Oxalis

28 Dec, 2021

Largest genus in the wood-sorrel family Oxildaceae. The oxalis plants most commonly found as weeds in New Zealand generally produce small pink, white, yellow or purple flowers.

There are several types of oxalis that grow as hard-to-kill weeds in New Zealand. Most are fairly low growing and have small bulbs in the ground. The bulbs are hard to get rid of, and can easily be spread when the soil is disturbed or by the plant as it spreads, they can regrow even when the top growth of the plants is controlled.

Physical Control

Pull or dig up the entire plant and remove bulbs where possible. When this isn’t possible regularly remove the foliage and eventually the bulbs will weaken. This method will take a number of years to work.


Don’t put Oxalis bulbs into your compost as this will allow them to spread.. Dispose of bulbs in a plastic bag.

Chemical Control

Repeated applications of Death To Oxalis will cause the leaves to die off, which starves the bulbs over time causing them to die. Add a spreader/sticker such as as Sprayfix to the water when applying Death To Oxalis as this helps the spray to adhere to the leaves. The following season the young bulbs which will have fallen off the dying parent bulb will send up new leaves. These will now need to be sprayed.

Spraying on hot sunny day will give a better result.


Death To Oxalis will only work on species that have pink, purple, or white flowers, not the low spreading yellow type. For control of creeping Oxalis or yellow flowered Oxalis spray with Hydrocotyle Killer. Take care when spraying to avoid spray drift onto desirable plants.


The advantage of Death To Oxalis is this product shouldn't affect other plants that are sprayed.


Glyphosate based weed killers can also be used to kill the tops, however repeated regular application is necessary as this will only kill the tops.



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