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Difficult to Control Weeds

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Learn About Difficult to Control Weeds

Promoting a healthy lawn is the best defense against having severe weed problems. Proper mowing and watering, regular fertilization and core cultivation when necessary are key ingredients in building a healthy lawn. The use of pest control materials, as tools to control weeds and other pest problems will help to protect grass plants and ensure vigorous growth in a lawn.

Most broadleaf weeds that invade lawns can be effectively controlled with the use of selective weed control materials that are currently available. These products are referred to as selective because they only affect the weeds and do not harm the grass plants in a lawn. There are, however, some weeds that are extremely difficult to control and some that cannot be controlled with the use of these materials.

Special attention and care is often needed to control these persistent weeds. Some difficult to control weeds found on home lawns are listed below. If weed problems such as these exist on your lawn, your Fairfax-Manassas, VA Weed Man can assist you with a program that will help reduce or eliminate this problem over time.


Several types of speedwell species invade home lawns. Some are annual plants that reproduce from seed and others are perennial plants that can reproduce by seed, rhizomes and creeping stems. All are low growing with small leaves. Perennial species are generally more difficult to control.

Speedwells Weed in the Lawn


The two types of violets most commonly found on home lawns include field violet that is an annual weed and sweet violet which is a perennial weed. Violets are distinguished by their heart shaped leaves and their white, yellow, or purple flowers. Both types of violets can be extremely difficult to control.

Violets Weed in the Lawn

Ground-Ivy or Creeping Charlie

Glechoma hederacea L.  This is a perennial weed that has a creeping growth habit. It lays prostrate along the ground with square stems and roots at every node. Its leaves are round with toothed edges. A distinguishing feature of this weed is that its stems and leaves produce a mint like odor when crushed. This weed is more readily controlled than the previous two, however, like most of the weeds mentioned, it will take an ongoing effort by a lawn care professional to control it.

Creeping Charlie in the Lawn

Other Difficult Weeds

Other weeds found on home lawns that are considered difficult to control include field bindweed, wild strawberry, mossy stonecrop, yarrow and knotweed. A combination of proper cultural practices, adequate nutrition and a progressive weed control program that may include repeat applications of government regulated weed control materials will help to control these weeds over time. It may require several years of effort by a lawn care professional and the homeowner before adequate control of these weeds is achieved. 

Weeds Resistant To Selective Methods of Control 
  • Creeping Bellflower Campanula rapunculoides L. 
  • Goutweed or Bishopweed Aegopodium podagraria L. 
  • Japanese Knotweed Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. Zucc. 
  • Field Horsetail Equisetum arvense L. 
These weeds are seldom a concern in Virginia lawns, however, when they do appear they can present a major problem. All are perennial plants and are extremely persistent. All reproduce by underground stems called rhizomes that make them very difficult to control. They cannot be selectively controlled on a lawn using weed control materials. They can, however, be effectively dug out of a lawn as long as care is given to remove entire plants, including all underground reproductive structures (seeds, rhizomes, roots). 

Your Fairfax-Manassas, VA Weed Man is a trained specialist. He can properly identify any broadleaf weeds that exist on your lawn and determine the most suitable method for their control. Contact your Fairfax-Manassas, VA Weed Man if you would like to have your property inspected free of charge.