White clover is a plant that is either loved or hated by the homeowner. Knowing how to control white clover in lawns and garden beds is helpful. Get more info in this article and get ahead of this weed. Weeds have flowers too - but don’t be fooled! If you have lawn weeds with white flowers, it often spells trouble. I’ll help you identify 10 of the most common.
Killing White Clover – How To Control White Clover In Lawns And Gardens
White clover is a plant that is either loved or hated by the homeowner. For many gardeners who did not intentionally plant white clover, knowing how to control white clover in lawns and garden beds is helpful. Getting rid of white clover once it is established can be tricky, but it can be done if you have the right tools and patience. Let’s take a look at how to identify and how to get rid of white clover.
White Clover Identification
White clover is a perennial weed that grows low to the ground. While it can grow in many different places, it is typically found in lawns, especially sparse lawns where the competition from grass is weak.
The leaves on white clover grow in sets of 3 leaflets. Each leaflet is tear shaped and many have a reddish stripe across it. The flowers on white clover are spiky and white with a brownish green center.
White clover grows in a creeping manner and will develop roots where ever a stem node touches the ground.
How to Get Rid of White Clover
Getting rid of white clover starts with a healthy lawn. Clover will grow in areas of low nitrogen and where competition from other plants is small, so making sure that your lawn (and flower beds) are well fertilized will not only help desirable grass and plants to grow and keep out white clover, but will also make the soil less friendly to white clover.
In flower beds, clover can be kept at bay by using a thick layer of mulch. This will keep the seeds from germinating.
If white clover is already established in your yard, controlling it can either be done through hand pulling or by using an herbicide. In either case, while killing the white clover already in your lawn is easy, you need to understand that killing white clover seeds is not. The seeds can survive high heat, low temperatures and can stay dormant for years before germinating. Whichever method you choose for getting rid of white clover, you can expect to be doing it once a year to control the white clover plants that emerge from the seeds.
Hand pulling white clover
Hand pulling is an organic and common way to get rid of white clover. White clover frequently grows in clumps, which make hand pulling easy and efficient. When hand pulling white clover, make sure that you pull out as much of the root system as possible to prevent regrowth.
Herbicide for white clover
Killing white clover with herbicide is also a common way to deal with this weed, especially over larger areas. The problem with using herbicides is that the only herbicide effective at controlling white clover is non-selective weed killers. These herbicides will kill the white clover, but will also kill any other plants it comes in contact with.
Herbicides also may not kill the root system of mature clover, which means that they can grow back. If you decide to use herbicides for getting rid of white clover, the best time to do this is on a warm, cloudless and windless day.
Knowing how to get rid of white clover from lawns and flower beds can be a bit tricky, but it can be done. Patience and persistence while getting rid of white clover will pay off.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.
Lawn Weeds with White Flowers (10 Types)
Toward the end of spring and the start of summer, I love to look out my window and see white flowers popping up throughout my yard as my flower beds bloom.
But when white flowers are dotting my lawn, I know it could mean trouble. I have seen at least 10 types of lawn weeds with white flowers and they have all been unwanted at one time or another. I’m going to help you spot them in this post so you can deal with them before they become a problem.
Most Common Lawn Weeds with White Flowers (Short Answer)
The most common lawn weeds with little white flowers are white clover, chickweed, Queen Ann’s Lace, daisy, fleabanes, and hairy bittercress. Some tall weeds with small white flowers are yarrow, mayweed, pearlwort, and stinging nettle.
A Closer Look at Lawn Weeds with White Flowers
When you see little white flowers in the grass in spring, it could mean a range of things for your lawn. Some of these weeds can be helpful such as white clover. Others can be toxic to humans and pets like mayweed. Knowing what each plant does, looks like, and most importantly how to get rid of the bad ones will aid you in attaining lawn zen.
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
What It Does: While allowing clover to colonize 5% of your lawn can be beneficial for nitrogen-fixing, clover is a fast-growing aggressive weed that can take over large portions of a lawn. It develops a deep root system that makes it hard to remove completely.
What It Looks Like: This lawn weed is most recognizable by its little white flowers and three round leaves. The leaves have a white V near the tips and they can grow up to 7in tall.
How to Get Rid of It: Due to its extensive root system, white clover is a tough lawn weed to remove. The most effective way to get rid of these white flower weeds in the grass is to pull them by hand. If the area is small and you can pull up the entire root then you can stop the problem. If the area is larger you can mow higher to choke it out or mulch over it.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
What It Does: This lawn weed with white flowers is most commonly found in overwatered lawns. It grows rapidly in a matting pattern that can choke out turf. Chickweed is a cold-loving annual and also a common carrier of plant pests and viruses that could do even more damage to your lawn.
What It Looks Like: Chickweed is covered in small white flowers that bloom in spring. The leaves are hairy along the bottom of the plant and become hairless at the top. The white flowers grow as a single flower or in clusters at the end of the stems.
How to Get Rid of It: The roots of this lawn weed with little white flowers grow very shallowly. If you are dealing with a small patch of lawn you can remove them by hand pulling. If you are dealing with a larger area you can apply a broadleaf herbicide.
Queen Ann’s Lace (Daucus carota)
What It Does: Also known as wild carrot, this weed produces huge clusters of little white flowers. Each of these flowers can spread as many as 40,000 seeds making it difficult to contain. The only danger this weed poses is that it looks almost identical to Poison Hemlock, a white flower-producing weed that is highly toxic to humans and pets.
