White clover is a plant that is either loved or hated by the homeowner. Knowing how to control white clover in lawns and garden beds is helpful. Get more info in this article and get ahead of this weed. This is an article on identifying and controlling Weeds with Flowers. Learn what is growing in your lawn and how to get rid of it. Weeds have flowers too - but don’t be fooled! If you have lawn weeds with white flowers, it often spells trouble. I’ll help you identify 10 of the most common.
Killing White Clover – How To Control White Clover In Lawns And Gardens
White clover is a plant that is either loved or hated by the homeowner. For many gardeners who did not intentionally plant white clover, knowing how to control white clover in lawns and garden beds is helpful. Getting rid of white clover once it is established can be tricky, but it can be done if you have the right tools and patience. Let’s take a look at how to identify and how to get rid of white clover.
White Clover Identification
White clover is a perennial weed that grows low to the ground. While it can grow in many different places, it is typically found in lawns, especially sparse lawns where the competition from grass is weak.
The leaves on white clover grow in sets of 3 leaflets. Each leaflet is tear shaped and many have a reddish stripe across it. The flowers on white clover are spiky and white with a brownish green center.
White clover grows in a creeping manner and will develop roots where ever a stem node touches the ground.
How to Get Rid of White Clover
Getting rid of white clover starts with a healthy lawn. Clover will grow in areas of low nitrogen and where competition from other plants is small, so making sure that your lawn (and flower beds) are well fertilized will not only help desirable grass and plants to grow and keep out white clover, but will also make the soil less friendly to white clover.
In flower beds, clover can be kept at bay by using a thick layer of mulch. This will keep the seeds from germinating.
If white clover is already established in your yard, controlling it can either be done through hand pulling or by using an herbicide. In either case, while killing the white clover already in your lawn is easy, you need to understand that killing white clover seeds is not. The seeds can survive high heat, low temperatures and can stay dormant for years before germinating. Whichever method you choose for getting rid of white clover, you can expect to be doing it once a year to control the white clover plants that emerge from the seeds.
Hand pulling white clover
Hand pulling is an organic and common way to get rid of white clover. White clover frequently grows in clumps, which make hand pulling easy and efficient. When hand pulling white clover, make sure that you pull out as much of the root system as possible to prevent regrowth.
Herbicide for white clover
Killing white clover with herbicide is also a common way to deal with this weed, especially over larger areas. The problem with using herbicides is that the only herbicide effective at controlling white clover is non-selective weed killers. These herbicides will kill the white clover, but will also kill any other plants it comes in contact with.
Herbicides also may not kill the root system of mature clover, which means that they can grow back. If you decide to use herbicides for getting rid of white clover, the best time to do this is on a warm, cloudless and windless day.
Knowing how to get rid of white clover from lawns and flower beds can be a bit tricky, but it can be done. Patience and persistence while getting rid of white clover will pay off.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.
Identifying Common Weeds: A Guide with Pictures
Despite all the trouble that weeds bring to your lawn, some of them can be quite beautiful. Now, by no means is that an endorsement of the notion that you should just allow them to bloom and take over your lawn. Instead, let’s turn the beautiful flowers that some weeds produce into a means of identifying and attacking them before they get too far along.
That’s what this article is all about. We’re going to look at common weeds with white, yellow, pink, purple, and blue flowers. You’ll not only have a visual representation of each weed to guide you, but included in each weed identification will be the physical description of each of these pesky invaders. You’ll also learn about the problems they can cause in your lawn along with how you can control and eliminate them from your yard.
Some weeds grow taller than others, but it doesn’t make them any less bothersome. So, besides the weeds you find growing nearer the surface of your lawn, we’ll also detail lawn and garden weeds that grow a bit taller before their flowers bloom.
So check out this comprehensive article before these troublesome, although beautiful, common weeds show up on your lawn and become too difficult to control.
After you identify the invasive plants in your lawn, you’ll want to make sure you are taking care of your grass properly for a beautiful lawn. If you have Bermuda grass, make sure to check our guide on how to maintain a beautiful Bermuda grass lawn.
