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How to control buttonweedButtonweed Control Tips and Recommendations

One of the most problematic weeds in the transition zone and in warm season areas are buttonweed, particularly the Virginia buttonweed. As summertime dwindles down into the fall season, we see quite an uptick in customers calling Solutions to ask about how to deal with buttonweed so we thought we’d address it right here in our knowledge base.

Buttonweed Background Information

Virginia buttonweed (Diodia virginiana) is one of the leading weeds which invade lawns in the Southern part of the U.S. and can creep and spread onto lawns in a very short period of time. Buttonweed is a warm-season perennial weed that begins growing in spring and grows through the summer. By the time fall arrives, the thick matting growth from buttonweed can actually crowd out lawn grass in patches where it grows.

One of the problems with this weed is that not only does it produces seeds but it also spreads through underground root systems called rhizomes. When mowing it, if you happen to leave the broken pieces of plant where they’ve been cut, they can go back into the ground and reroot and continue the spreading. Buttonweed can tolerate very low mowing heights of even as low of ½ an inch. Mowing high would be a good way to combat this to keep this weed from becoming a real problem.

Virginia buttonweed is source of frustration for even the most seasoned lawn maintainers as it’s not easily controlled by most lawn weed killers you’d find at your local garden center or big-box store. It is one of the most difficult broadleaf lawn weeds to keep in check. For a pesky persistent weeds such as this, it’d be wise to break out the professional grade herbicides we carry at Solutions Pest and Lawn.

For more information on controlling buttonweed on your lawn and to get personalized advice and a plan of action from experts, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

The best products to control Virginia Button Weed:

A multiple active ingredient lawn weed killer that contains carfentrazone should work best which is included in Speedzone herbicide. However, if you’re wanting to go with the economical option, we’d suggest MSM Turf as it is much cheaper for those on a budget. If for some reason these products do not provide adequate control, another professional option to try is Celsius herbicide.


The best time to control buttonweed is in the springtime. Make an application of one of the above recommended products over the entire lawn in early April and again in early May. You also should expect to make repeated herbicide applications through the summer if your patch of buttonweed is especially stubborn..


During the summer, the recommended lawn weed killers are more likely to discolor or damage the lawn due to high temperatures. (This is most likely to happen to St. Augustine; centipede, zoysia and Bermuda are less likely to be damaged). To offset the risks of burning your lawn, we recommend to spot treat your lawn during the summer heat and selectively spray just the patches or spots where the buttonweed is growing. Be persistent.


According to university research from LSU, it often takes four applications of herbicide to keep this weed in check and under control. Make repeated applications as needed through the summer following label directions for best control. Spot treating patches of buttonweed is about the best you can do in the late fall


The following year, make sure to start your control and management routine early in the spring rather than waiting until late summer to notice this weed and begin control. Buttonweed should be easier to control when they are smaller rather than when they are fully established near the end of summer. Persistence is the key so make sure to stay on top of things on your lawn.

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