Chickweed is controlled with Freehand Herbicide
 

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)

 

Common Chickweed is a Winter annual that reproduces by seeds. Most cool-season annuals, germinate in the Autumn, flower the following Spring, and die soon after Summer temperatures rise. Common Chickweed, can however persist through the Summer in sites not exposed to heat and drought.

Common Chickweed often forms large, dense patches in lawns but grows more upright in unmowed settings. The hairy stems will often form mats over surrounding low growing plants. The stems can root at the nodes when lying prostrate.

The roots are shallow and fibrous. Leaves are bright green, opposite, simple, broadly oval, and usually less than 25 mm long.

After you read this, you will be able to:

  • Identify Common Chickweed.
  • Know the habitat of Common Chickweed.
  • Know the best cultural and chemical options to control this weed.

 

A closely related plant is Mouse-ear Chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum), that has a similar growth habit but it is a perennial which roots at the nodes. The leaves are often oblong and densely hairy. It is less common in a turfgrass or a landscape setting.

Common Chickweed is a good indicator weed of heavy, poorly draining, shaded, fertile soils. In a turf situation it often indicates poor turf density. More information on turf weeds is in our weed ID chart.

 

How to Identify Common Chickweed.

 
 
Category: Broadleaf (Dicot).
Flower: The white flowers are small, star shaped and about 1 cm in diameter. They have 5 white petals, and are 1–3 mm long.
Height: It has a sprawling growth habit, being up to 400 mm long and 1 mm in diameter, with a line of hairs running straight down its length.
Leaf length: The leaves are green, hairless, oval and opposite, 6 to 25 mm long.
Leaf width: Leaves are 3 to 10 mm wide.

Reproduction: Common chickweed emerges mostly in the Autumn when temperatures are 14 to 20°C. Most seedlings emerge from the soil at depths of less than 25 mm, and have a maximum emergence depth of 50 mm.

Seed: Common chickweed produces from 750 to 30,400 seeds per plant, with an average of 25,000 seed per plant.

Comments: Can flower within a month and set seed within 2 to 3 months.
 
Habitat: This weed likes high fertility soils and thrives in moist soils high in N. Common Chickweed is an excellent N scavenger, so you will encourage this weed if you overfeed, and there will be more Chickweed growth in the Autumn. This weed prefers favours pH neutral soils and doesn’t grow well in acidic soils.
 
 
 
 

 

 

How to Remove Chickweed.

Both cultural and chemical control can control this weed.

 
 
 

Cultural control.

To control Common Chickweed without chemicals, maintain turf density by fertilizing, mowing at the right height of cut, and irrigating appropriately.
 
 
 
Hand removal is effective as this weed pulls easily. However, it is important to remove it before seeds develop. Make sure to bag off and remove any vegetative material from the site, as Common Chickweed re-roots from stem nodes in moist areas.
 
 

Chemical control.

Chemical control of Common Chickweed is best in the Autumn and Early Spring when plants are small. It is more difficult to control in cool weather, and when plants are large and form a dense vegetative mat.

Both Pre-emergent and Post-emergent options are available. Non selective options include Glyphosate (Rapid Fire 800). If you use this and water quality is an issue then we recommend the use of ProForce Manta Ray.

 
 
Chickweed after treating with herbicide