Weeds or groundcover?

jane__ny(9-10)March 24, 2013

This is popping up all over. I'm new to Florida and don't know what is weed or plant!

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And this growing in the grass (mostly dead grass).


    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I think it's pretty much a matter of point of view. Weeds are any plants that are growing where you don't want them to. It's possible that a rose bush could be a weed if one somehow managed to come up in the middle of a crop of corn. So some will say these are weeds, some might say groundcover. I would say let them grow a bit, get them identified (to make sure they're not some invasive/noxious plant) and then decide for yourself if you think they're a weed or not.

The top picture is kind of hard to see. Are those leaves solid or are they divided into smaller leaflets?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:26AM
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The first is sunshine mimosa - a great groundcover but hard to get rid of

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:37AM
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I had basket grass show up and take over in a shady, undended area. I was fine with that until it started showing up in my veggie garden. Too bad, it was an attractive ground cover where it was. Luckily it seems to be relatively easy to control.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:21AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

#1 looks a lot like mimosa, a.k.a. sensitive plant - pretty pink puffballs that last 1 day & attract bees & butterflies.

#2 looks like a weed - not sure of the name, but it has taproots that go deep - easiest to pull when small - & little sharp seeds that hurt when you step on them.

Here is a link that might be useful: FNPS Blog Re: Mimosa

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

It seems others could see the top image better than I could on my laptop. I was thinking mimosa but couldn't really make out the leaflets. The mimosa makes a good groundcover and will gradually spread to cover the area in a mat of green. It spreads by both seed and above-ground runners and is fairly easy to keep confined. It will go dormant in cold winters, but with this past mild winter, mine never really did. The worst it did was close up it's leaves on the colder mornings, but as soon as the days warmed up, the mimosa would open up and drink in that sunshine. But it hasn't sent up flowers since November. My wife and kids still love to stop at it and poke the leaves and watch them close up in response.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Heres a few more shots. This weed/groundcover is spreading rapidly. I have tried pulling it up but it has been a losing battle. The gardener has been spraying it with round-up but it hasn't worked.

If it would work as a ground-cover, I might leave it. I had wood chips put down in the areas in front of the house, but this stuff is filling in all the areas.

Maybe I should just let it spread? I wanted to plant some annuals for color, but wonder if this would be too competitive.

This shot I super saturated so its clearer to see. Believe me, the lawn isn't this green!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Definitely Sunshine Mimosa, Mimosa strigillosa.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:42PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Agreeing w/ Leekle2ManE; forgot to mention how tough those runners & roots are.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Thank you, it is the Sunshine Mimosa. It is spreading all over and I wonder if I should let it take over the beds and lawn. Actually, it is filling in the bare, dead areas of the lawn. I'm concerned about the areas I want to plant. It seems to spread by runners.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I'd say let it run. But I like the native look. The mimosa shouldn't cause many, if any, issues with any other plants you might want to put in. The only thing that readily comes to mind is citrus trees which don't like anything growing under them. Whether or not you let it run into your lawn is up to you. If you want a clean, green lawn, then you might want to rein it in with a simple border. If the idea of little pink balls poking up in your lawn doesn't bother you, then let it go.

Thus far it's been my experience that the runners are only above ground. And I have yet to see them climb over anything, so it doesn't take much to stop it from spreading to areas where you don't want it to go. Trying to remove it once it gets established in an area is another story. I have not tried to remove it myself, but I've heard it can be a bit of a pain. Not only do you have to deal with all the little tap roots it sets as it sends out its runners, but you also have to deal with the seeds from the pom-pom flowers.

This post was edited by Leekle2ManE on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 13:01

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:55PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

I have it growing throughout one half of my front flower bed and it works great as a ground cover. You can't grow really short annuals in it but everything else will grow just fine in amongst it. The hardest part is chopping a hole trough the sunshine mimosa in order to get the new plant started. The tap roots cab be up to 2 feet deep. Here's a picture of the bed with the sunshine mimosa growing in it. Its growing on the left side of the sidewalk. The main problem that I have is that I have to trim it off the sidewalk about once a week during the summer. But on the plus side the ground under the mimosa seems to stay moister and is richer then the part of the flowerbed that doesn't have it growing in it.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Thanks. I was just looking at it today thinking how quickly its spreading. I bought dozens of annuals to plant and wondered how the heck I'd plant them in this stuff. I was thinking it would take all the moisture away from the plants.

Not sure what to do.
Thanks for the photo, it really helps show it.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:58AM
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