The heat of summer is a thing of the past. Are you looking forward to Florida snow? If you are a homeowner with a yard, you may not be. We aren’t talking about the powdery stuff that falls from the sky. We mean the perennial wildflower, the pusley, that spreads with abandon in the cooler, drier fall and winter of Central and Southern Florida. It’s low-lying white, light purple, or pinkish flowers resemble a dusting of snow on your lawn, hence the name. While it may not bother some, many owners of carefully cultivated lawns consider it a pesky weed. Let’s take a closer look at this Florida “snow.”
The pulsey, sometimes called Mexican clover (even though it is not clover, nor from Mexico), is native to Brazil and other areas of South America. It’s an invasive species that can only be found in parts of Florida in the United States.
Difficult to Control
Because it grows so low to the ground, mowing is an ineffective control method. Once it is established, it is a prolific seeder, so it quickly spreads – and mowing can help the seeds scatter. Pulsey is also very tough. It’s more drought-resistant than grass, can survive sub-freezing temperatures, and studies have shown that several herbicides have no long-lasting effect. However, keeping your lawn healthy year-round helps inhibit weeds, including pulsey, from growing. If it has taken hold, the most effective and safest way to rid your lawn of pulsey is to pull it by hand. While they are relatively easy to pull, a yard full of snow can look daunting. When a lawn is overcome with pulsey, it may be necessary to re-sod to totally eliminate it. Even if you do get your lawn pulsey-free, it will probably just be a matter of time before it blows over from a neighbor’s yard.
Pulsey Does Have Benefits
You might opt to just live with it. Because it is a survivor and mingles well with the grass, it is helpful in preventing soil erosion. When it isn’t flowering, the green stem remains and provides cover in grass resistant areas. The flowers also provide nectar for important pollinators, such as butterflies and bees.
Proper Irrigation is Necessary for a Healthy Lawn
If you live in Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Citrus counties, call us to inspect and repair your existing irrigation system, or see us to install a new one, to keep your lawn and landscape healthy year-round, and potentially snow free.