6 Ways To Remove Myrtle Spurge

6 Ways To Remove Myrtle Spurge

Remove Myrtle Spurge Permanently

Wear protective gear

It is very important to wear gloves, long sleeves and other protective gear when working with myrtle spurge. Myrtle spurge releases a latex sap that is very toxic.

Cut myrtle spurge to ground level

Cut it below soil level with a pair of loppers. The lower the myrtle spurge is cut the less likely it is to re-grow.

Pull myrtle spurge out from the roots

Small and young myrtle spurge plants can be pulled out from the roots. This is easiest when the soil is soft and wet.

Be careful of spreading seeds

If the myrtle spurge you are cutting has seed pods it must be disposed of properly. The seed pods will continue to ripen even after the plant is cut. It is very important to take the plant to a disposal facility or bag it in a plastic bag so further spreading of seeds does not occur.


An alternative to pulling out the roots or using a herbicide is to mow the area regularly. If the area is flat enough to mow this is an effective method. The area will need to be mowed regularly in order for it to be effective.


Be sure to read and follow all the instructions on your herbicide label. It is best to have a licensed professional apply herbicide. Natural methods such as vinegar will not kill myrtle spurge. The only effective myrtle spurge killer is a herbicide. Herbicide can be applied to the stem immediately after cutting or to the foliage 1-3 months before cutting.


Cut the myrtle spurge to ground level. Cover the area in an opaque tarp or sheet of plastic. It is very important no light can pass through the covering. This will prevent the myrtle spurge from photosynthesizing and the plants and root system will eventually die after one year or more of being covered.

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What is myrtle spurge?

Myrtle spurge also known as "blue spurge" is an invasive species widespread on Vancouver Island. Myrtle spurge is a poisonous plant that produces toxic sap that causes skin rashes, nausea, swelling of the tongue and in rare cases coma and death when ingested. It can cause skin to blister and can cause blindness if the sap comes in contact with people eyes. It grows in sun or shade.

Why is myrtle spurge invasive?

  • A single myrtle spurge plant can turn into a patch containing thousands of stems
  • Myrtle spurge spreads by seed and spreads underground through an expanding root system
  • Myrtle spurge releases chemicals from its roots which harm other plants
  • Myrtle spurge produces extremely resilient growth that re-sprouts after cutting

Why is it crucial to remove myrtle spurge?

  • Myrtle spurge is toxic to humans, cats, and dogs
  • Myrtle spurge is most toxic to children and pets
  • Myrtle spurge is highly invasive
  • Myrtle spurge crowds out native species
  • Myrtle spurge infestations will get worse over time
  • Myrtle spurge can spread to neighbouring property
  • The spread of myrtle spurge degrades natural areas and displaces native plants


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