Type your question here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Clover-Looking Weed is Hard to Get Rid Of

Q. I have clover growing at the base of my spike plants. I pull them, and pull them, and pull them. Do we all just enjoy each other and smile or is there some way to get rid of them I've split off babies from the base of the plants and have four separate pots with spikes in them now and they are about one and a half feet tall now. I cleaned around the roots and put them in new potting soil, but their "friends" are hanging right in there with all four plants also. We do have other larger clover growing with our main clutch of aloe vera and have no idea how to approach that type (and tight) group without starting a full scale aloe army throughout our garden.

Symbiotic yin and yang or what, Professor?

A. I am not sure what you are calling Spike plants. The common name, spike plant, usually refers to a house plant called bcdefghi DY'`IY{L8n you may be referring to aloe as a spike plant.

Oxalis or wood sorrel.
            I am also not sure the plant you're calling clover is really a clover at all. I am wondering if this is oxalis, a plant whose leaves are very similar to clover in appearance. But this plant is much more difficult to control or eradicate than clover. It is also called wood sorrel.

            Oxalis can be spread through seed from the flowers, bulbs from the roots and also by bulbils. If you are going to control this weed you will need to clean all soil from your “spike plant” roots thoroughly and sterilize any soil you are using when you're a replanting these plants.

            Clover is not that difficult to control but oxalis is a terrible weed to control particularly among nursery plantings and in landscapes in our climate. An easy way to tell if this is oxalis is to taste a few of the leaves. Clover leaves will be slightly sweet to the taste. Oxalis leaves contain oxalic acid, the same chemical in rhubarb, spinach and brussels sprouts and will be sour to the taste. But my guess is you have oxalis.

No comments:

Post a Comment