how to get rid of donkey tail/myrtle spurge

Asked June 5, 2018, 5:46 PM EDT

We have this succulent euphorbia plant (aka donkey tail) growing in the corner of our yard. It seems to have spread and our grandchildren got a horrible reaction to playing in it and we want to kill and remove it without killing the grass. what product will work to kill this and can we do it or can you suggest a professional (I don't want a reaction like the grandkids got)? Hermiston Oregon in Umatilla County Oregon

Umatilla County Oregon

1 Response

Unfortunately, there are no easy methods for eliminating spurge and it takes repeated attempts to finally eliminate.

You don't describe how large an area of spurge that you have. The best way to remove spurge from a small area is to hand pull the plant, trying to get as much root as possible. Be sure the wear gloves because as you have already experienced the sap can be toxic. Reach down on the stem as far as possible and pull and remove. As any roots grow back keep removing them until the spurge is gone. It will take several pullings over the season to get all spurge removed

If you have an area too large to hand remove and there are not desirable plants that you wish to keep mixed with the spurge. then 2, 4 D or glyphosate or a tank mix of both can be applied to the spurge. A 2 to 3 percent solution of each for hand spraying would be a strong mix. In your inquiry, you said it was mixed with grass that you wanted to safe. If that is the case, then 2,4D would be used alone. It will take repeated application of any herbicide to achieve complete control. Fall is the best time to make application, but you can start any time, but know it will take several applications to get all the spurge. Probably want to remove dead or dying plants until there is no new growth. It may take more than a season to achieve total elimination.

Even if there are desirable plants mixed with the spurge, I would sacrifice them to eliminate the spurge and then reestablish what you prefer.

Good luck