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Bindii, Jo-jo, Onehunga, Soliva pterosperma – doesn’t matter what you call it – it’s a pest and the bane of backyard cricketers across South East Queensland.

This winter growing annual, originally from South America, produces seed capsules protected by spines. They germinate for several months and while flowers begin to appear in Spring they continue to form prickles at the base right into December, causing shoes to be required every time you set foot on the lawn.

Unfortunately manual removal is usually ineffective. It’s worth a shot if you have only a few plants but typically by the time you notice your lawn has bindii it has spread and pulling them out by hand will only leave you with sore hands and still an infestation problem.

The best approach to ridding your lawn of this pest is a blanket spray of selective herbicide. Ask the advice of your local lawn care specialist but overall a selective herbicide containing bromoxynil plus MCPA is a good choice. A product containing dicamba is recommended if your lawn also has clovers or oxalis species.

Bindii Removal

Overall, the smaller the bindii plants are, the easier they are to kill so often time is of the essence – if you can get rid of them before the prickles form, all the better. Even if your lawn has prickles already, the application of a selective herbicide will stop more from forming.

After the application the bindi should be dead in about 7-10 days.

And once you remove the bindii from your lawns there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of a re-infestation. By keeping your lawn well-maintained will ensure that the turf offers a lot of competition for these weeds and other varieties. Water and fertilise regularly and raise the mower height so that the lawn is not scalped.

Read the Daleys Turf blogs and articles for more tips on a healthy, weed-free lawn.

This Post Has 16 Comments
  1. G’day just a quick question my lawn has been over taken by bindies, I made the mistake of not treating it in winter.
    My question is how do I get rid of them now that they have formed fully.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sincerely Jason

    1. Hi Jason,
      Its best to spray them now, they are to easy to kill but the seed ( the bindi bit) will cause you more problems, so next year, late Autumn you will need to spray for them, each time they germinate. Or you could remove your lawn and install something that doesn’t allow them to grow like ” Sir Walter’ DNA certified, we generally don’t have to spray the weeds, as the plant has the ability to choke out all others weeds.
      Terry

  2. Hello iv got Bindi prickles everywhere in my whole back yard not the actual plant itself just prickles, there’s not one Bindi plant at all just excess prickles what would be the best way to get rid of them or should I just put layers of crusher dust of something over the top?

    1. Hi, That sounds usual but bear in mind, the bindi’s are the seeds of the plant, so the plant may have died after seeding. You can buy a pre emergent chemical that stops the bindi seeds from germinating. Best to call our office for details or just go to a good landscape/nursery centre and they may have a product in stock for you. Otherwise, watch for fresh young seedlings and use a post emergent spray like Bindi killer, and kill then before they have a chance to seed.

  3. I just moved into a rental with loads of “prickles”, and unfortunately I’m bringing a dog with me who I am cautious about letting out onto the lawn.
    Is there something I can do to quickly and temporarily reduce the risks of him being infested with them? I have heard that a thorough watering softens the spikes enough for a while but I don’t enjoy the risk

    1. Hi
      Moisture will help the bindi seeds to either rot away or germinate, or you could also fertilise the lawn and promote the lawn variety you have which may give you a cushion effect away from the bindi prickles. There are bindi sprays available to kill the plants.

  4. Hi,
    It’s October 16, I’m on eastern side of NSW in hunter valley. I have lots of bindiis in my yard, especially where we park the cars. I’ve started removing some of the smaller plants with a fork but the bigger ones are harder to get out. What do you suggest I can do/use? Some are still green and flowering while others have died and hurt.
    Thanks.

    1. We need to know what type of lawn you have first before we can recommend any type of chemical treatment. Hunter Valley is the home of DNA Sir Walter, if you plant some of that in your lawn area, it will in time spread and choke out your weed problem, talk to your local LSA turf farm.

  5. Hi,
    I’m in outback Qld and my yard is completely infested. Can’t take a step without getting stabbed. I have young children so I don’t want to use anything that could potentially hurt or poison them. I have no idea what type of grass I’ve got (its just the basic patchy stuff)(And I’m renting). I also don’t actually have any specialty places for gardening or nurseries or anything. The closest we would have is probably mitre10. Can you suggest anything to help? and how I would get rid of the existing seed? I’m on a low budget as well.
    I really want my kids to be able to play outside and roll around without being stabbed every time skin touches ground. Its probably to late to take preventative measures so all I can do is treat and remove.

    1. Hi Adara,
      That doesn’t sound like fun for the kids, this is not an easy solution. Try spraying your lawn with KAMBA M, it’s readily available and Mitre 10 should have on the shelf. Repeat spraying will be necessary due to the amount of seed Bindi’s produce. This will kills the existing plants, but it won’t remove the seeds that are already on the ground. ( those bindi’s will disappear in time) Please read the label and follow the recommended rates. Next season ( winter) there is new product called ‘ OXAFERT’ this will be worth trying to control the seeds from germinating, we have it available on our lawnstore.

  6. Hello, I have killed all the bindi’s and want to put sulphur on the grass to stimulate grass growth. BUT what do I do about all the dead bindi’s left hanging on to the ground. Can I just throw the sulphur done and the the dead bindi’s will eventually disappear ? Or do I have to go through the arduous task I digging up the dead bindi’s. Regards, Joanne

    1. Removing the bindi’s is the only sure way, however the theory is they should rot away after awhile. Fertilising your lawn will help as the thatch( grass thickness) will keep your feet away from the bindi’s

      Terry

  7. Hi there.

    We’ve just moved into a new rental the yars is full of these weird prickles, they’re not bindies nor the weird rolled up ones, they look like devil horns. They’re very sharp and have left my feet feeling very itchy. They get everywhere. I have some yates weed and feed is there anything else I can do to promote lawn growth? We live next to a reserve and in the Hunter valley. Young children and dog. Cheers

    1. Hi Tegan,
      Mowing and fertilising frequently will promote lawn growth, like mow every week and fertilise every 4 weeks ( but only lightly). Weed and feed will help, but my guess is the prickles will be hard to remove and will require a selective herbicide, best thing to do will take a sample to your local landscapes supplies and ask them to identify the weed, then purchase the correct herbicide for that weed.
      Terry

  8. Half of our backyard is full of bindis, I have sprayed with no big effect… there is a lot of rock in our area so the backyard has lots under the grass… the bindis went brown once sprayed !! Do I remove them by hand as we have a dog and she is continually full of them?? My only problem is there is no grass in that area, do I cover with mulch etc ??

    1. Hi Nicole, once you have sprayed them and they are dead, you could then top dress those bare areas with clean soil as this will promote new growth from the existing lawn around those patches.

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