Dollar weed,is a perennial weed that commonly pops up in moist lawns and gardens. This weed is often difficult to control once it becomes well established. Find out how to control it here. When it comes to my lawn, I’m pretty much a live and let live kind of guy. If it’s green, it stays — and for decades my policy has worked. I haven’t had to use poisons. Insects and wildlife seem to appreciate the blend of greens and flowering weeds. Most importantly, it’s the one aspect… Is Dollarweed overtaking your lawn? Get rid of Dollarweed quickly by using the products and lawn care advice in this DIY Dollarweed treatment guide.
Eliminate Dollar Weed – How To Kill Dollar Weed
Dollar weed (Hydrocotyle spp.), also known as pennywort, is a perennial weed that commonly pops up in moist lawns and gardens. Similar in appearance to lily pads (only smaller with white flowers), this weed is often difficult to control once it becomes well established. In fact, it can quickly spread throughout the lawn and other areas by seed and rhizomes. Nonetheless, there are several options available to treat dollar weed should it become a problem for you.
Getting Rid of Dollar Weed Naturally
Since this weed thrives in overly moist areas, the best way to treat dollar weed is by reducing moisture in the affected area with proper mowing and irrigation. You should also improve any drainage issues that may be present.
In addition, dollar weed can be easily pulled up by hand, though this can be tedious and in larger areas, it may not be feasible. Organic control involves methods that may work for some while not others, but it’s always worth a try to see if one will work for you before resorting to chemicals. These methods include the following:
- Boiling water – Pouring boiling water on areas with dollar weed will quickly kill the plants. However, care should be taken not to get any on other nearby plants or grass, as boiling water will kill anything it comes into contact with.
- Baking soda – Some people have had luck with using baking soda for killing dollar weeds. Simply wet down the dollar weed foliage and sprinkle baking soda over it, leaving it overnight. This is supposed to kill the weeds but be safe for the grass.
- Sugar – Others have found success with dissolving white sugar over the weed. Spread the sugar over the area and water it in thoroughly.
- Vinegar – Spot treating dollar weed with white vinegar has also been deemed effective as a dollar weed herbicide.
How to Kill Dollar Weed with Chemicals
Sometimes chemical control is necessary for killing dollar weeds. Most types of dollar weed herbicide are applied in spring while the plants are still young, though repeat applications may be needed. Monument, Manor, Blade, Image, and Atrazine have all been found to effectively eradicate this weed. They are also safe for use on Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Centipede grasses (provided you carefully follow instructions).
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Man
The incredibly true misadventures of a home gardener.
Dollarweed Makes No Sense
When it comes to my lawn, I’m pretty much a live and let live kind of guy. If it’s green, it stays — and for decades my policy has worked.
I haven’t had to use poisons. Insects and wildlife seem to appreciate the blend of greens and flowering weeds. Most importantly, it’s the one aspect of gardening and home ownership that has remained stress-free.
I refuse to be a suburban slave to my lawn — at least that’s what I said until dollarweed entered my life.
I had never heard of dollarweed — also called pennywort — until I moved to Florida. In my Long Island lawn and garden, I had dandelions, clover, and crabgrass — but never dollarweed.
I first spotted dollarweed on the packaging of a weed-and-feed product. I wasn’t interested in purchasing the stuff, but I thought it strange that a weed was featured so prominently on the front with the words: “Even kills dollarweed.”
Wow, I thought, how bad can a weed be? Is it possible for a weed to be so terrifying and invasive that it could get top billing on the front of a bag of weed-and-feed? If there was such a weed, I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn’t have any in my yard.
There was that one weed — the one I noticed creeping through some of the beds; the one that when I pulled on it, the long, tender stem would break; the one that had roots developing at various points along the length of its stem; the one that I incorporated into my weeding game — just how much length of the weed could I pull out in one try?
Could that be dollarweed?
I compared my weed to the weed on the packaging and to online images — and the more I looked, the more it seemed my yard was awash in dollarweed. It rambled over bromeliads and quickly became kudzu-like in succulent-filled pots.
It appeared in the lawn, where it grew in large patches, weaving its way between blades of grass.
How could it spread so quickly — and one day while I was weeding, the answer was literally in the palm of my hand. Dollarweed seeds are very small and they stick to everything — and while weeding, I noticed them on my fingers, clothes, and sandals.
If the seeds could so easily stick to me, then there was a good chance the seeds were also clinging to the underside of the lawnmower.
I started researching and learned that dollarweed thrives in moist conditions. In fact, its presence in a lawn indicates poor drainage or overlapping sprinkler head zones.
That’s when it all hit me. Dollarweed wasn’t the enemy. I was. I was responsible for spreading dollarweed throughout my yard simply by doing my chores. I had provided the perfect environment for it.
It may as well have been my face on the package of weed-and-feed.
Now that I know I have a sort-of parasitic weed that lives because of me, what was I to do? Adding poison to the lawn went against my long running policy. Besides, one website even described dollarweed as the punch line in the corporate offices of poison producers. The toxins are only a temporary fix for a weed destined to return again and again. It seemed one man’s dollarweed is an industry’s dollar maker.
