Indiana weeds (The most common)

Indiana is home to a wide variety of weeds that can be found in lawns, gardens, and natural areas. Weeds can be annual or perennial and can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources. Some common weeds found in Indiana include crabgrass, dandelions, and plantains. 

These weeds can be difficult to control and can negatively impact the aesthetic value and health of lawns and gardens. Effective weed management strategies include physical removal, mulching, and the use of herbicides. 

It is important to identify the specific type of weed and use the appropriate control method to prevent damage to non-target plants and ensure effective control.

common weeds

Table of Contents

Indiana weeds

Name of weed Family
Barnyard Grass Poaceae
Chickweed Caryophyllaceae
Clover Fabaceae
Fescue Poaceae
Crabgrass Poaceae
Dallisgrass Poaceae
Dandelions Asteraceae
Foxtail Poaceae
Goosegrass Poaceae
Ground Ivy Lamiaceae
Lambsquarters Amaranthaceae
Nimblewill Poaceae
Nutsedge Cyperaceae
Plantains Plantaginaceae
Poison Ivy Anacardiaceae
Prostrate Knotweed Polygonaceae
Pursulane Portulacaceae
Quackgrass Poaceae
Ragweed Asteraceae
Spurge Euphorbiaceae
Thistle Asteraceae
Velvetleaf Malvaceae
Wild Violet Violaceae

Barnyard Grass

Barnyard Grass, also known as Echinochloa crus-galli, is a warm-season annual weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is native to Asia and can be found in fields, pastures, and waste areas. Barnyard Grass can grow up to three feet tall and has small, greenish-yellow flowers that bloom from June to October.

Barnyard Grass is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources. It can also be problematic for farmers because it can reduce crop yields.

Type

Warm-season annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To control Barnyard Grass, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing glyphosate or imazapic can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control Barnyard Grass.

Barnyardgrass

Chickweed

This weed species is a creeping winter lawn weed. Its seeds germinate in cool temperatures. When seeds contact the soil, they take root, allowing them to overgrow large patches of gardens or lawns. Chickweed can be identified by the mats of foliage it forms on the ground and the small white flowers. It grows well in moist areas and is difficult to control primarily due to its potential to spread quickly.

Type

Annual

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Control

To keep chickweed away from your lawns, preventing it from taking root is the best option. To prevent its growth, you should avoid overwatering the lawn and raise your mower blade, especially in the autumn season.

Chickweed close up

Clover

Clover is a type of weed that belongs to the Fabaceae family. It can be either an annual or a perennial plant, depending on the species. Clover is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but it has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. It is commonly found in lawns, gardens, and fields.

Clover is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources. However, some people intentionally plant clover in their lawns or gardens because it can fix nitrogen in the soil and improve soil health.

Type

Annual or a perennial

Family

Fabaceae

Control

To manage clover as a weed, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control clover.

early fall white clover

Fescue

Fescue is a type of grass that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is a cool-season grass that is commonly found in lawns, pastures, and golf courses. Fescue can be either an annual or a perennial plant, depending on the species.

While fescue is not typically considered a weed, it can become problematic when it invades areas where it is not wanted or when it forms dense clumps that compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Annual or a perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

To keep these weeds under control, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing glyphosate or sethoxydim can be effective. Repeated applications may be what’s needed to fully control fescue.

indiana lawn weeds

Crabgrass

This grass species is an annual weed that has a low, spreading growth habit and thin blades. It can be challenging to manage because it spreads quickly and can germinate from even minor soil disturbances. Crabgrass thrives in warm weather and full sun conditions, making it most active during the summer months. The weed derives its name from the crab-like legs that protrude from the stem.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Crabgrass is an opportunistic weed that can take over thin or bare areas of your lawn. The best way to prevent it is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. If crabgrass does appear, post-emergent herbicides can help control it.

Regular lawn mowing can help manage crabgrass and allow more sunlight into thin areas, making it less likely to take hold. Core aeration is another effective method as it reduces soil compaction, which can inhibit the growth of crabgrass.

crabgrass stems

Dallisgrass

This weed species is a perennial grass with a coarse, upright growth habit. It often invades lawns and gardens where it can be difficult to control due to its aggressive growth and ability to spread rapidly. Dallisgrass is a weed that commonly appears in clumps, has grayish-green leaves with a smooth texture, and features a striking vein down the center of each leaf.