Weeds With White Flowers
White clover is one of the most common lawn weeds. This broadleaf perennial weed has compound leaves with 3 broad leaflets that you’re probably very familiar with. Each leaf has tiny teeth running along its edges and a very pale triangular mark across its surface. Each leaf is rounded and can grow to breadths of from ¼ to 1 inch.
The long, pea-like small white flower appears from May to September and can also be very pale pink in color. Each flower grows on separate stalks from the leaves, with 40 to 100 individual florets making up each of the flower heads.
White clover is a common lawn weed that grows prodigiously and very aggressively. Coupled with the fact that the weed employs nitrogen fixation, it is very opportunistic and grows on soils with poor fertility. Having a smaller amount of these common weeds in your lawn isn’t necessarily bad because it is a natural fertilizer. In fact, if 5% of your lawn is made up of clover, the entire lawn receives an adequate supply of nitrogen.
That being said, clover growth is very difficult to control. And any problems you have on your lawn will make it that much easier for clover to outgrow your desired turfgrass. Because of its growth rate and the likelihood that it will overtake your desired grass, it’s recommended that you rid your lawn of this common broadleaf weed.
Weed Control Methods
You can control the growth of this common lawn weed on your property by pulling it from the ground. This is generally recommended for smaller areas of white clover.
Natural control methods include mulching over the area and mowing your grass at a higher level. There are both natural and chemical applications for clover growth.
The best way to control white clover is through proper lawn care practices and preventative maintenance.
Common chickweed is a low-growing winter annual weed that germinates in cool, wet weather. Its smooth leaves are elliptical in shape and grow opposite each other. The chickweed grows in a dense mat across the ground that branches out frequently near the base. Branching occurs less frequently the further out you travel from the base of the plant. The leaves are somewhat hairy on the bottom surface and hairless on the top.
The white flowers of this winter annual are small and comprise 5 petals that, at first glance, appear to be 10. The bifid petals surround a light green ovary. The flowers are single or in leafy clusters at the end of branching stems and are about ¼ of an inch wide.
Controlling the growth of this annual weed is extremely difficult. Its aggressive growth can smother the desired vegetation in your lawn or garden.
Of greater concern is that the common chickweed is a reservoir for insect pests and plant viruses.
Weed Control Methods
Whenever possible, you should rely on natural control methods like hand weeding, cultivation, mulching, and solarization to combat this weed. If you’re able to catch common chickweed early, these manual methods should be able to rid your lawn of it.
As always, ensuring the health of your lawn and its vigor by using proper lawn care practices and preventative maintenance is the best way to combat chickweed. It will ensure that it doesn’t have room to grow in the first place.
However, if you feel that a chemical alternative is your best option, then several quality pre and post-emergent products are commercially available to purchase. It’s advised that you use a pre-emergent product and prevent this weed from showing up on your lawn. Because once it spreads, it becomes challenging to contain.
Mouse Ear Chickweed
Mouse-ear chickweed closely resembles common chickweed because it grows in dense, low growing mats, but its growth is not as aggressive. The grey-green leaves of this perennial weed are thick and covered in fine hairs.
Flowers bloom from early spring through the late fall months. The flowers have 5 white petals and can be found in clusters on elongated stems. Each petal is deeply notched in the middle and gives the appearance of having two separate petals, but what you’re seeing is a single petal. The white flowers of the mouse ear chickweed are self-pollinated or pollinated by flies.
The most common problem associated with mouse-ear chickweed is that they are an alternative host for Cucumber Mosaic Virus. Plant viruses like this have no known cure and result in the leaves of infected plants becoming mottled and then curling in on themselves. The fruits of infected plants may experience a degree of yellowing.
The density of the mat formed by the leaves is capable of smothering other plants that grow near it.
Weed Control Methods
You can reduce germination frequency by disturbing the seedlings as they sprout with a garden rake or a hoe. By not allowing these garden weeds to mature through regular cultivation of the ground, you will eventually quell the seed’s ability to germinate.
Using a weed burner on the top growth is also an effective means of controlling mouse-ear chickweed as well. The weed should not be able to recover from the death of the top growth, and you’ll also kill any seeds that are in the topsoil as well.
