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Lawn Weed Identification: 12 Common Lawn Weeds & Tips to Control

Lawn Weed Identification: 12 Common Lawn Weeds & Tips to Control

Lawn weeds can be annoying to get rid of! There are various species of lawn weeds, and strategies and herbicides to get rid of them differ accordingly.

So, if you don’t know what type of weed is making itself at home in your garden and specific ways to control them, you’re sure to feel exhausted from trying different removal methods and herbicides.

In such cases, it’d be best to take an expert’s advice. However, in this post, we’ll be providing you with information on 11 common lawn weeds, their identification, and their control techniques such that you can take care of your lawn on your own. Let’s get started!

Lawn Weed Identification – Some Common Lawn Weeds

1. Crabgrass (Digitaria spp.)

Crabgrass (Digitaria spp.)

Crabgrass is low-growing and spreads through seeds and rooting of the nodes in the soil. Their seeds grow well during summer when the surrounding is dry and hot. They can grow up to 2ft when left unmowed.

How to control Crabgrass?

The chemicals that kill Crabgrass also damages the grass on your lawn turf, so you must be careful to apply the proper controlling method. You can mulch, hoe or hand pull the young Crabgrass before they lay seeds.

Moreover, you can also apply the solarization technique to control the weeds. But, the best technique to control the Crabgrass is using pre-emergent herbicides specially made for Crabgrass.

2. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

The bright yellow heads on your lawn are the Dandelions. Dandelion is a member of the Aster family. They reproduce through air-borne seeds and vegetatively by large taproots.

How to control Dandelion?

Due to its long taproot, it is challenging to eliminate the Dandelion from your turf easily. You can hoe or hand pull the grass at its early days before the proper development of the roots. If you don’t want to use any chemicals, you can use vinegar to eliminate the dandelions.

If you are considering using herbicides, you can use pre-emergence chemicals containing Dithiopyr or Isoxaben to remove Dandelion from your lawn.

3. Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

If you have a shady lawn, Creeping Charlie is probably one of the common weeds on your lawn. It can spread in your lawn through seeds and by creeping a stem called stolons along the ground. It generally forms a dense mat over your lawn.

How to control Creeping Charlie?

As they have shallow roots, they are very to pluck out from your lawn if you are patient enough. If you are thinking of using a non-chemical treatment, you can use household borax to control the weed.

You need to maintain proper drainage in your lawn and keep the lawn dry to prevent these weeds’ growth. If you want to use herbicides, use the one that contains the chemical Triclopyr to control Creeping Charlie.

4. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

If your lawn is dry and sandy, Purslane can easily thrive in your lawn. It is a ground-loving weed having fleshy leaves.

They can produce over 2,000,000 seeds per plant and can also grow vegetatively through their leaves. It contains useful Omega-3 fats so you can harvest them before removing them from the turf.

How to control Purslane?

You can control the growth of Purslane by pulling them out of your lawn as soon as you see them. Mulching can also be an effective solution to control its growth.

If you want to remove it from your lawn without using chemicals, you can do so by digging. But if you are planning on using chemicals, you can use pre-emergent herbicides such as dithiopyr or post-emergent herbicides such as 2,4-D.

5. Clover (Trifolium repens)

Clover (Trifolium repens)

There can be various species of Clover that you want to remove from your lawn. But before removing, think twice as they are considered quite healthy for your lawn. They can resist more pests from your lawn that aerate your soil and can also add nitrogen to your soil.

How to control Clover?

Although Clover has its own set of benefits on your lawn, if you have made up your mind about removing them, there are few ways to do so. You can remove it by using both organic and chemical methods.

You can use Broadleaf herbicide to remove clovers from your lawn. You can also pull out the Clover from your lawn and reseed the grass on the vacant areas.

6. Wild Violets (Viola spp)

Wild Violets (Viola spp)

Wild Violets are probably the most beautiful weed that can grow on your lawn. Some house owners decide to keep it instead of removing it, given its natural beauty. They are the Johnny-jump-up flower relatives and look similar to them, and you can get it for free!

