the width best suited)SECURE a evenly cut cloth BEHIND the wheels or skids.And extending about 6 inches WIDER on either side than the wheels or skids. The cloth should adaquetly clear the Dichondera while dragging on the higher weeds. Before applying weed killer make several dry runs, be careful of holes or any uneven spots that will allow cloth to come in contact with Dichondera. Dampen cloth adequately, but not enough to allow any dripping on Dichondera. BE SURE the cloth is BEHIND the wheels or skids so they do not come in contact with the weed killer. DO NOT run over treated area with wheels or skids, or the weed killer will be transfered to your Dichondera via the wheels or skids. Chalk line rows if nesecarry, it is easy to go over same area if not marked.

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By jeff (Guest Post)
June 15, 20080 found this helpful

I live in north Texas. I have Bemulda grass. I have been fighting Oxalis for two years and the situation is worse this year. I used Weed-B-Gon, Weed-Stop but the Oxalis just came back after one month plus new ones. I learned from here that Walmart's Dandelion and Clover killer (eliminator) is good. I just bought it and applied today but not very confident. Do you guys have any ideas? Where to buy good killers like Oxalis X or Death to Oxalis without kill grass? Thank you in advance!

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By (Guest Post)
December 13, 20080 found this helpful

You need a plastic cover. Any permeable cover will allow the weed to grow right through it, and it will probably wipe out competition from other ground cover. Trust me we're dealing with it now. Removing one foot of top soil (permanently) or covering with plastic for a couple years will probably bring it into manageable care, in meantime happy pulling.

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May 1, 20160 found this helpful

The picture you have up here is not oxalis, it is a clover, either white clover or red clover. Oxalis looks similar but this picture is not it.

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