A pre-emergent herbicide will suppress the germination of these weeds in your lawns and gardens. If mouse-ear chickweed has already appeared in your flower beds or gardens, a systemic herbicide like glyphosate will effectively kill the weed plants.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that this commonly purchased flower is actually a broadleaf perennial weed. The basal leaves are oval-shaped and can be hairy or smooth. They also may or may not be toothed. The leaves are low growing and spread along the ground to form a dense mat of rosettes. The leaves generally have a broad outer tip that narrows as it moves back towards the base.
The flowers of the daisy are complex around a thick yellow center. The flowers can be white to pinkish-red and can bloom throughout the entire year. Even in the dead of winter, you might just find a daisy flower.
If left unchecked, the mat formed by the leaves can smother other plants. The growth of this perennial lawn weed is vigorous, and there is the possibility that it could out-compete your desirable grass or plants. The daisy can be found in lawns, garden beds, and flower beds.
Weed Control Methods
If the infestation of daisies in your lawns and gardens is slight, you can easily remove them with a hand rake or trowel. The plant’s root system is not strong, so removing the daisy at its growing point in the soil should do the trick. The odds that the roots will regenerate are slim.
In lawns, ensuring that it is healthy and grows in a manner that outperforms the weed plant is the best way to prevent them from appearing. You can also mitigate an infestation by not mowing the grass too short and watering the lawn properly during dry periods.
Chemically, because of the likelihood that the daisy will appear alongside desired vegetation, make sure to use a selective herbicide for broadleaf weeds. If a non-selective herbicide is used, make sure to take proper precautions to prevent overspray onto your flowers and other plants.
Weeds With Yellow Flowers
The dark green leaves of these broadleaf perennial weeds are deeply toothed and jagged. The leaves of the dandelion plant are low growing and form a rosette near the earth. The leaves are sturdy and will remain dark green throughout the entire year.
The vertically growing taproot is resilient, and even small pieces left alive in the soil after removal results in the dandelion plant’s regeneration.
The yellow flowers comprise a collection of individual florets. A yellow flower forms at the center of the rosette and is lifted upward by a hollow stem. As the weed seeds prepare to ripen, the flower heads will close up and the hollow stem will fall back towards the ground. Once the weed seeds have ripened, the stem will rise upward again, this time with a ball of dandelion seeds that have what are essentially wind sails attached to them. These “sails” support the dispersal of the seed on the wind.
Dandelions are most commonly found growing in lawns amongst the grass but can be found in gardens and flower beds if the conditions are appropriate.
Every part of the dandelion plant releases ethylene gas that has an allelopathic effect on surrounding plants and inhibits their growth.
The virile growth of dandelions might out-compete the growth of your desirable grasses and plants. The seed head that rests upon the stalk is easily dispersed over great distances. If your turf is weakened or compromised, once the dandelion establishes its taproot, they become challenging to remove. It is nearly a guarantee that new plants will form if any portion of the taproot remains alive in the earth.
Weed Control Methods
There are several selective and non-selective chemical applications, along with several organic alternatives. You can also use a weed burner specifically designed to control dandelions.
Because dandelion plants are difficult to control, the best way to deal with them is to make sure that they don’t show up in the first place. Preventative maintenance with proper lawn care practices is usually the best remedy for any potential lawn problem.
Using both pre and post-emergent herbicides and making sure that any of the taproot left behind in the soil is killed is a good recipe for dandelion control.
This perennial weed has leaves that consist of three leaflets that are lobed and turn light green in color as the plant matures. The center leaflet of the creeping buttercup has a long stalk. The leaves grow prostrate and spread along the ground as far as 5 square yards per year.
The bright yellow flowers of these perennial weeds have 5 petals that appear shiny in direct sunlight. The flowers bloom from May to August and rest upon a grooved stalk that can grow as tall as 1 foot.
In lawns and gardens, the perennial weed is a problem because its low growth habit makes it resistant to mowing and the leaves are resilient to traffic.
A toxin in the plant can cause gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed by your pets. The creeping buttercup is thought to be harmful to the plants surrounding it because it depletes potassium in the soil, affecting its availability to surrounding grass and ornamental plants.
Weed Control Methods
Removing the creeping buttercup at its growing point at the soil level should be sufficient to prevent regeneration. Cut the stalks at an angle under the rosette formed by the leaves and removal should be relatively easy.