Type

Perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

Eliminating dallisgrass can be challenging, and it may require multiple post-emergent weed control applications. It is essential to ensure that the herbicide used is specifically labeled for dallisgrass. Using pre-emergent herbicides in the spring can help prevent the growth of dallisgrass. Regular mowing and removing dead foliage from your lawn can also discourage its growth. Core aeration is another effective method as it reduces soil compaction, which can inhibit dallisgrass growth.

lawn weeds

Dandelions

Dandelions are a type of weed that belongs to the Asteraceae family. They are perennial plants that can grow up to 12 inches tall and have yellow flowers that bloom from April to June. Dandelions are commonly found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. Dandelions are considered a weed because they can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Perennial

Family

Asteraceae

Control

To control dandelions, it is important to remove them before they go to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba can be effective.

However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control dandelions. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lawn through proper fertilization and watering can help prevent dandelion growth.

Dandelions

Foxtail

Foxtail is an annual grass weed that grows in a bushy manner. It has long, pointed leaf blades and small spikes at the end of its stems that resemble the tail of a fox. This weed grows quickly and can be found in lawns, gardens, and fields throughout North America.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To prevent foxtail from germinating, it is recommended to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. This will help keep the weed from taking hold in your lawn or garden. However, if you are already dealing with a foxtail infestation, the best way to control it is by using a post-emergent herbicide.

It is important to choose a herbicide that is specifically labeled for foxtail and to follow the instructions carefully. Hand-pulling or hoeing can also be effective for removing foxtail, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lawn or garden by proper fertilization and watering can help prevent the growth of foxtail and other weeds. Regular mowing can also help to keep foxtail in check.

Foxtail

Goosegrass

Goosegrass, also known as Eleusine indica, is a warm-season annual weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is native to Africa and can be found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. Goosegrass can grow up to three feet tall and has small, greenish-yellow flowers that bloom from May to September.

Goosegrass is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources. It can also be problematic for gardeners because it can be difficult to control.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To manage Goosegrass, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination.

If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing glyphosate or sethoxydim can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control Goosegrass.

Goosegrass

Ground Ivy

Ground Ivy is a perennial broadleaf weed that can spread quickly and take over areas in lawns. It is characterized by its kidney-shaped leaves and small, purple flowers. Ground ivy has a unique sweet smell when crushed or mowed and it often invades moist, shady areas where there is weak turf growth. The stems are four-sided with a fuzzy appearance.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Lamiaceae

Control

Ground Ivy can be difficult to control due to its aggressive growth habit. To remove this weed from your lawn more effectively, it is recommended to regularly mow your lawn as short as possible and spot treat the weeds with post-emergent herbicides. Additionally, application of pre-emergent herbicides helps.

 

young ground ivy

Lambsquarters

Lambsquarters is an annual weed with a low to medium growth habit and small, white flowers. It is commonly found in gardens and lawns, where it can spread quickly if not managed. The leaves of lambsquarters are diamond-shaped and smooth on the upper surface, with a whitish underside. The weed also has small, greenish-white flowers that are clustered together.

Type

Annual Broadleaf

Family

Amaranthaceae

Control

To effectively control Nutsedge, consider using selective broadleaf herbicides like 2,4-D or dicamba (Weed Master). If physical removal is preferred, it is important to ensure that all parts of the plant, including the roots, are removed.

Lambsquarters

Nimblewill

Nimblewill is a warm-season perennial weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is native to North America and can be found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. 

Nimblewill has a low, spreading growth habit and can grow up to 12 inches tall. It has thin, wiry stems and leaves that are light green in color.

Nimblewill is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Warm-season perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

To manage nimblewill, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. 

If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing glyphosate or sethoxydim can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control nimblewill.

Nimblewill weed

Nutsedge

Nutsedge, also commonly known as Nutgrass, is a perennial weed with bright green leaves and sharp edges. It grows in clumps with yellow flowers that emerge from spikes or “nuts” located at the top of the plant. Nutsedge prefers moist soil and can spread rapidly throughout lawns.

Nutsedge might go unnoticed at first because its seeds look like out-of-season Bermuda, grassy weeds and thatch.

Type

Perennial

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

Regular maintenance is key when controlling Nutsedge. To achieve a healthy lawn, it is important to have proper mowing and watering schedules. Additionally, post-emergent herbicides can help target established weeds like Nutsedge. Be sure to apply the herbicide during the early stages of growth and follow up with another application as needed.

Nutsedge

Plantains

Plantains are a type of weed that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. They can be either annual or perennial plants, depending on the species. Plantains are native to Europe and Asia but have been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. They are commonly found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas.

Plantains are considered a weed because they can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Annual or perennial

Family

Plantaginaceae

Control

To manage plantains, it is important to remove them before they go to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination.

If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control plantains.

