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Common Chickweed

Image of Common Chickweed

Common Chickweed is a winter annual plant producing smooth stems and leaves that typically sprawl throughout turf, landscape, and vegetable gardens forming dense patches. The stems of Common Chickweed are around ½” – 1” long. Common Chickweed usually emerge in the fall and may have several generations each year especially during cool, wet seasons.

Common Chickweed Foliage:
The leaves of Common Chickweed are oval-ovate or broadly egg-shaped with a pointy tip. The leaves are mainly hairless or may have hairy margins at the base. Common Chickweed leaves are evenly spaced with pairs of opposing leaves that appear along the stem. The lower leaves are stalkless and smaller than the stalked upper leaves.

Common Chickweed Flowers:
The Common Chickweed has small, showy flowers and each flower is about ¼” in size with 5 white bifid petals (that look like 10 petals). They are produced at the end of the stems in open clusters. Individual flowers develop from the axils of outer pairs of leaves. The stems end in small cymes of white flowers.

Common Chickweed Roots:
The Common Chickweed has a shallow, fibrous root system and spreads by reseeding itself. It also may spread vegetatively along the stems by rooting at the leaf nodes.

Treatment for Common Chickweed:
The Common Chickweed tolerates close mowing, but cannot tolerate hot, dry conditions. It prefers moist shady, nutrient-rich soils and usually dies out by the middle of the summer. There are several pre-emergence broadleaf herbicides that can chemically control Common Chickweed. These products should be applied before chickweed germination. Effective post-emergence herbicides include two and three-way combination herbicides. Mowing the turfgrass area two to three days prior to application is important. Also, treatments should be timed for when there is no rainfall expected for at least 12 hours.

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