What It Looks Like: Queen Ann’s Lace is a close relative to the garden carrot. It has green hairy stems (Poison Hemlock stems are purple, blotchy, and hairless) with a flat, white, and lacy flower. It can grow up to 4ft tall.
How to Get Rid of It: This tall weed with small white flowers only blooms in its second year of growth. If you dig them out before blooming, you can remove this weed without the risk of spreading its numerous seeds. A strong herbicide can be used if the flowers have already produced seeds.
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
What It Does: In moist soil and full sun, daisies can quickly spread and overtake a lawn. Daisy weeds can propagate via rhizome and they also produce seeds making them hard to control. The low-growing leaves form a mat that can choke out surrounding turf.
What It Looks Like: This is one of the most common little white flowers in the grass in spring. I have even seen daisies pop up during a mild winter. The flowers have white petals and a noticeable yellow center.
How to Get Rid of It: Unlike other lawn weeds with white flowers on this list, daisies have very weak roots and can easily be pulled up using a daisy grubber. A post-emergent herbicide can help control future outbreaks.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.)
What It Does: These lawn weeds grow in neglected and compacted soil along the edge of a property. They spread quickly by nettle (burred seed) and produce underground stems. Brushing these weeds with your skin can result in burning and stinging pain.
What It Looks Like: Nettles are easy to recognize by their long bristly stems and stinging hairs on their leaves. The upper leaves of this weed produce white drooping flowers.
How to Get Rid of It: The best way to get rid of nettles is to continuously cut them back until they die off. Once they have died, you can pull the entire root and rhizome out to prevent them from spreading. For chemical control, you should apply a non-selective herbicide which is most effective between spring and fall.
Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
What It Does: This lawn weed with small white flowers is a relative of the mustard family. It gets an early start in the year and spreads rapidly. By late spring, the flowers have developed, and by summer, it forms long seed pods. When they burst, they send hundreds of seeds in every direction. They have long taproots and re-emerge if not completely removed.
What It Looks Like: Hairy bittercress is a ground weed that grows low and spreads quickly. It has round leaves in sets of three. By May, small white flowers can be seen growing between the leaves and the tap root will be thicker.
How to Get Rid of It: Due to its long tap root and heavy seed production, eradicating this weed is difficult. The only way I know how to get rid of white flower weeds in the grass when you can’t pull them is to use a post-emergent herbicide. This should prevent it from coming back next spring.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
What It Does: This lawn weed commonly occurs in yards stressed by drought that are under-fertilized. If this condition occurs and yarrow is present, it will take off and choke out your turf. Yarrow is a mat-forming weed and spreads by rhizome stems that root at intervals.
What It Looks Like: This lawn weed with little white flowers can best be identified by its fern-like leaves. It can grow up to 3ft high and flowers from late May to summer. Yarrow produces green/grey leaves and thick roots.
How to Get Rid of It: Yarrow is hard to control and is resistant to selective herbicides. The best way to control this weed is by watering and fertilizing your lawn. Using repeated applications of non-selective herbicides can weaken this weed. In the spring, top dress early to choke out any remaining yarrow.
Mayweed (Anthemis cotula)
What It Does: This is a common lawn weed that grows in open spaces and flowers annually. It grows quickly and spreads rapidly by seed. Mayweed can cause skin irritation if touched and is toxic to animals. It is important to remove this weed right away.
What It Looks Like: While the flower of the mayweed resembles a daisy, that’s where the similarities end. The leaves are different, more fern-like, and resemble a fennel or chamomile plant. They grow to about 2ft and produce an unpleasant odor.
How to Get Rid of It: Tiny areas of this lawn weed with small white flowers can be hand-pulled. Make sure you either wear gloves or use a daisy grubber as the leaves cause skin irritations. For larger areas, you can use an herbicide, but make sure to get rid of the waste so it is inaccessible to animals.
Pearlwort (Sagina procumbens)
What It Does: Cutting a lawn too short can make it susceptible to a pearlwort infestation. These lawn weeds with little white flowers grow close to the ground in a matting pattern. They produce hundreds of seeds that get spread when mowed or walked on. This weed can quickly overtake a lawn.
What It Looks Like: Pearlwort is a creeping plant that can be mistaken for moss. It prefers cool moist areas and populates to make seeds quickly. The leaves of this weed are narrow and it only grows to around 4in tall. It has fine roots and it produces several branches. These branches support the white flowers.
How to Get Rid of It: The best way to deal with this lawn weed is by having a thick turf. Regular watering and fertilization will prevent pearlwort from taking over. If it is already out of control, you can apply a herbicide that is absorbed through the plant’s leaves. This will weaken it and allow your turf to take hold again.
Fleabanes (Erigeron sp.)
What It Does: These weeds establish deep taproots and spread by seed. They grow quickly in open sunny places and can outcompete turf in poor-quality soil.
What It Looks Like: Fleabanes look like miniature daisies. They grow multiple stems and each stem has a tiny white flower with a yellow center. They also grow tiny hairs along the stalks. The flowers open in summer and can also bloom a second time in fall.
How to Get Rid of It: If you control this weed early in the spring, you can hand pull it. However, if you allow the fibrous roots to turn into a hard taproot, it becomes much more difficult to remove. In this case, you will have to apply a non-selective herbicide. These lawn weeds with little white flowers aren’t as invasive as the other lawn weeds, so they can be left alone if they are not in an unsightly area.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the “lawn mower guru” (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Copyright © 2010 – 2022 · LawnMowerGuru.com, All Rights Reserved.
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. You can learn more about this here.