Getting Rid of Hydrocotyle Verticillata, or Dollar Weed
Getting Rid of Hydrocotyle verticillata, or Dollar Weed
Dollar weed (scientific name Hydrocotyle verticillata) is a major lawn weed in the southeast. It is extremely tenacious because it spreads in almost every way possible: via seeds, rhizomes (running stems) and tubers. It is almost impossible to dig up the entire plan. If you leave just one piece in the ground it will re-sprout. It does not respond to spraying via Roundup®, the go-to systemic herbicide that most people use.
What does dollar weed look like?
Dollar weed is a unique-looking weed with round leaves (like silver dollars) and a single stem that connects to the bottom of the weed's leaf. It spreads in clumps throughout the grass. It can grow close to the soil or the grass or up to four or five inches above it.
How do you control dollar weed?
To control dollar weed, or Hydrocotyle verticillata, start by altering the conditions in the lawn. Dollar weed thrives in wet soil, so the first thing you can do is improve drainage in the area with the problem. Aerate the soil, and re-grade the area if possible.
Once you've fixed the cultural conditions that cause dollar weed to thrive, you'll have to use chemical control. This is one instance where using chemical control is probably better in the long run, because if you have to repeatedly remove dollar weed from the soil, you'll end up opening large patches of soil to erosion problems.
Atrazine is the chemical to use on dollar weed. Be careful when using this, as it can be harmful to groundwater systems. Apply atrazine in the fall and then again in the spring after the grass has started to green up and grow again. Image® is a product with atrazine in it that can be used on the lawn.
After a few seasons of staying on top of this weed, you will find that it begins to be less of a problem. The key is to be vigilant.