Common chickweed is a shallow rooted annual weed, it is very common on waste ground, bare areas and newly seeded areas.
It is also known as chicken-wort and is often eaten by chickens and many other birds. It spreads by creeping runners that root at the nodes, however, it is rarely a problem on established turf.
The leaves are very similar to those of scarlet pimpernel. They are borne in pairs on the opposite sides of the stem and are small and oval in shape. In most instances they are a pale green colour.
Common chickweed flowers are very similar to mouse-ear chickweed. The small white flowers have five petals that are so deeply cut they give the appearance of ten. The flowering period is from February right through to November.
Common chickweed will grow in most conditions, particularly on sites that suffer from excessive shade.
- Maintain good turf health with good lawn care practices, such as correct feeding, aeration , scarification and irrigating during dry spells, to prevent weed invasion.
- Hand weeding can be effective as this weed has weak, shallow roots and is easily removed.
- Regular mowing should weaken and eventually remove this weed altogether from the lawn.
Although common chickweed is easily controlled using a selective herbicide, it should not really be required, as the weed will disappear with regular mowing. It is seldom a problem on established turf.
Common chickweed images
Recommended herbicides for the control of common chickweed
Professional products (All operators must be trained and certificated in using and applying any Ministry Approved professional product)
- ICL Enforcer (2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p, MCPA)
- ICL Praxys (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, Florasulam)
- ICL Esteron (2,4-D, Furosulam)
- Barclay Holster (Fluroxypyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
- Headland Quickfire (Mecoprop-p, Dicamaba)
- Headland Cabadex (Flurosulam, Fluroxypyr)
- Hygrass-P (Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Hysward-P (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Bayer Longbow (MCPA, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Mascot Junction Turf (Flurosulam, 2,4-D)
- Mascot Greenor (Fluroxpyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Mascot Crossbar (Fluroxpyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores and do not require any training or certification for use and application.)
- Weedol Concentrate (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Vitax lawn Clear (Clopyralid, 2,4-D, MCPA)
- Resolva Lawn Weed Killer (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba)
Tips for successful weed control using selective herbicides
- Treat weeds when growth is strong, this is usually in May and June.
- Don’t mow the lawn 3 days prior and 3 days after the treatment, to allow for maximum uptake of the chemical.
- Spray when the leaf/foliage is dry, as this reduces runoff and allows the chemical to stick to the weed.