Common chickweed (Stellaria media [L.] Vill.) is a cool-season annual weed common throughout Louisiana. The weed typically germinates in early fall and produces flowers in the spring and spreads through seed. Due to its prostrate, mat-forming growth habit and profuse seed production, common chickweed is a difficult weed to control in turfgrass.
Common chickweed has oval-shaped leaves with smooth edges. Common chickweed leaves are light green and are smooth or possibly hairy toward the base. Upper leaves are without petioles, while lower leaves have long petioles. Leaves are oppositely arranged along freely branching stems, which can sometimes be purple in color. Small white flowers grow at the end of stems and have five deeply lobed petals. Common chickweed has a branching, prostrate growth habit. For more information on common chickweed identification and characterization, reference the USDA Plants Database.
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 Species||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|
In addition to cultural practices, herbicide applications may be required to achieve effective weed control. Common chickweed is readily controlled by several pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicides.
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.
|Pre-emergence Herbicide Active Ingredients|
|Post-emergence Herbicide Active Ingredients |
|2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop + carfentrazone||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|thiencarbazone + iodosulfuron + dicamba||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|penoxulam + sulfentrazone + dicamba + 2,4-D||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|metsulfuron + dicamba||Yes||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.
Download here: Louisiana Home Lawn Series: Common Chickweed 3624-ZZZ
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture