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Identifying The Most Common Lawn Weeds Homeowners Hate

Camille Landry posted this on Jun 23, 2017

Weeds are the number one enemy to your home’s lawn and the number one object of frustration to a lawn owner. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do--mowing, pulling, digging--they just keep coming back and rearing their ugly flower heads.


Depending on what region of the country you are in and what the climate is you can encounter a variety of problematic weeds on your lawn, from grassy weeds to broadleaf weeds. There may even be times when you stop seeing one particular weed only to have another weed replace it and hang around your lawn and drive you nuts.


So what is a lawn owner to do when these weeds come about? Well first things first, you need to identify what type of weed you are dealing with. There are a large selection of herbicides out there that can lay waste to those irritating weeds but certain products work better than other so identification is key.


Unfortunately, identifying weeds independently is usually not that easy. You may get a weed type mixed up and buy a product that won’t work on it, wasting precious time and money. It’s best to do your homework when identifying weeds or turn to the experts for guidance.


Our customers here at Solutions Pest & Lawn have the option of contacting us, sending a picture of their weed problem at identification@solutionsstores.com where we would respond back with the proper ID for their lawn weed. To streamline things a little better, we put together this article of the most common weeds which creep up onto lawns as well as the best products to use to eliminate the weeds.


We suggest bookmarking this article and referring to it whenever you have weeds emerge on your lawn. Without further ado, here are the most common lawn weeds which landowners encounter most often:


SEE ALSO: Check out our Grassy Weed and Broadleaf Weed Sections for More Info


Annual Bluegrass


Also known as Poa Annua, annual bluegrass is a light green annual grass which appears in the cool-season. It usually grows in bunches or clumps and has multiple seeds, especially in the springtime which makes it standout on turf. Can be identified by it’s smooth leaves with a boat-shaped tip.


Treatment Options: Prodiamine 65 WDG (Pre-emergent) Revolver Herbicide (Post-emergent)




Vine like weed that will wrap around garden plants and shade out lawns. Can often be confused with another weed called Morning Glory. They grow leaves which are shaped like an arrowhead and also grow trumpet-shaped flowers that are either white or pink. This is a very persistent weed with a extensive root system.


Treatment Options: RoundUp Pro Weed Killer (Post-emergent)




Primarily a winter annual weed, chickweed grows in a sprawling fashion and has egg-shaped leaves which are opposite. This weed can also be identified by its hairy stems and an inner core. This plant is known to very thickly cover an area and is also known to creep onto new lawns.


Similar Weeds: Satin Flower, Starweed, Starwort


Treatment Options: QUALI-PRO T/I 2.5 G Herbicide  (Pre-emergent) Trimac Southern Broadleaf Herbicide (Post-emergent)





Clover is a cool-weather weed that is a prime indicator of poor soil and the necessity to apply fertilizer. There are various types of clover (red clover, white clover etc.) which can be identified via a stem with three small leaves (or leaflets) which are petal shaped and have crescent in the shape of a white letter “V” on each leaf.


Treatment Options:Triclopyr 4 Brush Killer (Garlon 4) (Post-emergent)




Crabgrass can be identified via its wide leaves, or blades, and dense growth. This is typical of crabgrass that has plenty of suns, moisture, and no competition. Blades will be darker in color and make it stand out on the lawn. The ends of the blade will come to a point if it has not been cut.


Treatment Options: Quinclorac 75 DF Herbicide (Crabgrass Killer)

Creeping Charlie

Also known as ground ivy, this invasive weed forms a thick mat which chokes out grass. It can be identified via round or kidney-shape leaves which are bright green and have scalloped edges. Creeping charlie smells like mint when crushed.


Treatment Options: Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate (post-emergent)




Dallis grass is a perennial weed that is textured coarsely and grows in large rounded clumps. Dallisgrass thrives in areas with high moisture and has short rhizomes which root easily in the soil making it very tough to control.


Treatment Options: Certainty Turf Herbicide (Post-emergent)




Perhaps one of the most recognizable weeds of all. Dandelions are identified by their puffy flowers which go from  large, bright and yellow to puffy white seed heads when the seeds are ready to be released.