The weeds prefer moist soil. Ensuring that your lawn drains appropriately and that the soil is not compact will go a long way at preventing these weeds.
Because the viability of the seeds in the ground is so long, chemical treatment will most likely take several applications to eliminate them from your lawns and gardens. This is best accomplished using a weed and feed product to ensure that the other desirable plants and grass are receiving an adequate infusion of nutrients as you combat the creeping buttercup.
The seeds have been shown to remain viable for up to 80 years, so the likelihood of encountering new plants after the first application of your weed and feed product or preferred herbicide is very high.
Purslane is a summer annual weed that grows as tall as 6 inches with a breadth of up to 2 feet. Purslane is a succulent with stems that are thick and round at the base of the plant. The succulent weed is very tolerant of drought and heat and only grows in the hottest months of the year.
The leaves of the purslane plant are broad and rounded at the tip and narrow at the base. Both the stems and leaves often have a reddish tint to them. The leaves of the purslane alternate and are often clustered at the end of its branches.
The purslane blooms pale yellow flowers that consist of four to six broad round petals. The flowers are sessile and not raised upon a stalk. These yellow flowers are solitary and arranged in the leaf axils. You will often find several individual flowers close together within the leaf clusters at the end of its branches.
It should be noted that some of the flowers can be pink instead of yellow.
This summer annual plant can be difficult to control because of its various survival methods. Even after you think you have rid yourself of your purslane problems, new shoots will somehow defy the odds and emerge out of your turf.
Because of its survival mechanisms and its ability to disperse seed far from their source, purslane can outgrow desired species completely and overtake areas of your lawns and gardens.
Weed Control Methods
Gardeners should deal with this annual weed while it is young. Once it has spread its seed, it can become challenging to control. This weed is best controlled by pulling it from the earth. An herbicidal application may not be necessary.
Because of the seed’s ability to ripen after the mother plant has been pulled from the ground, the key to dealing with this annual weed plant is in how you dispose of it. Do not mix them into your compost pile because they can ripen and germinate in that environment. Place the plants that you pull from the soil into a bag and close the top of it when you are finished.
Ensure that when you pull this weed from the ground that you do not leave any living piece of its root system in the soil because it can regenerate.
Weeds With Pink Flowers
Red clover is a perennial weed of the same family as the white clover you read about earlier. The two are nearly identical plants, but red clover has slightly longer leaves than white clover and has a more rounded edge.
The dark pink flowers appear in dense clusters of tightly packed florets. Again, the flower is nearly identical to that of white clover, except these flowers are pink. The pink flowers of this perennial appear from May to September.
This low growing perennial is not as aggressive as its cousin. Red clover is found in lawns with depleted nitrogen. This can occur in compact soil or excessively moist soil that has experienced nutrient runoff.
Its appearance is likely a sign of larger problems in the overall health of your lawn.
Weed Control Methods
Because it is not as aggressive as white clover, red clover can easily be pulled from the soil. You will need to remove it from the main growing point. Red clover has a fine root system that will not regenerate once the plant has been pulled from the earth.
A selective product, both pre and post-emergent, can effectively kill this perennial weed without damaging your desired grasses that surround it.
This perennial broadleaf weed is a member of the mint family and can be found in lawns and gardens with a wide variety of growing conditions. The selfheal has leaves that are oval with slightly scalloped edges. The surface of the leaves of this perennial weed can range from smooth to slightly hairy.
The flowers of this perennial weed can range from pink to purple and can be found from May through September. The flowers appear at the end of the terminal spikes of the plant’s stem. The flowers will appear in vertical layers growing out from the terminal spike of the stem.
Because selfheal is low-growing, it can survive when you lower the blade of your lawn mower. As it spreads, it can restrict and prohibit the growth of your desired grass and plants. Left unchecked, this perennial weed will spread its root system far enough that you will have to completely remove sections of your lawn and re-seed or sod that area with new turfgrass.
Weed Control Methods
If you notice a small number of these weeds growing on your lawn, you should be able to remove them by hand and be done with it.
The best practice for dealing with selfheal is, as always, proper lawn care practices and preventative maintenance. Effective and proper lawn mowing practices should suffice to prevent these perennial weeds from developing seeds.
