Louisiana Home Lawn Series: Carolina Geranium

Jeffrey S. Beasley, Strahan, Ronald E., Sanders, Kayla

Louisiana Home Lawn Series banner. A guide to maintaining a healthy Louisiana lawn.

Description

Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum L.), also known as wild geranium, is a biennial or cool-season weed common throughout Louisiana. It is distinguished by its broad, lobed leaves and pink stems. Carolina geranium spreads through seed with flowers blooming in the spring. It is commonly found growing in areas where the turfgrass coverage is thin.

Identification

Carolina geranium has green leaves, which extend from long stems. Both stems and leaf edges can have a pink-to-red coloration. Leaves are alternate near the base and opposite above. The leaves are deeply dissected, or lobed, and are divided into segments. Stems extend from the center base of the plant in a radial fashion. Both stems and leaves are hairy. Flowers are white to lavender in color with five petals and are found in two or more clusters at tips of stems and branches. Fruit capsules are linear and narrow at the tip, closely resembling a stork’s bill. Carolina geranium is low-growing but can also branch upright once it begins flowering. For more information on Carolina geranium identification and characterization, visit the USDA Plants Database.

Leavespng

Leaves

Purple flowerpng

Purple flower

Fruit capsulepng

Fruit capsule

Pink stemspng

Pink stems

Cultural Control Practices

The best way to prevent or reduce weed encroachment is to maintain a healthy lawn through proper fertilization and soil pH management and regular mowing. Properly maintaining a lawn through these cultural practices promotes dense and vigorous turfgrass, allowing it to better compete with weeds. Below are the recommended mowing heights and nitrogen fertility rates recommended for each turfgrass species. In addition to these lawn care practices, manual removal of weeds may also be necessary.

TurfgrassMowing HeightNitrogen Rate (per 1,000 ft2 per year)
Bermudagrass1 to 2 inchesUp to 3 pounds
Centipedegrass1 to 2.5 inchesUp to 2 pounds
St. Augustinegrass2.5 to 3 inchesUp to 3 pounds
Zoysiagrass1 to 2.5 inchesUp to 2 pounds

Cultural Control Practices

The best way to prevent or reduce weed encroachment is to maintain a healthy lawn through proper fertilization and soil pH management and regular mowing. Properly maintaining a lawn through these cultural practices promotes dense and vigorous turfgrass, allowing it to better compete with weeds. Below are the recommended mowing heights and nitrogen fertility rates recommended for each turfgrass species. In addition to these lawn care practices, manual removal of weeds may also be necessary.

Turfgrass Mowing Height Nitrogen Rate (per 1,000 ft2 per year)
Bermudagrass 1 to 2 inches Up to 3 pounds
Centipedegrass 1 to 2.5 inches Up to 2 pounds
St. Augustinegrass 2.5 to 3 inches Up to 3 pounds
Zoysiagrass 1 to 2.5 inches Up to 2 pounds

Chemical Control Practices

In addition to cultural practices, herbicide applications may be required to achieve effective weed control. Carolina geranium is very susceptible to post-emergence herbicides containing the active ingredients 2,4-D or metsulfuron. See the table below for herbicides that are recommended for Carolina geranium control.

When applying any type of herbicide, you must follow the manufacturer’s labeled directions. For more information regarding pesticides for turfgrass please reference the Louisiana Suggested Chemical Weed Control Guide.


St. AugustinegrassCentipedegrassZoysiagrassBermudagrass
Pre-emergence Herbicide Active Ingredients
simazineYes
Yes
YesYes
atrazineYes
YesYesDormant
Post-emergence Herbicide Active Ingredients
simazineYes
Yes
YesYes
atrazineYes
Yes
YesDormant
2,4-D + dicamba + mecopropYes
Yes
Yes
Yes
2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop + carfentrazone
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
thiencarbazone + iodosulfuron + dicambaYes
Yes
Yes
Yes
penoxulam + sulfentrazone + dicamba + 2,4-DYes
Yes
Yes
Yes
metsulfuronYes
Yes
Yes
Yes
metsulfuron + dicambaYes
Yes
Yes
Yes
metsulfuron + sulfentrazone

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

For information regarding weed identification and control options please contact your local LSU AgCenter Extension Parish Office.

1/10/2020 9:41:34 PM
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