Spotted Spurge (Chamaesyce maculata)
This annual weed produces large quantities of seed within just a few weeks of germination and scatters them widely. It grows
from a shallow taproot and forms a low mat of branching stems that exude a milky juice when cut.
Prevention is the best control. Hoe or pull young seedlings early, before they bloom and set seed. Apply a 1-inch layer of fine mulch to suppress germination in garden beds.
A vigorous, well-fertilized lawn competes well against spotted spurge. If chemical control is necessary in lawns, use a preemergence product in late winter before seeds germinate, following label directions.
Spot treat spurge plants with herbicidal soap when they are young. For spurge growing in cracks in pavement, use a hand weeder.