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Virginia Buttonweed Control: What to Do

One of the most common weeds that grows in and around Atlanta, Georgia, is the broadleaf Virginia buttonweed. Alongside dandelions, crabgrass, chickweed, clovers, and other frustrating weeds that thrive in the warm Atlanta-area climate, Virginia buttonweed can negatively impact the appearance—and overall health—of your lawn. Our team at Arbor-Nomics understands the importance of taking a proactive approach when it comes to eradicating this stubborn and invasive weed. 

The Growing Challenge: What Is Virginia Buttonweed?

Virginia buttonweed is a perennial broadleaf weed belonging to the Rubiaceae family. It is native to the southeastern United States because it favors high temperatures and humidity levels. It is known to spread most rapidly during the warm summer months, but it begins growing in the spring, and its growing period lasts throughout the summer. The Virginia buttonweed spreads through both its seeds and its roots. If left unchecked, the seeds can remain viable for up to three years!

Over time, Virginia buttonweed can become matted; its dense, tangled mats will then suppress the growth of the desirable grasses across your lawn, and this results in thin and patchy turf areas. This problem not only diminishes the visual appeal of your lawn but also reduces its ability to withstand foot traffic, drought, and other common environmental stressors. 

This weed grows vigorously, and proper identification can mitigate its impact and contribute to successful Virginia buttonweed control. 

The Art of Identification: Recognizing Virginia Buttonweed

Virginia buttonweed can be identified by its small white flowers that bloom in the summertime; the four petals are clustered in a button-like arrangement, which is how the weed gets its name. This weed has lance-shaped, dark green leaves that appear to be slightly glossy. The leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem and joined by a connecting membrane. You’ll find bristly stipules where the leaf attaches to the stem. The bristly stipules help protect the leaf from damage.

Identification is the first step to effective “Virginia buttonweed control”. 

Proactive Measures: How to Get Rid of Virginia Buttonweed  

Virginia buttonweed control is crucial if you want to keep your lawn in the best shape possible. Regular mowing, proper watering, correct fertilization, and timely weed management measures can all aid in curbing the growth—and spread—of Virginia buttonweed.

Here are some great tips for how to get rid of Virginia buttonweed:

  • Watering: Virginia buttonweed thrives in wet soil, so make a plan to water your lawn deeply but infrequently. Drying out the soil will make it less hospitable to Virginia buttonweed.
  • Mowing: Regularly mowing your lawn and keeping it at the right height can keep your desired grasses more resistant to weeds. Do keep in mind that successful Virginia buttonweed control involves properly disposing your clippings after mowing. If your clippings are not properly collected and bagged, the broken pieces of Virginia buttonleaf can potentially re-establish themselves in your soil. 
  • Fertilizing: Fertilizing your lawn can aid in Virginia buttonweed control by providing essential nutrients to the desired grasses, boosting their growth and resiliency. This reduces the available resources for Virginia buttonweed and other weeds to flourish. 
  • Aerating: Aerating your lawn can also play a role in Virginia buttonweed control. Lawn aeration involves creating small holes in the soil to allow the grass roots to achieve better air, water, and nutrient circulation. 

In addition to these tips, we also recommend keeping your lawn free of debris. Debris can provide a hiding place for Virginia buttonweed seeds and create pockets of moisture, which offers Virginia buttonweed an ideal growing environment. Looking for another idea for how to get rid of Virginia buttonweed? Don’t compost it. The seeds can survive the composting process and spread to other areas. 

While the question “How to get rid of Virginia buttonweed?” is an important one, another equally important question revolves around which herbicide(s) to use when chemical treatment becomes necessary for Virginia buttonweed control. 

Choosing the Right Weapon: The Best Herbicide for Virginia Buttonweed

The best herbicide for Virginia buttonweed control will vary depending on the type of grass you have, the severity of the weed infestation, and your budget. 

For small infestations, you may be able to get rid of Virginia buttonweed by hand pulling or spot treating with a herbicide, but more severe infestations will likely require a combination of methods, including herbicides that have proven most effective against these and other noxious weeds.

Recommended herbicides for Virginia buttonweed include 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr. Before you use any herbicide for Virginia buttonweed control, it’s important to read and understand the label. You’ll need to follow the directions listed on the label to ensure that the herbicide is applied properly and won’t damage your surrounding grasses, plants, and flowers. 

If you’re unsure about which herbicide to use or how to safely and correctly apply it, we encourage you to contact Arbor-Nomics so our professional lawn care experts can deliver weed treatment and lawn fertilization. We’re confident that we can provide the best herbicide for Virginia buttonweed as well as tailor a comprehensive lawn care strategy that encompasses not only herbicide use but also lawn care practices that will contribute to long-term weed management. 

Your Lawn Deserves the Best: Contact Arbor-Nomics Today! 

Because it competes for essential nutrients, water, and sunlight—and also because its roots penetrate deeply into the soil—Virginia buttonweed can be one of the most aggressive weeds you’ll encounter in the state of Georgia. Discovering how to get rid of Virginia buttonweed can be a challenge.

Maintaining a healthy lawn involves implementing an efficient weed management plan, which can remove and prevent these weeds from growing in areas where they don’t belong. In this case, providing the best herbicide for Virginia buttonweed would be an integral piece of the strategy. As your local lawn care experts, Arbor-Nomics proudly provides high-quality, affordable lawn care services—including professional weed control—to our customers in Atlanta and the surrounding metro communities. We encourage you to contact our team of Certified Landscape Specialists so we can keep this invasive weed in check year-round. For more information about our services and plans, call 770-447-6037 or chat with a friendly and knowledgeable member of our team via our website. We look forward to helping you with Virginia buttonweed control and providing other lawn care services that will keep your lawn looking vibrant and welcoming one season after the next.