The Top 6 Lawn Weeds in Florida & How to Watch Out For ‘Em
Weeds, weeds, weeds—can’t live with ‘em, can’t live withou…well, actually, come to think of it, we could probably all stand to live without them. Our lawns would certainly be in better shape without them, right?
Lawn weeds are something we all deal with on no matter what type of landscape we’re working with and, of course, they’re one of the biggest sources of frustration for landscape owners and landscape companies.
That’s right, we hate weeds, too—don’t act so surprised. Sure, we’re a landscape company and we live and breathe flora and fauna, but those little buggers make everything so much harder than needed and we are actively declaring war on them.
The worst part about weeds? There are so many different kinds. Weeds are never a singular issue and there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution to the lawn weed problem. That’s what makes lawn weeds so dang irritating—there are 100s of types out there and they each require different treatment to get rid of them.
So, where the heck do you start?
In our experience, we think the best way to battle those wily weeds is to first understand which type of weeds you’re dealing with. Personally, we think when you can identify the problem, you can solve the problem faster. So, that’s exactly what we’re here to help with.
It only makes sense that because Florida is so uniquely challenging when it comes to landscape that it would have its own special brand of unique weeds to watch out for (what a joy, right?). We’ve laid out some of the must-know weeds that are particularly potent in our region of the sunshine state to help give you a leg-up on your worrisome weeds!
6 Common Weeds to Watch Out For In Your Florida Lawn
Don’t let the whole pesky weed façade fool you—not all weeds are creepy, crawly, and ugly. In fact, several weeds that are prevalent in Florida can even look beautiful. But remember, weeds worm their way into your lawn and destroy your progress, choke the life out of your healthy, prosperous plants, and sometimes, kill everything in their path! In other words, if you spy these weeds, get them out ASAP!
Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare
This biennial bad boy is a rosette-shaped weed that protrudes out spiny leaves and purple blossoms that show up every two years. Sure, it sounds pretty, but it can be a total nuisance to your lawn! Bull Thistle doesn’t just mess up your lawn, it can be a host to leaf-footed bugs, which can tear up your landscape.
A single thistle plant can produce least 4,000 seeds, which can increase the chance of a higher thistle population in the following years. So, it makes sense to get out in front of these weeds early!
Want to tackle your bull thistle problem early before it spreads? We suggest digging out the plant with a spade to cut back the chances on seeding. Want to take it to the next level? Cut off the seed head and tuck it into a sack so the fluffy seeds don’t go flying.
Scientific Name: Stellaria Media
Small, dainty, and terrifyingly creeping, chickweeds form low, spreading mats that can take over vast swaths of land in no time at all. Though they thrive in cool, moist areas with shade, they have the capability to spread despite sun exposure. This annual weed creates small, star-like flowers that look pretty but can cover your lawn in no time—so don’t let these beauties fool you!
The best way to get rid of chickweed? A good ole fashion pulling session. These have pretty shallow roots, so hoeing the ground and pulling up the weeds are fine strategies for this type of nuisance.
Scientific Name: Papsalum Dilatatum
This one is exceptionally tricky because it looks a whole heck of a lot like your normal grass. It has wide, coarse blades, so it could resemble your lawn (depending on the type of grass you have). It grows fast, it covers big patches of land, and it can destroy your turf quickly. Want to get rid of it? Herbicide is going to be your best friend in this scenario. Unfortunately, pulling up won’t do the trick because the roots are deep and it’s a perennial—so if you don’t tackle it at its core, you’ll certainly see this one return in the next two years.
Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale
Every last one of us is familiar with dandelions—we’ve probably all picked up a dandelion stem, blown the fluffy white puffballs, and watched them go flying. As fun as dandelions might be, the reality is, they’re still a perennial weed that can cause serious issues for your lawn. They typically germinate during the summer and can mature to be large, obnoxious weeds that spread fast as can be.
Want to get a handle on your dandelion dilemma before it becomes a dandelion disaster? Spray those bad boys with the right type of herbicide that will kill the whole plant—not just the leaves.
Scientific Name: Agropyron repens
The perennial might sound like a joke, but trust us, quackgrass is no laughing matter. Because it resembles normal grass with its blue-green rough blades, it can be exceptionally hard to spot until it’s too late! The key to identifying it? Check for a spike seed head resembling perennial ryegrass—if you see that, you’re likely dealing with quackgrass. This weed is difficult to control and will take a ton of your attention to eliminate it.
Pull all the quackgrass you can find and then tackle the area it was growing with a carefully selected weed killer.
Scientific Name: Oxalic Stricta
Though this weed might seem like a pretty little addition to your lawn with its pale green, heart-shaped leaves and abundant little yellow flowers, it’s actually a huge nuisance to your landscape’s health! This weed can be annual or short-lived perennial, so it’s extra tricky. Like other weeds, this little buddy grows fast and doesn’t discriminate, so it can cover your lawn in just a few months with no intention of slowing down.
The best bet for getting rid of this weed? Spot-treat with herbicide. But be cautious! Don’t get herbicide on your healthy, non-weed landscape plants.
Ready to wipe out those weeds? We agree—it’s totally time. If you’re not sure what steps to take to rid your lawn of those pesky weeds, remember, we can help! We’re proud to have battled Florida weeds for two decades (and counting!) and would be thrilled to help you take back your lawn ASAP! Reach out to us on our website right here or feel free to give us a call anytime at (727)-201-3540 to talk about the next weeding steps!
Interested in more info on how to keep your lawn lookin’ beautiful, fresh, and weed-free? Keep up with our regularly updated blog right here for the latest landscaping tips, tricks, insight, and advice!
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