Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Spurweed, Distressed Peace Lily, and Peppervine


Spurweed, lawn burweed, or stickerweed. Photo: Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter.


Tracy of Alexandria is fighting a weed in her landscape, “I ran across an old [AgCenter] article from 2006 on controlling spurweed. It is a huge problem in my centipede lawn and killing my poor dogs’ feet in the spring. I would like to use a pre-emergent and a post emergent herbicide to eradicate this. My question is, is there a newer chemical to use other than those listed in the older article. Also, would like it safe for animals. Any help you can give will be most appreciated.”

AHA responded to Tracy’s email with his own personal experiences with this weed, “I shared your experience with spurweed, also called ‘lawn burweed’ or ‘stickerweed’. I have used two different products successfully in previous seasons. I applied Image® with atrazine in some years and used Weed Stop® with 2,4-D in other years. I have purchased those products in different places like Walmart™ Garden Center and Stine’s™ Garden Center.

Normally, I look for spurweed/burweed/stickerweed in January and then apply spot treatments, usually where there is heavy foot traffic at gates or at patio edges. The label says to say off until dry, so I keep my dog indoors until the application is dry. Last year, when I checked, I did not need to treat, but I will still look regardless in 2022.

By the time, your dog’s feel the spurweed, it is too late to treat. Controlling the weed before the stickers form is key to avoiding the stickers.

Let me make this comment about containers. For example, the Image™ products have similar looking bottles so look for ‘atrazine’ on the label to use the correct product.

If your infestation is widespread, you will need to contract a landscape pro with the equipment to treat a large area. There are licensed landscape pros in your yellow pages.

Also, I would like to share a note about foot traffic and dogs. Centipede is susceptible to heavy use, but Bermudagrass is a better turf for children and dogs. For example, Bermudagrass is used at Tiger Stadium because it recovers quickly after each game.

Converting your lawn is possible but difficult so let me share this publication to keep your centipede happy: Louisiana Home Lawn Series: Centipedegrass.”


An unhappy peace lily. Photo: Deborah Deaton, LSU AgCenter.

Distressed Peace Lily

AHA rarely receives questions about indoor plants and welcomed the opportunity to assist. Deborah in Grant Parish was asking about a peace lily, “I was just wondering if you could look at these pictures when you have a chance and let me know what may be wrong with it. We took it from a smaller pot and put it in this one. We have Miracle Gro® potting soil and it is still not doing good.”

In 2015, Dan Gill, retired AgCenter horticulturist, had a similar question and listed these causes of a distressed peace lily:

  • Allowing the plant to wilt severely between waterings.
  • Keeping the soil constantly soggy.
  • Providing too little light – the plant should be in front of a window.
  • Low humidity – be sure a vent does not blow on it.
  • Over fertilization – be careful not to fertilize excessively.


Peppervine, a native plant. Photo: Violet Redger, Southern Landscape


Violet asked for identification of a plant on behalf of her family, “My brother sent me this pic for identification...He says it’s a vine…. The berries are like blueberries but with 2 seeds. They tasted one. it was sweet! I don't know if I would have had the nerve to taste one, but anyway [they did]. [I am] looking forward to what you think it may be!”

A similar question occurred over a year ago in RSFF, and the answer is, “[It’s] Peppervine [and it’s] in the grape family. A lot of people mistake it for poison ivy, [and] other than being an aggressive grower, it’s harmless.” Peppervine is a mimic of poison ivy. The shape the leaflets of each plant can be similar. The leaflets of poison ivy grown in clusters of three while the leaflets of peppervine are five in a group.

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 318.264.2448 or Also, you can be on the “green thumbs” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

10/15/2021 8:41:33 PM
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