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Best Products to Get Rid of Virginia Buttonweedvirgina buttonweed

There’s a plethora of weeds that grow in the south and invade lawns but a particularly annoying invader is the Virginia buttonweed. If left to it’s own devices, virginia buttonweed can spread like wildfire on turf and hoard all the nutrition in the soil for themselves, leaving your turfgrass hurting for help. We here at Solutions Pest and Lawn know how to get rid of this pesky nuisance weed and the right products which will help you eliminate this plant from your lawn for good.

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.

It is always helpful to know a little bit about the problem weed that invades your lawn so you know what it’s tendencies are in order to come up with a winning approach to controlling a weed. View our recommended herbicide options for virginia buttonweed control and then scroll further to see our detailed how-to advice on virginia buttonweed removal using our Solutions 4 Step Process

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How To Get Rid of Virginia Button Weed: Solutions 4 Step Process

Step One: Identification. Before you proceed with control and removal, it’s important to make sure that the weed you are experiencing on your lawn is in fact virginia buttonweed and not some other similar looking invasive weed. Proper identification of the weed you wish to remove from your lawn will help you to understand what the weeds tendencies and characteristics are and can also point you in the right direction of which products can best treat that particular weed.

This is important because some common lawn weeds have a high tolerance or resistance to particular herbicides and control methods and are specifically labeled for certain weeds and not for others. If you misdiagnose the weed on your lawn as virginia buttonweed when it is not, you may purchase a herbicide not meant to tackle it and it will lead to disappointing results and overall, a waste of money.

Virginia buttonweed is a deep-rooted perennial with prostrate or spreading branches. Their leaves are on the thicker side and opposite without petioles and can be slightly rough along the margins. Leaves are green on the top side but a lighter collored green on the lower side and often has a mottled yellow mosaic aperance. Their flowers are tubular and white with four stat-shaped petals which, on occassion, have pink streaks in the center and two sepals. Virginia buttonweed bears fruit which are green and shaped in elliptical fashion and are hairy and ridged.

As always, if you are unsure of what weed you have, you can contact us at identification@solutionsstores.com and send us a photo of your weed and we will identify it for you and suggest treatment options.


Step Two: Inspection. Once the plant has been properly Identified, you can then move to the inspection process. Virginia buttonweed produces by seed root fragment and stem fragments and often is an indicator of poorly drained soils. Virginia buttonweed is a problem primarily in transition zones and warm season areas. It's a creeping, spreading perennial weed that will cover large areas over a short period of time.


Virginia buttonweed is known to spread through root systems called rhizomes so what that means that it can creep underground and pop back up into a new area. Virginia buttonweed can also spread when you mow the lawn as pieces can break off and if you're not bagging your clippings, they can re-establish or replant itself into the ground.


Step Three: Control. Because of the way it can spread by seed and rhizomes, hand pulling this weed is not going to successfully get rid of it. The best option is using a post-emergent herbicide and spot spraying it rather than using a blanket application as this will risk damaging the desired turf. There are a number of different herbicides you can use to control dichondra. What you choose largely depends on where dollarweed happens to be growing. If dichondra is appearing on your lawn, it is best to use a quality herbicide in the late spring when the weeds are younger and smaller. Herbicides are less effective the older and more mature the weed gets.


Our top recommendation is SpeedZone Southern Broadleaf Herbicide or Certainty Turf Herbicide. If a second application is needed, apply the herbicide in spot treatments. The ambient temperature is critical to determine which product is used. Under 85 degrees is the best time to apply herbicides because above 85 degrees as it will kill out some of the lawn that you're trying to keep. If the temperature is above 85 degrees we recommend using a herbicide with the active ingredient metsulfuron such as MSM Turf Herbicide (Manor). It is safe on lawns consisting of St. augustine, zoysia, bermuda and centipede grasses. Even though it is safe in these grasses, expect to see some differences in your lawn. You may have a little yellowing in your grass but don't be alarmed because it will pop out of that. 


Step Four: Prevention. If you are able to successfully get this difficult weed under control, you will need to implement some preventative measures to make sure it doesnt return.  Reducing soil moisture is a start as virginia buttonweed likes wet soils. Water your grass deep but infrequently. Also promote practices such as mowing high and fertilizing as this will go a long way and keeping your lawn strong enough to withstand virginia buttonweed and other invasive weeds during the growing season.


Have Some Grassy Weeds You Want Gone? View Our Grassy Weed Control Section

Virginia 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. The weed is a vigorous grower and can easily tolerate very close mowing. 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.


You can identify virginia buttonweed by its oppositely arranged leaves that are connected by a membrane across the stem with several bristlyy stipules. The leaves are stemless, up to 2 and a 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. In summer, virginia buttonweed blooms with white, star-shaped, hairy, four-petal flowers that are stemless and a 1/2 inch long.


Have A Lawn Issue That Isn’t Virginia Buttonweed ? Check out Our Lawn Care Main Category!

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.

Read the labels on the products carefully to ensure they're safe for use on your lawn as some versions of products may not be appropriate for certain turfgrasses. Apply the herbicides during the spring or early summer when temperatures are cooler.


Better Safe Than Sorry: Equip Yourself With Protective Safety Equipment Before Spraying

Virginia Buttonweed Control Tips and Recommendations

  • The best time to control virginia 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 virginia 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. Virginia 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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Additional Resources For Virginia Buttonweed


Virginia Buttonweed Identification and Control in Turfgrass - University of Georgia Extension

Virginia Buttonweed: No. 1 Weed Problem of Southern Lawns




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