How to control Wild Violets?

If you are thinking of removing Wild Violets from your lawn, simply pull them outright from their roots. You can also use chemicals to remove it, like spot-treating with Glyphosate, or you can also use Weed-B-Gone broadleaf weed killer. The best time for you to treat wild violets is during fall.

7. Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

This aggressive perennial weed grows 2 to 4 feet tall and reproduces both sexually and asexually, i.e., from wind-blown seeds and its whitish rhizomatous roots, respectively.

Canada Thistle also grows in non-crop areas such as roadside and ditch sides. You may not want to get rid of this weed during July and August due to its beautiful purple flowers.

How to control Canada Thistle?

The 6 to 15 feet deep root system of Canada Thistle allows it to recover quickly from many removal strategies. Likewise, their seeds can remain viable for up to 4 years in your lawn soil.

Initially, it is best to pull out the plants before their roots go too deep down the soil. Once roots, the best control measure is to stress the plant, devoid it of nutrition and water, and force the weeds to use their reserve nutrients.

During summertime, when the weeds are flowering, they’re at their weakest, and thus, it is a good time to destroy their roots. You can also opt for a two-year-long herbicide program for your Canada infested lawn.

8. Buckthorn Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Buckthorn Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

This common perennial weed is prevalent in lawn and meadows. Buckthorn Plantain has narrow pointed leaves and is known to reproduce and spread by seeds.

How to control Buckthorn Plantain?

Low-growing Buckthorn is difficult to remove by hand. And, long taproot makes this weed drought-tolerant and thus, challenging to control.

Preventative control is the best way to move forward when it comes to Buckthorn. Growing a lush stand to shade the soil surface also prevents new seeds from germinating. There are various herbicides that are effective on this weed. Seek expert’s advice for suggestions.

9. Ryegrass


This cool-season perennial or annual grass is known to have a tufted or clustered growth. Annual strains are brighter green in colour, whereas the perennial strains have glossy dark green leaves. However, both of them often have a purple base.

How to control Ryegrass?

Ryegrass can be challenging to control as they are known to be resistant to many herbicides. Also, they are tolerant to close mowing heights. However, you can take an expert’s help to know what type of herbicide works best for the plant.

10. Nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus)

Nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus)

A perennial sedge weed with tapered and flat foliage, Nutgrass, spreads rapidly. Its stem has a triangular cross-section, and the rhizomes feature nut-like tubers, thus the name – Nutgrass.

The weed starts seeding from summer until autumn. The seeds are yellowish-brown in colour and are arranged in narrow spikes. Nutgrass is also known to propagate via its tubers.

How to control Nutgrass?

Various selective herbicides can be used in order to eradicate Nutgrass from your lawn.

11. Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum)

Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum)

This fast-growing weed produces fine seeds that can be easily dispersed and thus, can infest the lawn aggressively. This weed has small narrow leaves and grows very close to the soil.

How to control Kikuyu?

Use Glyphosphate-based herbicides to poison Kikuyu leaves selectively.

12. Paspalum


Paspalum has large, long, and broad leaves. They are known to grow in a cluster and are quite easy to notice on the lawn.

How to control Paspalum?

While pulling out Paspalum, make sure you dig out the roots too. There are various selective herbicides available to control this weed. If using a selective herbicide is not an option, hand-selective poisoning using a Glyphosphate herbicide is also incredibly effective.

Use a small paintbrush if you don’t have a weed wand to poison the Paspalum leaves selectively. For best results, poison the weed in warmer growing seasons.


If you aren’t a lawn expert, pinpointing the type of weed on your lawn and developing a proper control plan might be overwhelming. With this post, we hope that you can at least identify these 12 weeds on your own and know what treatment plan you should opt for next.

However, we don’t recommend you do hit and trials when it comes to using herbicides on your lawn as the wrong type of herbicide or its wrong application might kill your lawn grass too. So, always seek expert advice when necessary!

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