If your infestation has grown to more than just a few of these weeds, a selective post-emergent herbicide should work well. One application of an herbicide should be enough to wipe out these weeds, but cover all your bases and give the area another dose of the selective product after a month.
Spear thistle is a biennial weed that can grow taller than 3′ in its second year of life. The dark green leaves have spines that cover the edges and the surfaced. The leaves of these biennial weeds are lighter on the bottom because of the dense growth of fine hairs. They are deeply lobed with a long spine at the top of each lobe. In its first year of growth, the spear thistle grows outwardly along the ground and shoots up vertically in its second year.
The new vertically growing shoots produce many compound pink or purple flowers. The flowers comprise tufts of pink petals growing from spheres of spined bracts.
If your uncovered skin comes into contact with the spines of this biennial weed, you’ll experience some localized pain at the contact site.
The spear thistle will colonize primarily in undisturbed and uncultivated areas like pastures and roadsides. This can prove to be a problem for those of you with hayfields. These weeds also have a bitter taste that keeps grazing animals from controlling their growth through foraging.
The large size and rapid growth of these weeds will out-compete the growth of desirable plants. If allowed to grow into their second year, the spear thistle can wind up shading desirable plants throughout the growing season and inhibit their growth.
Weed Control Methods
Spear thistle reproduces only through seeding, so it’s important to get to them before fresh seeding occurs. In gardens, spear thistle is destroyed by surface cultivations in the spring and by hoeing or tilling the ground as necessary. Young plants should be removed at the rosette stage in the first year of growth.
Spear thistle weeds can be pulled from the ground when in bloom or cut below the rosette at the taproot in the first year of growth. Manual pulling is best done in moist soil in the spring and fall.
A non-selective herbicide can be used to kill these weeds. Because of their voracious growth, it’s best to treat them with the chemical before the flowers have bloomed and the seeds are beginning to spread.
Weeds With Purple or Blue Flowers
Creeping Charlie (Ground Ivy)
Creeping Charlie (ground ivy) is a perennial weed that spreads by seed and grows along the ground. Creeping charlie (ground ivy) produces round or heart-shaped leaves that are bright green and have scalloped edges. The leaves grow opposite one another on the square, creeping stems that take root at the nodes.
The purple or bluish flowers bloom in the spring months. The flowers are funnel-shaped and tend to open towards the ground because of their weight at the end of the stem.
The primary issue caused by creeping charlie (ground ivy) is that its growth will out complete desired plants and eventually smother them. Creeping charlie (ground ivy) thrives in moist soil and shaded areas, so your desired plants in these spots are already at a disadvantage.
Weed Control Methods
If your lawn has areas that are prime for creeping charlie to overtake, then you need to amend them as soon as possible. You can do this by opening up the area so that it receives more sunlight and improving the drainage of the soil.
Proper mowing techniques are another good defense at keeping this perennial weed off of your lawn. Once these weeds are fully established, they are extremely difficult to remove completely by hand.
If creeping charlie (ground ivy) has already established itself, you can use a selective post-emergent herbicide to quell the invasion, but preventing these lawn weeds from showing up in the first place is the best course of action.
Wild violet is a bit of a misnomer. It’s a collection of different wildflowers that have a few specific features in common. The truth of the matter is that they are altogether different plants. To add more confusion to the identification of this plant, it is also related to both pansies and violas. They have some structural components that are very similar.
Some folks cultivate wild violet as a desired ornamental in their lawns and gardens. Others see wild violet as nothing more than an aggressively growing broadleaf perennial weed plant that needs to be eradicated.
Wild violets have heart-shaped leaves with rounded teeth on their edges and come to a point at the peak.
Wild violets spread through seed and through short rhizomes that can be found at the base of the plant. The rhizomes can be found at the base of the plant and are native to every different species of wild violet. You can find this perennial weed in various growing conditions ranging from sunny, drought-like conditions to shaded areas where the soil is full of moisture.
