Say Goodbye to Soursobs in Your Lawn

As winter is settling in, so too are a few friendly weeds! One of these is soursob, making their way into your gardens and lawns. There are many curious lawn owners wondering about their appearance, and how they can remove the weed without damaging their lawn.

What is a soursob?

Oxalis pes-caprae, or soursob as it is more commonly known, presents a dense mat of clover-like leaves along the surface, with stems of it’s signature yellow five petal flowers. It is extremely hard to kill, especially in lawns, as it has a fast-growing onion-shaped bulb system that can form as deep as 6cm below the surface.

Autumn and winter is when soursobs are at their peak growing stage, as the plants rhizomes are continually producing multiple mini-bulbs. The rhizome is the white stem which connects the bulb to the clover plant. Cultivating is certainly not recommended during this time, as it will spread the rhizomes further, which will result in more bulbs to form.

How to manage soursobs

The best way to manage soursobs is to let them grow to just before their flowering stage and then mow them off, trying to get as little of the lawn as possible, repeating it once a week. This attacks the weed at its weakest stage. As your lawn roots establish, they will suffocate the soursobs, resulting in them dying.

Another method, which can be more timely, is to use a weed wand or a paint brush with glyphosate and paint each individual plant, making sure to get NONE on your lawn as it will kill anything it touches.

Three steps to a soursob free lawn

  1. Mow the soursobs weekly to make them weaker
  2. Glyphosate the weed when flowering
  3. Think before you cultivate soil in autumn, it could be stirring the weed awake!


  • Never spray your lawn with a systemic herbicide containing glyphosate
  • When using a weed wand or paint brush, be sure not to touch any of your lawn with glyphosate as it will kill your lawn in the patches touched

What to consider before laying your lawn

Soursobs are tubular bulb plants that are in your soil to begin with, growing up to 6cm down in the soil. They can be stirred up from newly disturbed soil, so preparing your area properly can reduce these issues.

We recommend bringing in 150mm-200mm base of sandy loam which you will be able to get at your local landscape supplier or garden centre. Good preparation is vital for controlling weeds and the optimum growth of your lawn.

If you have tried these solutions and are still having issues, please give our friendly staff a call on 08 8577 8826 or send through picture to our email and we will be happy to guide you through your lawn issues and help you to achieve a weed-free lawn you will love!

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