Guide to 7 Common Lawn Weeds

Get a handle on some of the most common weeds by learning how to identify them and how to kill them.

It only takes one weed to ruin a beautiful lawn — but when is there ever just one? Get a handle on some of the most common weeds by learning how to identify them and how to kill them. (For all products, follow label instructions.)

Dandelion

See it. Dandelions have green leaves edged with ’teeth’ that grow mostly flat to the ground. Bright yellow flowers fade to form a white puffball. They appear in spring and fall in lawns that aren’t as full and healthy as they could be.

Treat it.

  • Mow high and feed your lawn regularly to promote healthy grass.
  • For a dandelion infestation, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed3. Both products feed to promote a thick lawn and kill existing dandelions, tap root and all.
  • If you have a St. Augustine or Centipede lawn, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action or Scotts® Bonus® S Southern Weed and Feed2.
  • Spot-spray a few dandelions with Scotts® Spot Weed Control for Lawns, which kills dandelions without harming grass.

Crabgrass

See it. Crabgrass is a grassy weed with blue-green leaves that form a crab-like circle. Though it doesn’t usually become noticeable until the summer, crabgrass germinates in the spring, typically in thin or bare areas of a lawn, or in dry soil. An annual weed, crabgrass will die with the first hard frost in the fall.

Treat it.

  • Once it appears, it can be difficult to control, so prevention is the key. Feeding your lawn will also help.
  • In early spring, apply a pre-emergent herbicide (one that stops crabgrass from developing) by feeding your lawn with Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Halts® Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food.
  • If you have just seeded your lawn and live in the North, treat it to Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built for Seeding.


White Clover

See it. White clover is the classic three-leaf clover with bright green leaves decorated with white crescent shapes. It appears from spring through fall, usually in thin lawns with nutrient-poor soil.

Treat it.

  • Lawns that are well fed offer strong defense against clover.
  • For a dandelion infestation, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed3. Both products feed to promote a thick lawn and kill existing dandelions, tap root and all.
  • If you have a St. Augustine or Centipede lawn, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action or Scotts® Bonus® S Southern Weed and Feed2.
  • When dealing with a single clover plant or a small patch, spot-treat with Scotts® Spot Weed Control for Lawns.

Dollarweed

See it. Also known as pennywort, dollarweed has round leaves with wavy edges and white flowers in the summer. It tends to grow in warmer regions in moist, shady lawns and in bare spots.

Treat it.

  • Mow high and water deeply but infrequently. Put your lawn on a steady diet of lawn fertilizer to encourage thick, healthy grass.
  • For St. Augustine and Centipede lawns, apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed2.
  • Use Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed3 to feed Bermuda and other lawns while controlling dollarweed.

Creeping Charlie

See it. Creeping Charlie (also called ground ivy) has round, dark green leaves with scalloped edges and purple flowers that appear in spring. It tends to grow in moist, shady areas with poor soil.

Treat it.

  • Mow high and water infrequently, but deeply. Be sure to feed your lawn regularly.
  • Feed your lawn through the growing season with Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed3 to help thicken existing grass while controlling weeds.
  • For a small patch of creeping Charlie, spot-treat with Scotts® Spot Weed Control for Lawns.


Oxalis

See it. Oxalis, also known as wood sorrel, has heart-shaped, clover-like leaves and yellow flowers that open in spring and summer. It prefers a lawn that is thin or overly dry.

Treat it.

  • Feed your lawn regularly. Water it deeply and infrequently to maintain even soil moisture.
  • Use Scotts® Halts® Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer in early spring to interrupt seed germination.
  • Once weeds are actively growing and daytime temperatures have reached 60°F, begin applying Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed3 to feed Bermuda and other lawns while killing oxalis.
  • For St. Augustine or Centipede lawns, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed2 once weeds have begun to grow. 


Annual Bluegrass

See it. Despite its name, annual bluegrass is a short, bright green grass that tends to grow in thin, short grass during the spring and early summer.


Treat it.

  • By watering your lawn deeply, you will encourage your turf to develop deep roots so it can survive periods of drought while shallow-rooted annual bluegrass will die.
  • Focus on thickening grass by feeding it with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food.
  • Apply Scotts® Halts® Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer in early fall to keep these weed seeds from sprouting. 

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