My solution at the moment is to clean up my gardening act:
- Clean the underside of the mower after every mow;
- Be aware of where I walk so I do not inadvertently transport dollarweed seeds around the yard;
- Use a hand trowel to help remove dollarweed and its runners and roots from the beds;
- Experiment with regular applications of vinegar to problem areas;
- Adjust the sprinkler heads and correct drainage issues.
When it comes to gardening, the last thing I want is to be dollarweed foolish and pennywort unwise.
10 thoughts on “ Dollarweed Makes No Sense ”
Ha, a funny post about what looks like quite a serious weed! Props to you for trying to get rid of it without resorting to chemicals. Good luck!
That weed looked awfully familiar to me so I just checked my well-thumbed copy of Weeds of the Northeast and dollarweed isn’t in the Index. Also checked its alternate nickname of “pennywort”…nope. There’s “pennycress” and “thoroughwort” but no pennywort. Guess it is one of those ‘blessings’ of living in the South?
What I want to know is, when did inflation alter your weed’s nickname from Pennywort to Dollarweed?
Haha. Good one, M’Lady!
I learned about dollarweed around the same time you did. It is also very “popular“ in hungary. My only (temporary) solution is currently weeding with a rake.
How is your experience with it in the last 4 years?
Hi there. What I have found works the best is mowing my lawn at a higher setting. My lawnmower has a recommended height, but I adjusted it to the next height setting. It means that I have to mow more frequently, especially in summer and to keep the weeds from flowering and self-sowing, but keeping my grass longer seems to make it healthier so it chokes out the weeds. In addition, the height also creates deeper shadows in the grass, preventing sunlight from helping to germinate the weed seeds. I hope this helps.
Thank you. This is what I tried also. Unfortunately (fortunately) I’m living in a relatively moist area, therefore in case there is a small shadow on the grass, then there’s just enough water for the dollar weed.
We just had a month of drought combined with my rake, I’m more or less free of it now.
You really did your homework to figure out the weed’s habits! I only wish I could loan Darwin to you for awhile, Kevin. He would absolutely love to chow down on that lovely greenery. I pull spurge and other very “meaty” weeds and feed them to him so at least there’s that as an upside to the otherwise pesky problem of weeds. Dollarweed is an invasive irritant, I understand, but at last it’s kind of pretty!
Hi Debra — so, I need a turtle for my yard. If a turtle can also keep iguanas away, then I’m sold!
I too am a transplant to the south from the NYC area. In coastal Georgia I found it growing in my empty (plant-less) potting plants. I did not know what is was and thought it looked pretty so I let it grow. It’s funny how we humans, decide that a growing plant is a weed and is undesirable and we choose to launch a poison campaign against it’s existence. As the author points out Dandelions are a good example. They are actually quite beautiful and both the flowers and leafs are edible and it makes a great wine. It will however take over your lawn. So, should you desire the perfect suburban lawn it is a nuisance but it can be part an attractive flowering field. Likewise, Dollarweed can often grow where most things cannot and serve as perfect groundcover in the sandy coastal soil under my live-oaks. In addition to being very attractive (like small waterlily) they are also edible and delicious. “These “annoying” plants are quite close to celery in terms of taste, and can be served as a raw delicacy if SHTF [survival, hunting, trapping, fishing]. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Dollar weed is a close cousin of Gotu Kola, which is widely known for its use in traditional Asian cooking and medicine. If you consume dollar weed, make sure you wash it thoroughly to avoid the risk of ingesting herbicides which are widely used to control this plant in lawns and gardens.”
Thanks for commenting, James… In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”
Dollarweed Control: How to Get Rid of Dollarweed
This page is a general Dollarweed control guide. Using the products and methods suggested, you will get control of Dollarweed. Follow this guide and use the recommended products, and we guarantee 100% control of dollarweed.
Living in an area with warm temperatures and access to bodies of water is the perfect environment for dollarweed. Commonly known as pennywort, dollarweed gets its name from the shape it takes. The round leaves are glossy and similar in size to a silver dollar. This weed can float and be tricky to deal with.
You’re most likely dealing with dollarweed issues because there is too much water in your lawn. This can be caused by several things such as soil not draining properly, too much rain, or thin turf. One factor that makes dollarweed hard to control is the way it spreads. This weed uses both seeds and underground roots to spread, which means treatment needs to be effective to completely remove dollarweed from your lawn.
If you are dealing with a dollarweed outbreak in your yard, follow our DIY guide for professional product suggestions and expert instructions for quick and effective removal.
It is important to make sure that the weed infesting your lawn is dollarweed. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong products and methods to effectively remove it, costing your time and money.
- Dollarweed, also known as pennywort, is a perennial warm-season weed that gets its name from the silver dollar-like shape of its leaf.
- Dollarweed is dark green and resembles a tiny lily pad.
- Dollarweed grows small, white flowers that bloom in the summertime between July and August.
- Dollarweed is commonly mistaken for another weed called dichondra. You can tell the two apart by taking a look at their stems. While dichondra stems are found at the edge of their leaves, the stem from dollarweed can be spotted from the center of the leaf.
