15 Lawn Weeds

Common lawn weeds fall into two types: low-growing wild flowers and undesirable coarse grasses or grasslike plants. Identifying the types of weeds growing in your yard is the first step to containing the problem.

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©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

A Dandy Weed

For dandelions (Taraxacum officinale), use a spot weedkiller or dig out the taproot. Deal with dandelions before they have a chance to seed.

White Clover Weed

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a mat-forming weed indicating poor, slightly alkaline soil; its roots contribute nitrogen. Use a lawn weedkiller.

Annual Meadowgrass

Annual meadowgrass (Poa annua) is a tufted grass that spreads by seeding. Dig out plants by hand before they flower.

Creeping Buttercup

The stems of creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens) form mats. Weedkiller is not reliable; you may have to dig this out by hand, so try to catch it early.


Pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) is a creeping weed that forms low mats of grassy leaves. It can be controlled with a lawn weedkiller.

Slender Speedwell

Control the mats of tiny leaves of slender speedwell (Veronica filiformis) by feeding the lawn to encourage growth and scarifying in fall.

Mossy Menace

Moss indicates poor conditions, especially in acidic soil. Use moss killer in spring or fall, but it is likely to return if the underlying cause is unresolved.


Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a mat-forming weed that can be controlled with a weed killer. This could be left in meadow grass.

Lesser Yellow Treefoil

Trifolium dubium is often quickly spread by mowing without a bag. Control with lawn weedkiller.

Woodrush Weed

Field woodrush (Luzula campestris) is a clump-forming, grass-like plant that prefers acidic soil. Dig out by hand to remove.

Yorkshire Fog Weed

Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus) is a coarse-leaved, creeping grass. To eliminate, slash repeatedly with a knife to weaken bad patches, or dig out and reseed.

Plantain Weed

The broad-leaved plantain (Plantago major) is a solitary plant with a taproot, which spreads by seed. Dig out the roots by hand or use a spot weedkiller.

English Daisy Weed

With English daisy (Bellis perennis), leave the rosettes if you like a daisy-spangled lawn. If not, dig out the roots by hand.


Yarrow's ferny leaves thrive in dry soil and stay green in dry weather. Dig up Achillea millefolium by hand or use a weed killer.


Mind-your-own-business (Soleirolia soleirolii) forms mats of tiny leaves that thrive in dampness. Weed killers aren't effective so its best to rake it out.

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