Chamberbitter is also known as Gripeweed, Shatterstone, Stonebreaker, or Leafflower.
It is a common broadleaf weed that grows in warm soils in early summer.
What does Chamberbitter look like?
Make sure you are dealing with Chamberbitter. If you misidentify it, it will cost you both time and money.
Here are a few pointers which help to identify the plant.
- It belongs to the spurge family. People often confuse it with the Mimosa tree as its leaves look similar.
- It produces seeds when it’s just an inch tall. The seeds are attached to the lateral branches at the axils of leaves.
- Chamberbitter is a slender shrub with alternate leaves that look oblong.
- The stems branch out and can be reddish in color.
Use these pointers and the image to identify the weed properly.
Where do you find this weed?
After you identify it correctly, it’s time now to look where it grows.
You’ll also come to know why it invaded your garden/lawn in the first place and how severe the infestation is.
It usually appears in warm conditions, i.e., May or June. You’ll most probably find them in Ornamental beds and turfgrass.
Chamberbitter grows upright and develops strong taproot system overtime.
Is Chamberbitter poisonous?
Chamberbitter weed isn’t actually poisonous. It has medicinal value.
Some people eat it as it doesn’t release white milky sap as other spurges do.
How to control Chamberbitter?
Weeds are every gardener’s nightmare. Gripeweed/Chamberbitter weed is the darkest of such nightmares.
They literally appear overnight in landscape gardens.
It grows quickly and is tolerant of drought. Some manual methods may prove useless as the seeds will explode and the weed spreads even more.
It’s not possible to completely rid your garden of this weed. You can totally manage its spread though.
How do you manage such a pesky weed?
Pull these weeds out by hand as soon as you see them. It’s quite easy to pull these weeds when they are young.
They are not supported by any underground rhizomes or bulbs.
If these weeds are in the landscape beds, pulling them manually will be a tad bit safe.
Water the soil a day before you wreak havoc on these weeds. It’ll be easier to pull them out.
What kills Chamberbitter in the lawn?
Hand pulling of these weeds may not be ideal in all cases. It’s only ideal when the seeds aren’t produced and the weeds are young.
In such cases, chemical control is the only option. Always wear safety gloves, glasses, and other accessories before applying herbicides.
As you know pre-emergent herbicides work to prevent new weeds from sprouting. So, timing is critical.
Pre-emergent herbicides work well on annual weeds like Gripeweed/Chamberbitter weed.
Spraying a pre-emergent in April works wonders.
Atrazine can control weed growth in Centipede grass and St.Augustine grass. Spray it on areas where you saw the Chamberbitter weed in the previous season.
Spray Atrazine when the grass is green so as to cause the least harm to the turf.
Isoxaben works well on Gripeweed(Chamberbitter).
This is a selective herbicide and works on the weed in tall fescue, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, bermudagrass, and zoysiagrass lawns.
Isoxaben comes as granules. Water the areas well after you treat them with granules. This helps it sink into the soil and prevent weeds from emerging.
Use post-emergent herbicide on young weeds. Established weeds are harder to get rid of.
Atrazine works well for the eradication of Chamberbitter weed in St.Augustine and Centipede grass lawns. It has both pre-emergent and post-emergent properties.
Spray it once more after 30 days of the first application. This will take care of the weeds.
What kills Chamberbitter in the flower beds?
You need to be careful when dealing with Chamberbitter in your flowerbeds. You don’t wanna hurt your ornamentals.
Glyphosate can be used to control Chamberbitter weeds. As you probably know, Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide.
Do not let it fall on any of your desirable plants. Do not spray when it’s windy.
Use low pressure when spraying and keep the nozzle close to the ground. Spot spray the weeds!
Tip: You can use a cone-shaped shield to surround the nozzle, so only the select plant is sprayed.
Shields can be made from bottomless two-liter water bottles. Alternatively, you can cover your ornamentals with cardboard.
I recommend Glyphosate as you can spray it without any doubt in ornamentals beds.
Glyphosate will not get into the soil, it won’t get absorbed by the roots of ornamentals. So, there’s no way you could harm the ornamental plants.
Isoxaben can be applied in landscape beds if the plants are well established. It’s better to apply pre-emergent below the mulch as that’s where the weed seeds are.
Do not spray Isoxaben on landscape beds where you plan to plant new plants. Applying pre-emergents will deter their growth.
You should spray pre-emergent herbicides in late April and once again in mid-June.
How to prevent Chamberbitter?
Preventing Chamberbitter in the first place is ideal. You shouldn’t be fighting weeds. It takes a lot of time and you have to shift focus away from the things that matter.
Spraying pre-emergents works well as we talked about before. But ideally, you need to practice natural ways to achieve this.
Within landscape beds, apply 2-3 inches layer of mulch. This doesn’t let sunlight reach the soil, where the seeds are actually present.
You need to maintain a healthy lawn in order to control this weed. If turf is properly mowed then there will be no scope for the weeds to thrive.