Treatment Options: Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate (post-emergent) Triclopyr 4 Brush Killer (Garlon 4)




Dichondra is a  broadleaf perennial which spreads via creeping stems that root at the nodes. It forms mats between 1½ to 3 inches tall. Dichondra are normally kidney-shaped to nearly circular leaves which grow alternate to each other, sometimes appearing whorled on the stems. They contain white to greenish small flowers which are borne in clusters in the leaf axils below the level of the leaf.


Treatment Options: 2, 4-D Amine Herbicide (post-emergent) , Tenacity Herbicide (pre-emergent)



Looks similar to crabgrass with the difference being that goosegrass stems are lighter green. Can be easily identified by its splayed tufts of grass and finger-like blades. Has been growing in prominence as the “new king of turfgrass weeds”


Treatment Options: Tenacity Herbicide (pre-emergent) Revolver Herbicide (Post-emergent)




Henbit is a sparsely hairy weed that grows annually in the winter time and has greenish to purplish, tender, square stems. Its other leaves are broadly egg shaped with bluntly toothed margins and prominent veins on the underside. Upper leaves are directly attached to the stem while the lower leaves have petioles.


Treatment Options: Dithiopyr 40 WSB (pre-emergent) 3-D Herbicide Triplet Alternative (Post-emergent)



Identified usually by a dense mat of wiry stems which are broken by small joints or knots. Those stems are covered with small, blue-green leaves growing alternately from base to tip. Knotweeds have small flowers which are small and inconspicuous, borne from the upper leaf axils. The colors of the flowers range from white to green, and they may have a pinkish tinge.


Treatment Options: Dithiopyr 40 WSB (pre-emergent) 2, 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer



Parsley-piert closely resembles other common lawn weeds like burweed and knawel. The leaves contain three lobes and each lobe is subdivided again into 3 to 4 lobes. Flowering between May and September, the tiny green flowers which are barely noticeable, form at the base of the leaves. Parsley piert usually springs up in areas where the lawn is closely mowed, spreading in small clusters on lawns.


Treatment Options: Isoxaben 75WG (Pre-emergent) Tenacity Herbicide (post-emergent)




This perennial plant is identified by heart-shaped leaflets found 3 per leaf which look similar in appearance to clovers. Their flowers have five petals, which are usually fused at the base, and ten stamens. The leaves fold down at night, and open in the day to harvest sunlight. The mature seed capsules open explosively when disturbed. The petal color varies from white to pink, red or yellow;

Treatment Options: Triclopyr 4 Brush Killer (Garlon 4) and  2, 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer(post-emergent)




There are two primary types of plantain, broadleaf and buckhorn. Broadleaf plantain has dark green, egg-shaped leaves that grow low to the ground while buckhorn are narrow and lance-shaped. Plaintains can thrive in a variety of soil conditions such as; dry, wet, heavy soil, and low mowing height.


Treatment Options: QUALI PRO T/I 2.5 G Herbicide  and Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate(post-emergent)




Identified by its  its thick and succulent leaves and and a fleshy stem which is slightly red in tone. It also features a thick taproot with a multitude of fibrous secondary roots. Purslane tends to make a thick mat which chokes out other plants on a lawn.


Treatment Options: Isoxaben 75WG and 2, 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer(post-emergent)





The distinguishing feature of sandbur is the seedpod produced by the plant that can stick to clothing and pet fur and prick skin.As the name points out, this plant is most common in sandy soils.


Treatment Options: Oxadiazion 2G (pre-emergent) and Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate(post-emergent)




There are a number of different types of spurge but perhaps the most common is spotted spurge. Spotted spurge is darkish green with red stems which grows low to the ground in a carpet-like fashion. This growth forms a stiff mat that chokes and shades grass


Treatment Options: Prodiamine 65 WDG (Pre-emergent) Dismiss Herbicide and Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate(post-emergent)



Wild Onion

Wild onion appears late in the winter and produces underground bulbs as well as seeds that are set from their blossoms which can potentially infest your lawn by popping up in more than one spot. They have an off-putting smell similar to onion and have a waxy coating which resists sprays.


Treatment Options: 2, 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer and Round Up Pro Weed Killer(post-emergent)


Refer to these descriptions and images when you notice weeds on your lawn so you can be sure of what you have and what should be used to get rid of them. Check out our lawn care section for more info.


Additional Resources:


12 common weeds that take over your lawn | HGTV


Lawn Weed Identification | University of Maryland Extension


Care for Lawn Weeds | Common Lawn Weeds - Lawncare.org


Categories: Weeds
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