Plantain

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is a perennial weed that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. It is native to North America and can be found in forests, fields, and along roadsides. Poison ivy has a distinctive three-leaf pattern and produces a toxic oil called urushiol that can cause a severe rash in humans.

Type

Perennial

Family

Anacardiaceae

Control

To control poison ivy, it is important to wear protective clothing, including gloves and long sleeves, when handling the plant. Physical removal of the entire plant, including the roots, is necessary to prevent regrowth. Herbicides containing glyphosate or triclopyr can also be effective, but it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants.

Preventative measures can also be taken to reduce the growth of poison ivy, such as removing leaf litter and other debris from the area and planting ground cover to prevent the weed from taking hold.

Poison Ivy

Japanese Knotweed

This weed species can be identified by its reddish-purple shoots and white flowers blooming from pink buds. The weed grows through buildings, piping, cables, and foundations, thereby causing considerable damage to the property.

The Japanese knotweed is in full bloom during late summer and early autumn days. The weed is very difficult to control. Specialist care is required to get rid of these plants.

Type

Perennial

Family

Polygonaceae

Control

It is recommended to seek professional help to control this weed. To prevent it from spreading, you can spray or inject its stems with approved herbicides. Regardless of the treatment, it usually takes three years to treat this weed.

 

Japanese Knotweed washington

Pursulane

Purslane, also known as Portulaca oleracea, is an annual weed that belongs to the Portulacaceae family. It is native to India and can be found in gardens, lawns, and waste areas. Purslane has a low, spreading growth habit and can grow up to 12 inches tall. It has fleshy, succulent leaves that are green in color.

Purslane is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Annual

Family

Portulacaceae

Control

To manage purslane, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing glyphosate or sethoxydim can be effective.

Quackgrass

Quackgrass is a perennial weed that has v-shaped leaves and grows to a height of two feet. It produces small, white flowers during the summer months. Quackgrass spreads quickly because its creeping roots can produce new shoots in other locations. The weed species prefers moist soil conditions and will usually die out when the weather becomes too dry.

Type

Perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

Weed prevention is the best approach for controlling this weed species. If you see any quackgrass starting to grow, it is important to remove them before they spread their seeds. A pre-emergent herbicide application can also be used to prevent new quackgrass plants from sprouting.

quackgrass

Ragweed

Ragweed is a common and unpleasant annual weed that is often found in lawns. It has long stems with small, yellowish-green flowers that produce large amounts of pollen, which can cause hay fever and allergies.

Ragweed thrives in warm, sunny areas such as gardens, fields, roadsides, and lawns, and can easily spread from one location to another. This is due to the fact that its seeds are dispersed by wind or animals.

Type

Annual

Family

Asteraceae

Control

Prevention is the best way to control ragweed. Regular mowing will help keep the plant from growing too tall and going to seed. Hand-pulling can be effective if done when the plant is young but be sure to dispose of the weeds properly as ragweed can easily re-sprout.

Ragweed

Spurge

Spurge is a type of weed that belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. It can be either annual or perennial, depending on the species. Spurge is native to Europe and Asia but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. It is commonly found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. Spurge is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Annual or perennial

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Control

To manage spurge, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control spurge.

Spurges

Thistle

Thistle is a type of weed that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It can be either annual or perennial, depending on the species. Thistle is native to Europe and Asia but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America.

It is commonly found in pastures, fields, and waste areas. Thistle is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Annual or perennial

Family

Asteraceae

Control

To manage thistle, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. 

If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control thistle. Grazing animals can also be used to help control thistle, as they will eat the plant and prevent it from spreading.

noxious weeds bull thistle

Velvetleaf

Velvetleaf, also known as Abutilon theophrasti, is an annual weed that belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is native to Asia and can be found in gardens, fields, and waste areas. Velvetleaf has a tall, erect growth habit and can grow up to six feet tall.

It has large, heart-shaped leaves that are velvety to the touch, hence its name. Velvetleaf is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Annual

Family

Malvaceae

Control

To manage velvetleaf, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. 

If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing glyphosate or sethoxydim can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants. In some cases, repeated applications may be necessary to fully control velvetleaf.

Velvetleaf

Wild Violet

Wild violet, also known as Viola sororia, is a perennial weed that belongs to the Violaceae family. It is native to North America and can be found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. Wild violet has heart-shaped leaves and produces small, purple flowers.

Wild violet is considered a weed because it can quickly spread and compete with other plants for resources.

Type

Perennial

Family

Violaceae

Control

To control wild violet, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed. This can be done by hand-pulling or using a hoe to cut the stem below the soil surface. Mulching can also help to suppress growth and prevent seed germination. If chemical control is necessary, herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba can be effective. However, it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants.

Wild Violets
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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