This low-spreading prostrate winter annual can be easy to identify but tricky to control. Because common chickweed (Stellaria media) thrives in cool, moist areas, it can be prevalent in the spring. Be prepared with these helpful identification and control tips:
What to look for: Low-growing succulent with light-green leaves, pointed at the tip
Life cycle: Winter annual, or perennial in mild climates
Leaves: Oppositely arranged, elliptical-shaped
Flowers: Small white flowers open only under sunny skies and last one day
Roots: Shallow and fibrous; roots form at the nodes
Look-alikes: Mouse-ear chickweed (look for dark-green or gray-green leaves covered with soft hairs)
Commonly found: Turf, gardens, landscaped areas, nurseries and other disturbed places that are especially moist
Because chickweed thrives in cool, damp areas, growing conditions can be made less favorable by reducing shade and trimming trees where possible, and improving drainage, especially in shady locations. Herbicide applications are typically made in late summer/early fall, but if you missed that window, don’t worry. Defendor® specialty herbicide can be applied now when temperatures are still cool. It can be applied with your first fertilizer or preemergence crabgrass applications of the season, giving you a head start this spring.
State restrictions on the sale and use of Defendor apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details.