Winning the Battle Against Chamberbitter Weeds

Effective Strategies for a Lush Lawn

Written by
Joshua Gifford
Published on
April 12, 2023 at 10:36:20 AM PDT April 12, 2023 at 10:36:20 AM PDTth, April 12, 2023 at 10:36:20 AM PDT

Chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria), also known as Gripeweed or Little Mimosa, is a persistent, invasive weed that can quickly infest your lawn and ruin its appearance. As a resilient and fast-spreading weed, Chamberbitter can be challenging to control. This is why it is crucial to be consistent and timely in your efforts. With the right knowledge and techniques, you can reclaim your beautiful lawn. In this blog post, we will explore the most effective ways to control Chamberbitter weeds in your lawn.

  1. 1. Identify the enemy: Before you begin your battle against Chamberbitter, it's essential to correctly identify the weed. Chamberbitter is a small, erect, annual plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall. Its leaves resemble those of the Mimosa tree, with tiny leaflets arranged in two rows along a central stem. The weed produces small, greenish-white flowers and tiny, flattened, round seeds that are enclosed in a capsule. When these capsules mature, they can burst and forcibly eject seeds, dispersing them in the immediate vicinity. This process, known as explosive dehiscence, can scatter seeds several feet away from the parent plant.

  1. 2. Proper lawn care: One of the most effective ways to prevent and control any weed is through proper lawn care. Healthy, well-maintained lawns are more resistant to weed infestations. 

  1. 3. Hand-pulling and hoeing: For small infestations, hand-pulling Chamberbitter weeds can be an effective control method. Ensure that you remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth. Keep in mind that Chamberbitter is known for its long taproot. For larger infestations, using a hoe or a specialized weeding tool can help you remove the weeds more efficiently.

  1. 4. Pre-emergent herbicides: Using a pre-emergent herbicide can be an effective strategy to prevent Chamberbitter seeds from germinating. Apply the herbicide in early spring before the weeds emerge, following the manufacturer's instructions. For centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass lawns, Atrazine 4L offers effective preemergence control. Isoxaben is another product that offers effective preemergence control. Isoxaben is purchased in granular form and needs to be watered-in to allow it to coat the soil.

  1. 5. Post-emergent herbicides: If Chamberbitter weeds have already emerged in your lawn, using a post-emergent herbicide can help control the infestation. If you already applied Atrazine 4L as your preemergent you can take advantage of its post-emergent activity for any seedlings that may have germinated.  3-Way Max and Triad Select are two popular selective herbicides that also offer post-emergent control. However, Celsius WG along with a surfactant like Opterra 90 Spreader/Activator (to help the herbicide stick to the weeds) is what most turf professionals prefer and recommend. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when applying herbicides to avoid damaging your lawn or the environment.

  1. 6. Landscape beds: For Chamberbitter control in landscape beds there’s no better choice than products with glyphosate.  Eraser Max and Gly Pho-Sel Pro 41% are both safe options as long as care is taken to prevent drift to non-target plants. Glyphosate can potentially damage any plant through contact so be sure to keep your spray nozzle close to the ground and utilize a cardboard or plastic shield when spraying. Always read the label and carefully follow the directions when applying pesticides.

  1. 7. Mulching: In garden beds and around trees and shrubs, applying a layer of organic mulch can help suppress Chamberbitter weed growth by blocking sunlight and preventing seed germination. A 2-4 inch layer of mulch will also help retain soil moisture and improve soil health, benefiting your plants.

Chamberbitter weeds can be a formidable opponent, but with persistence and the right techniques, you can reclaim your beautiful lawn. By maintaining proper lawn care practices, manually removing weeds, and using pre- and post-emergent herbicides when needed, you can effectively control and prevent Chamberbitter infestations. 

Chamberbitter Prevention and Control

Atrazine 4L

Atrazine 4L herbicide controls many annual broadleaf and grass weeds in the crops listed as well as in turfgrass. Atrazine 4L may be applied before or after weeds emerge.

Celsius WG

Celsius® is a post-emergence warm-season turf herbicide that effectively handles conditions that other products may struggle with. It boasts one of the most comprehensive spectrums of control.

Eraser Max

Eraser Max is ideal for fence rows, gravel paths, sidewalks, driveways, parking areas and around farm buildings and barns. One application kills weeds for up to one year.