Eradicating Dollar Weed From Your Lawn

Dollar Weed is considered to be an aggressive weed that is hard to remove from lawns. The opposite is really the truth once you come to understand its biology. Interestingly, it’s name – Dollar Weed – is not based on its shape, but based on the never ending need to spend dollars to eradicate it – year after year.

Rather than being an aggressive weed, Dollar Weed is an opportunistic weed.  Some gardeners quite like it as it generally only grows in smallish areas and has attractive flowers. Mowing your lawn will cut it back and its growth patterns are about the same as conventional grasses. It’s life isn’t, and that is how you can defeat it.

I mentioned it was an opportunistic weed, and it is. The conditions have to be right for it to grow, and the major condition is water.  Dollar weed, or more correctly, Water Pennywort or Marsh Pennywort (part of the Ivy Family), only grows in areas where there is plenty of water. As the name March Pennywort indicates, soft marshy conditions are perfect. In most gardens, the arrival of Dollar Weed should be cause for alarm, but not for the weed itself.

Dollar Weed arriving suddenly could indicate a broken underground water pipe, poor watering techniques that allows too much water to fall on one area, or hard compacted soil that has a small basin in its shape. In these events, water collects and is held for long periods, thus causing a ‘marshy’ effect. Remove the water and the marshland and the weed will die off and be gone forever.

Repair the problem by removing the water source, putting in adequate drainage, and opening up the soil for strong root development. Use a grass seeding tool to help open up the soil. Sow your seed liberally and let the grass reclaim the area. Dollar weed, remove the excess water and you remove the problem!



4 Responses to “Eradicating Dollar Weed From Your Lawn”

  1. Manhar L. Shah says:

    It is not true. I had water off for several weeks and no rain still dollar weed seems doing fine. There is always some dew and that is enough. Yes, dollar weed likes water but can survive in drought. As recommended by Scott Bonus-s works well for FLORATAM and St. Augustine but there are surviving dollar weeds that come back and Bonus-S kills some Floratam as well. I had severely infested dollar weed problem. I found that following Scott’s recommendation to hold off water then apply Bonus-S is good but watering less afterward was not good. I watered less and waited for dollar weeds develop brown ring on the most. Then I watered lawn every day to make Floratam grow faster. Could apply Turf builder or some other regular fertilizer to speed-up growth of Floratam. That seems to do better. May have to repeat the treatment and spot treat few places but lawn looks much better now compare to last two years since water restrictions are in place.

  2. Manhar L. Shah says:

    It is not true. I had water off for several weeks and no rain still dollar weed seems doing fine. There is always some dew and that is enough. Yes, dollar weed likes water but can survive in drought. As recommended by Scott Bonus-s works well for FLORATAM and St. Augustine but there are surviving dollar weeds that come back and Bonus-S kills some Floratam as well. I had severely infested dollar weed problem. I found that following Scott’s recommendation to hold off water then apply Bonus-S is good but watering less afterward was not good. I watered less and waited for dollar weeds develop brown ring on the most. Then I watered lawn every day to make Floratam grow faster. Could apply Turf builder or some other regular fertilizer to speed-up growth of Floratam. That seems to do better. May have to repeat the treatment and spot treat few places but lawn looks much better now compare to last two years since water restrictions are in place.

  3. schrodinger says:

    I agree– high moisture is not necessary for dollarweed to show up and invade. I’m in Texas and we had a huge drought last year, and water restrictions. We can only water twice a week, and I know I’m doing less than the inch a week. Yet I have dollarweed all over the place! However, I’m renovating our lawn. The soil is terrible. I’m improving it as I renovate, tilling (which is bringing up the dollarweed), fertilizing and adding lots of organic matter, and I’ll be reseeding so hopefully that’ll finish off the dollarweed.

  4. schrodinger says:

    I agree– high moisture is not necessary for dollarweed to show up and invade. I’m in Texas and we had a huge drought last year, and water restrictions. We can only water twice a week, and I know I’m doing less than the inch a week. Yet I have dollarweed all over the place! However, I’m renovating our lawn. The soil is terrible. I’m improving it as I renovate, tilling (which is bringing up the dollarweed), fertilizing and adding lots of organic matter, and I’ll be reseeding so hopefully that’ll finish off the dollarweed.

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