The flowers of the wild violet vary depending on the species that you encounter. The colors range from dark blue, to the spectrum of purple shades, to yellow, all the way to white. What each species flower has in common is that it consists of 5 petals and sepals that are bilaterally or radially symmetrical. Sometimes, a separate, lower petal is larger and projects backward like a boot spur. Here are some pictures of the more common wild violet flowers:
Lawn Weeds with White Flowers (10 Types)
Toward the end of spring and the start of summer, I love to look out my window and see white flowers popping up throughout my yard as my flower beds bloom.
But when white flowers are dotting my lawn, I know it could mean trouble. I have seen at least 10 types of lawn weeds with white flowers and they have all been unwanted at one time or another. I’m going to help you spot them in this post so you can deal with them before they become a problem.
Most Common Lawn Weeds with White Flowers (Short Answer)
The most common lawn weeds with little white flowers are white clover, chickweed, Queen Ann’s Lace, daisy, fleabanes, and hairy bittercress. Some tall weeds with small white flowers are yarrow, mayweed, pearlwort, and stinging nettle.
A Closer Look at Lawn Weeds with White Flowers
When you see little white flowers in the grass in spring, it could mean a range of things for your lawn. Some of these weeds can be helpful such as white clover. Others can be toxic to humans and pets like mayweed. Knowing what each plant does, looks like, and most importantly how to get rid of the bad ones will aid you in attaining lawn zen.
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
What It Does: While allowing clover to colonize 5% of your lawn can be beneficial for nitrogen-fixing, clover is a fast-growing aggressive weed that can take over large portions of a lawn. It develops a deep root system that makes it hard to remove completely.
What It Looks Like: This lawn weed is most recognizable by its little white flowers and three round leaves. The leaves have a white V near the tips and they can grow up to 7in tall.
How to Get Rid of It: Due to its extensive root system, white clover is a tough lawn weed to remove. The most effective way to get rid of these white flower weeds in the grass is to pull them by hand. If the area is small and you can pull up the entire root then you can stop the problem. If the area is larger you can mow higher to choke it out or mulch over it.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
What It Does: This lawn weed with white flowers is most commonly found in overwatered lawns. It grows rapidly in a matting pattern that can choke out turf. Chickweed is a cold-loving annual and also a common carrier of plant pests and viruses that could do even more damage to your lawn.
What It Looks Like: Chickweed is covered in small white flowers that bloom in spring. The leaves are hairy along the bottom of the plant and become hairless at the top. The white flowers grow as a single flower or in clusters at the end of the stems.
How to Get Rid of It: The roots of this lawn weed with little white flowers grow very shallowly. If you are dealing with a small patch of lawn you can remove them by hand pulling. If you are dealing with a larger area you can apply a broadleaf herbicide.
Queen Ann’s Lace (Daucus carota)
What It Does: Also known as wild carrot, this weed produces huge clusters of little white flowers. Each of these flowers can spread as many as 40,000 seeds making it difficult to contain. The only danger this weed poses is that it looks almost identical to Poison Hemlock, a white flower-producing weed that is highly toxic to humans and pets.
What It Looks Like: Queen Ann’s Lace is a close relative to the garden carrot. It has green hairy stems (Poison Hemlock stems are purple, blotchy, and hairless) with a flat, white, and lacy flower. It can grow up to 4ft tall.
How to Get Rid of It: This tall weed with small white flowers only blooms in its second year of growth. If you dig them out before blooming, you can remove this weed without the risk of spreading its numerous seeds. A strong herbicide can be used if the flowers have already produced seeds.
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
What It Does: In moist soil and full sun, daisies can quickly spread and overtake a lawn. Daisy weeds can propagate via rhizome and they also produce seeds making them hard to control. The low-growing leaves form a mat that can choke out surrounding turf.
What It Looks Like: This is one of the most common little white flowers in the grass in spring. I have even seen daisies pop up during a mild winter. The flowers have white petals and a noticeable yellow center.
How to Get Rid of It: Unlike other lawn weeds with white flowers on this list, daisies have very weak roots and can easily be pulled up using a daisy grubber. A post-emergent herbicide can help control future outbreaks.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.)
What It Does: These lawn weeds grow in neglected and compacted soil along the edge of a property. They spread quickly by nettle (burred seed) and produce underground stems. Brushing these weeds with your skin can result in burning and stinging pain.
