Creeping buttercup is a herbaceous perennial weed, which is also known as creeping crowfoot and sitfast. It spreads via stolons (overground runners), rooting at the nodes. It is especially troublesome on wet soils and has a very fibrous root system that roots deeply into the soil. Having a lot of creeping buttercups is often a good indicator that the soil suffers from poor drainage and constant water logging and action needs to be taken to improve the drainage.
On lawns and turf, creeping buttercup it is the most common of all the buttercup weeds. Close mowing is not a problem for this weed, as it can adapt to the height of cut of the mower.
The basal leaves consist of 3 leaflets, often deeply toothed and under close inspection fine hairs can be seen.
The bright yellow flowers are typical of all buttercup type weeds. They mostly have 5 petals, although they sometimes have more. Flowering period is from April to August.
Creeping buttercup prefers nutrient rich soils, especially in damp soils, where water logging is often the norm.
- Hand weed if the infestation is not too severe, if there are a lot of weeds then it may prove difficult.
- Improve the drainage with a program of regular aeration.
- Raking the weed into an upright position prior to mowing will help weaken it.
- Encourage a thick sward of grass with good lawn care practices to help prevent weeds invading the lawn.
Creeping buttercup can be controlled using a selective weed killer. A single application should be enough to see this weed off. However if it still persists, another application about 6 weeks after the initial treatment should do the job.
Creeping buttercup images
Recommended herbicides for the control of creeping buttercup
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.