Warhead Herbicide on white clover

White Clover (Trifolium repens)

White Clover is a creeping perennial weed with most growth in Spring, Summer and Autumn. It is easily recognised by its characteristic green, trifoliate compound leaves. White Clover has below ground rhizomes and above ground stolons, and is able to spread rapidly and easily compete with turf species.

White Clover is suited to a wide range of soils, and is tolerant of acidic soils.

After you read this, you will be able to:

  • Identify White Clover
  • Know the habitat of White Clover.
  • Know the best options to control this weed.




How to Identify White Clover.

Category: Broadleaf (Dicot).

Flower: The flowers are white to pink, and resemble a small pea, which usually extends beyond the height of the leaves. It usually flowers from Spring to Autumn.
Height: Prostrate
Leaf length: The leaves are oval to heart shaped, and 5-20 mm long.
Leaf width: The leaves of White Clover are 5-14 mm wide.

Reproduction: It reproduces by seeds and creeping stems that root at the nodes.

Comments: The leaf margins are subtly jagged with a white crescent encircling the base of each leaflet to form a central white ring. It’s leaves have no hairs.

Habitat:  It is an extremely common weed of turf around the country. White Clover is often found in N deficient soil where it out competes the existing turf species, and grows rapidly in a short period of time.

More on lawn and turf grass weeds is in our weed ID chart.




How to control White Clover.

Both cultural and chemical control will control this weed in your lawn and turf.

Cultural control:

Established Clover colonies is difficult to remove by hand, and you must make sure you remove all roots and dispose of them to avoid regrowth.
To prevent seed head formation mowing is an effective control, and your aim is to maintain a dense sward to prevent it establishing. The best way to do this is to mow your turf at the right height, fertilize with N, and reduce soil moisture. This creates the best possible environment for turfgrass growth and doesn’t favour White Clover.
White Clover is intolerant of droughty soils as it has a shallow root system. It prefers cool, moist weather on well-drained soils.

Chemical control:

White Clover is pretty tolerant of Glyphosate, but there are several post-emergent herbicides are available for control. At Gilba Solutions, we recommend Warhead Trio and Contra M herbicides. (Don’t use Contra M on Buffalo grass.)