What It Looks Like: Nettles are easy to recognize by their long bristly stems and stinging hairs on their leaves. The upper leaves of this weed produce white drooping flowers.
How to Get Rid of It: The best way to get rid of nettles is to continuously cut them back until they die off. Once they have died, you can pull the entire root and rhizome out to prevent them from spreading. For chemical control, you should apply a non-selective herbicide which is most effective between spring and fall.
Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
What It Does: This lawn weed with small white flowers is a relative of the mustard family. It gets an early start in the year and spreads rapidly. By late spring, the flowers have developed, and by summer, it forms long seed pods. When they burst, they send hundreds of seeds in every direction. They have long taproots and re-emerge if not completely removed.
What It Looks Like: Hairy bittercress is a ground weed that grows low and spreads quickly. It has round leaves in sets of three. By May, small white flowers can be seen growing between the leaves and the tap root will be thicker.
How to Get Rid of It: Due to its long tap root and heavy seed production, eradicating this weed is difficult. The only way I know how to get rid of white flower weeds in the grass when you can’t pull them is to use a post-emergent herbicide. This should prevent it from coming back next spring.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
What It Does: This lawn weed commonly occurs in yards stressed by drought that are under-fertilized. If this condition occurs and yarrow is present, it will take off and choke out your turf. Yarrow is a mat-forming weed and spreads by rhizome stems that root at intervals.
What It Looks Like: This lawn weed with little white flowers can best be identified by its fern-like leaves. It can grow up to 3ft high and flowers from late May to summer. Yarrow produces green/grey leaves and thick roots.
How to Get Rid of It: Yarrow is hard to control and is resistant to selective herbicides. The best way to control this weed is by watering and fertilizing your lawn. Using repeated applications of non-selective herbicides can weaken this weed. In the spring, top dress early to choke out any remaining yarrow.
Mayweed (Anthemis cotula)
What It Does: This is a common lawn weed that grows in open spaces and flowers annually. It grows quickly and spreads rapidly by seed. Mayweed can cause skin irritation if touched and is toxic to animals. It is important to remove this weed right away.
What It Looks Like: While the flower of the mayweed resembles a daisy, that’s where the similarities end. The leaves are different, more fern-like, and resemble a fennel or chamomile plant. They grow to about 2ft and produce an unpleasant odor.
How to Get Rid of It: Tiny areas of this lawn weed with small white flowers can be hand-pulled. Make sure you either wear gloves or use a daisy grubber as the leaves cause skin irritations. For larger areas, you can use an herbicide, but make sure to get rid of the waste so it is inaccessible to animals.
Pearlwort (Sagina procumbens)
What It Does: Cutting a lawn too short can make it susceptible to a pearlwort infestation. These lawn weeds with little white flowers grow close to the ground in a matting pattern. They produce hundreds of seeds that get spread when mowed or walked on. This weed can quickly overtake a lawn.
What It Looks Like: Pearlwort is a creeping plant that can be mistaken for moss. It prefers cool moist areas and populates to make seeds quickly. The leaves of this weed are narrow and it only grows to around 4in tall. It has fine roots and it produces several branches. These branches support the white flowers.
How to Get Rid of It: The best way to deal with this lawn weed is by having a thick turf. Regular watering and fertilization will prevent pearlwort from taking over. If it is already out of control, you can apply a herbicide that is absorbed through the plant’s leaves. This will weaken it and allow your turf to take hold again.
Fleabanes (Erigeron sp.)
What It Does: These weeds establish deep taproots and spread by seed. They grow quickly in open sunny places and can outcompete turf in poor-quality soil.
What It Looks Like: Fleabanes look like miniature daisies. They grow multiple stems and each stem has a tiny white flower with a yellow center. They also grow tiny hairs along the stalks. The flowers open in summer and can also bloom a second time in fall.
How to Get Rid of It: If you control this weed early in the spring, you can hand pull it. However, if you allow the fibrous roots to turn into a hard taproot, it becomes much more difficult to remove. In this case, you will have to apply a non-selective herbicide. These lawn weeds with little white flowers aren’t as invasive as the other lawn weeds, so they can be left alone if they are not in an unsightly area.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the “lawn mower guru” (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
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