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Dollarweed, or pennywort, is a perennial weed that has bright green, rounded leaves with wavy margins. Small, white flowers bloom from July to August. The creeping stems root into wherever their nodes touch the soil, increasing the number of plants. Dollarweed grows in moist, shady lawns, gardens, and unplanted areas, and thrives in warm temperate regions of the United States. It is a member of the parsley family, and was introduced to the Mid-Atlantic region from Asia.
Here’s how to get rid of dollarweed in your lawn.
If you only have a few dollarweed plants, you can spot treat them with a ready-to-use product, like Roundup® For Lawns Southern Formula Ready-To-Use. Don’t hand-pull dollarweed; if you miss a piece of the root, the weed will grow back.
To treat large dollarweed problems, hold off on watering for two weeks. Most grasses can handle a short dry spell, but dollarweed can’t. Instead, it becomes weak, making it an excellent target for control products. After two weeks, apply a weed-and-feed product labeled for dollarweed, like Scotts® Turf Builder Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed or Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action, according to label directions. These products will not only feed your lawn, but will also kill dollarweed.
Regular feedings (2 to 4 times per year) with a lawn fertilizer, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Lawn Food, provide the nutrients your lawn needs to grow thick and strong, which will help it crowd out weeds like dollarweed.
Dollarweed is a water-loving plant. The presence of dollarweed in your lawn indicates that the area is staying too wet. Reduce watering so your lawn only receives 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or watering, which will allow the soil to dry out. Dollarweed won’t be able to grow as well in the drier soil conditions, but your lawn will develop deeper roots, helping it to better outcompete weeds. Improving the drainage in your soil to help eliminate the wet soil conditions will also help control future dollarweed outbreaks.
Mowing at the height best for your lawn allows the grass to grow thick and develop a deeper root system. St. Augustine and Floratam lawns prefer to be mowed at 3 to 4 inches, Zoysia and centipede lawns do best when mowed at 2 to 3 inches, and Bermuda lawns prefer a 1.5 to 2 inch height.