How to Kill Virginia Buttonweed and Have a Healthy Lawn

There is no doubt that one of the most challenging weeds to manage is the Virginia buttonweed. So we are going to address methods that will show you how to kill Virginia buttonweed.

The Virginia buttonweed comes from a plant species called Diodia Virginiana. It is challenging to deal with it because it spreads through its rhizomes and seeds. 

It thrives best under moist conditions, growing during the spring and continuing throughout the summer months.

This weed can withstand mowing and dry conditions, a few factors which make them hard to control. Their aggressive root system ensures that they can quickly produce new roots.  

When you proceed to remove them, it is important to remember to check the soil for roots otherwise any remnants would promote their continued growth. 

How can you identify Virginia Buttonweed?

Virginia buttonweed has purplish leaves with their leaves that grow facing opposite each other.  Their growth expands out in a widely branched and sprawling habitat. 

A membrane connects its root system to the stem. Their branches are hairy while their leaf blades are light green on the bottom and dark green on top.

These weeds have the ability to easily cover a large area of land within a short time. They are easy to identify on your lawn as they stand out among desired vegetation and grass. 

Related Article: How to Kill Rose Bush and Have Beautiful Garden

Getting Rid of Virginia Buttonweed

There are various ways of getting rid of this weed. You can either remove them by hand or use chemicals. You will find that using chemicals may be a more productive and lasting solution. First, we will discuss the hand removal process.

  • Hand removal

You can get rid of this weed by hand only if a small area of your garden is infested with it. Otherwise, it may not be a practical or beneficial choice since you run the risk of this weed resprouting again.

Hand-pull all small patches of this weed and dry them. To ensure that they don’t grow again, make sure that you burn them. 

Do the same thing again if you notice any new weeds starting to grow. As you remove them, try to remove both the underground roots as well as the above the surface plants. 

It’s essential to remove all the parts because if there is any part of the plant that remains then the weed can regrow again. Anytime you find the weed has started to produce flowers, remove it immediately.

  • Using chemicals

Herbicides are an effective manner to kill Virginia buttonweed. The University of Tennessee recommends that herbicides are the best solutions to this notorious weed. 

At a time when they have spread uncontrollably on your lawn, the best way is to eliminate them by using herbicides.  The recommended type of herbicide is one that contains sulfonylurea. 

In addition, the best herbicide to consider is one that contains chemicals like metsulfuron, chlorsulfuron or trifloxsulfuron.

It’s essential to always read instructions on herbicides before using them to avoid damaging other plants. These herbicides, especially those that contain glyphosate, can kill any plant they come in contact with.

Things you’ll need

How to kill Virginia buttonweed and have a healthy lawn

  • Good safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Garden spade or a shovel
  • A herbicide


Step 1

Before starting to treat the weed, confirm that it is indeed Virginia buttonweed. We had earlier stated that you could identify the arrangement of its leaves which tend to be arranged facing opposite to each other. 

Their lower side is light green while their upper area is dark green. The leaves tend to be stemless and their dimensions are 1 inch wide and 2 ½ inches long. Their petal flowers are white with a star shape when they bloom.

Step 2

In this step, prepare the herbicides to spray them in the affected area. Read the instructions provided on the weed killer container. Make the necessary precautions regarding use.

Consider the spot spraying method over the broadcast application method. Schedule spraying the weeds when the temperature is lower than 85 degrees. Higher temperatures can cause damage to the desired grass and plants.

After applying the herbicide, you may later notice that the grass has started yellowing. After successfully spraying your garden, wait for 7 to 10 days then follow up. Check whether the weeds are dead. 

Some weeds do have extensive root systems, which enables them to continue growing even after killing the plant. If you notice their reappearance, then you will need to reapply this spray on the ground again. 


The best time to apply this weed killer is during the early summer. This is an ideal time because it is during this season that the temperatures tend to create a cool and favorable environment.

Mowing cannot effectively eliminate Virginia buttonweed from your garden or lawn, regardless of the mower height, be it closer or farther from the blade. 

Can you prevent the growth of Virginia buttonweed?

How to kill Virginia buttonweed and have a healthy lawn

In general, Virgina buttonweed flourishes under moist conditions, one way to interfere with its growth is to deprive it of moisture.

During its early stage of growth, it is possible to prevent its growth by heavily watering on an irregular basis. This will not give the weed a favorable environment to flourish. 

Be consistent in applying fertilizer on your lawn.  Otherwise, the lawn will be deficient and the soil conditions will encourage the growth of weeds. 

Turfgrass is another preventative means to discourage the growth of Virginia buttonweed. A healthy lawn rich with nutrients will not create a weed-friendly environment. 

It’s hard to control Virginia buttonweed once it establishes itself in your garden. If you have a lawn that is not infested with this weed, then put in the preventative measures that we suggested above. 

Should you be having any young weeds, remove them immediately. However, if the weeds have already spread, try to kill them using herbicides. 

After a week to t10en days, check whether there are any weeds growing. Repeat the process until you kill all of them.

If you are consistent in your efforts you will find yourself with a lawn that you will enjoy year after year.

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