- Dollarweed is a water-loving plant and can float.
- When it is found in St. Augustine grass, this is usually an indication of high levels of moisture in the turf.
- The creeping stems of dollarweed root into wherever their nodes come in contact with the soil, increasing the number of weeds in a very short amount of time.
Use the description and image above to make sure the weeds in your lawn are dollarweed. If you are not entirely sure, contact us and we will help you with proper identification.
After correctly identifying dollarweed, take a closer look at your turf to find spots where this weed is most active. This will help you to figure out where to focus your herbicide treatment.
Where to Inspect
Search areas in your lawn with high moisture content. Sections where the soil has too much water will be a perfect spot for dollarweed to emerge. Spots where your grass is cut too short is also a popular area for this weed.
What to Look For
Keep an eye out for a weed that looks like a small lilypad. Its leaves will be glossy and green with wavy edges. Dollarweed will most likely be grouped together.
After you have inspected your yard for dollarweed, you can proceed with treatment. Be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) before handling or applying any product.
To effectively get rid of dollarweed, we recommend using either msm turf herbicide or Fahrenheit herbicide.
Msm turf herbicide is a selective herbicide that will not harm your grass. It can cover up to one acre of turf. You can apply this product with a hand pump, hose-end, or backpack sprayer.
Fahrenheit is water soluble granule that offers more application variety and can also be used for large volume applications, like treating acreage.
For most average applications, we recommend using either herbicide with a 1 gallon pump sprayer so you can make targeted spot applications easily.
Step 1 – Measure the Area For Treatment
Before applying product, calculate the square footage of the area you want to treat. You can do this by multiplying the length and width together (length x width = square footage). This will determine how much product you will need to mix with water.
The mix rate for msm turf herbicide is 0.5 to 1 oz. per acre. For example, if you wanted to treat a 2,000 square foot area, you would mix 1 oz. of msm turf herbicide with 16 ounces of water in a hose-end sprayer. Each solution can only contain 1 oz of msm turf herbicide. If you needed to treat more than 2,500 square feet, you would need 2 separate solutions with 1 oz of msm turf herbicide each.
For applications with Fahrenheit, use 6 to 12 oz. of product per acre.
Step 2 – Mix Herbicide
After calculating the amount of msm turf herbicide you will need, you can begin to create your solution. Fill your pump sprayer with a half gallon of water and then mix the measure amount msm turf herbicide into the sprayer. Add the remaining half gallon of water to the sprayer and then agitate the sprayer until the solution is well mixed.
To mix Fahrenheit, use the supplied measuring cup to measure out how much product you need. Simply attach the mouth of the cup to mouth of the bottle, and flip the bottle upside down to fill the measuring cup without spilling product.
Step 3 – Apply Herbicide Solution to Dollarweed
Now that you’ve mixed your herbicide, you can begin to spray the area you want to treat. Use a fan spray setting in order to get even coverage.
Spray your grass until it is wet, but not to the point of runoff. Move at a steady pace when treating your lawn.
Do not water your lawn for 24 hours to allow the weeds to absorb the product. You should see results in 2 weeks. You may need to reapply after 21 days.
After treating your lawn, you want to make sure that dollarweed does not return. Here are some preventative steps to protect your turf.
- Because dollarweed is attracted to thin grasses, thickening your turf is a great way to prevent this weed from returning.
- Be sure to have a good mowing height, as turf with low height can become susceptible to being invaded by weeds. St. Augustine grass are best when mowed at 3 to 4 inches. Zoysiagrass and centipede lawns do best when mowed at 2 to 3 inches, and bermuda lawns prefer a 1.5 to 2 inch height.
- Make sure that your lawn is not too saturated with water. You can avoid this by introducing an irrigation system or aerating your soil.
What is Dollarweed?
- Dollarweed is an invasive perennial weed identified by its silver dollar-shaped leaves, which is why their name is coined as such.
- Dollarweed leaves are round, bright green, fleshy and look like smaller versions of lily pads measuring 1-2 in diameter with a scalloped edge. It tends to grow low to the ground and can be spread via seeds, rhizomes and tubers.
- Dollarweed is usually found in areas that were very wet or anywhere there was excessive moisture. This weed spreads through a root system and by seeds, which makes it difficult to control.
How To Get Rid of Dollarweed
- Handpulling dollarweed is largely ineffective so using chemical methods of control is the best way to remove dollarweed from your lawn.
- Mix msm turf herbicide or fahrenheit with water to control dollarweed. Use a fan-spray setting on a hand pump sprayer for best results.
How To Prevent Dollarweed
- Because dollarweed tends to survive in parts of landscapes that are very damp and moist, the best way to treat dollarweed is through addressing moisture issues in the areas where they are growing with practice such as proper mowing and watering.
- Prevent the re-emergence of dollarweed by keeping your lawn at a taller height and aerating your soil.
“Persistence, consistency and a professional quality herbicide is the best combination of tools needed to control a stubborn plant like dollarweed. A ‘never give up attitude’ is required if the Dollarweed seems to reappear after each application.”