New York weeds (The most common)

New York has a diverse range of weeds that can be found in different environments, including lawns, gardens, and natural areas. These weeds can damage surrounding vegetation and affect the ecosystem’s health.

Common weeds in New York include Japanese knotweed, poison ivy, stinging nettle, thistle, and yellow nutsedge. Preventative measures like maintaining a healthy lawn and improving drainage can limit their growth.

Weed control strategies may involve manual removal, herbicide application, or a combination of both. Identifying the specific weed species and choosing the most appropriate control method is crucial to prevent further damage to the environment.

broadleaf weeds in new york

Table of Contents

New York weeds

Name of weed Family
Annual Bluegrass Poaceae
Bindweed Convolvulaceae
Plantain Plantaginaceae
Chickweed Caryophyllaceae
Cinquefoil Rosaceae
Ragweed Asteraceae
Crabgrass Poaceae
Creeping Charlie Lamiaceae
Dandelions Asteraceae
Foxtail Poaceae
Goosegrass Poaceae
Japanese Knotweed Polygonaceae
Moss Bryophyte
Nutsedge Cyperaceae
Poison Ivy Anacardiaceae
Purslane Portulacaceae
Stinging Nettle Urticaceae
Thistle Asteraceae
Yellow Nutsedge Cyperaceae
Oxalis Oxalidaceae

Annual bluegrass

Poa annua, commonly referred to as Annual bluegrass, is a cool-season grass that is characterized by its bright green leaves. It is a widespread winter weed that has the tendency to spread rapidly in gardens and lawns. The leaves of this weed are thin and have pointed tips, while its flowers are light green or yellowish-green in color. This species of weed has the ability to survive in both shade and sunlight and flourishes in damp soil.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To manage the growth of annual bluegrass, it is recommended to refrain from excessive watering of the lawn as it tends to thrive in moist soil. Additionally, using a pre-emergent herbicide is a useful strategy to prevent the germination of its seeds. The application of herbicide is most effective during the autumn season.

Annual Bluegrass

Bindweed

Bindweed is a climbing vine that can grow uncontrollably and is often mistaken for morning glory due to its pretty, lilac-colored, trumpet-shaped flowers. 

Once it wraps around any structure, it can spread rapidly and engulf other plants in its path, depriving them of sunlight and ultimately killing them. This aggressive weed has the tendency to completely cover other plants, making it difficult to manage. Bindweed is known to thrive in drier soils, which further contributes to its rapid growth.

Type

Perennial

Family

Convolvulaceae

Control

Effective management of bindweed-infested areas requires regular watering of the flower beds and garden, as this weed thrives in dry soil. For severe bindweed infestations, irrigation of the affected area should be the first step. Once bindweed weeds have grown, glyphosate application can be used to treat the area before planting desirable plants. To prevent the regrowth of bindweed, pre-emergent herbicide or mulch should be used.

garden beds Bindweed

Plantain

Plantain is a broadleaf weed that grows close to the ground. Its round-shaped leaves are oval and are arranged in a circular pattern. The weed produces greenish flowers that emerge from a central rosette and grow on long stalks. The buds and blooms are similar in appearance.

This weed thrives in heavily trafficked areas and is known for its resilience, as it can survive various environmental conditions.

Type

Perennial

Family

Plantaginaceae

Control

One effective method of controlling plantain weed is by manually removing it from the soil. However, it is important to ensure that the weed is pulled out completely from its root to prevent regrowth. Any remaining part of the root can cause the weed to regrow. To manage the growth of plantain weed, it is also recommended to aerate the lawn and maintain its lushness without any bare spots.

Plantain

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

Cinquefoil

Cinquefoil is a perennial weed that belongs to the rose family. It is characterized by its yellow flowers and leaves that have five leaflets. The weed is known to spread quickly and can be difficult to manage once established.

Type

perennial

Family

Rosaceae

Control

To control the growth of cinquefoil, it is recommended to manually remove it from the soil, ensuring that the root is pulled out completely. The use of herbicides can also be effective in managing cinquefoil weed. It is important to note that the use of herbicides should be done with caution to avoid harming desirable plants in the surrounding area.

 

Sulfur cinquefoil

Ragweed

Ragweed is a prevalent and undesirable weed that is commonly found in lawns. This annual weed grows tall and has long stems with small yellowish-green flowers that produce a significant amount of pollen, which can cause hay fever and allergies. Ragweed thrives in warm and sunny areas, such as fields, gardens, lawns, and roadsides. It can spread effortlessly from one place to another, as its seeds are dispersed by wind or animals.

Type

Annual

Family

Asteraceae

Control

The most effective way to manage ragweed is through prevention. Regular mowing of the lawn can help to control its growth and prevent it from going to seed. Hand-pulling can also be a useful method, particularly when the plant is young. However, it is important to dispose of the weeds carefully, as ragweed can easily regrow.

ragweed can cause allergies

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual grass that has a low, spreading growth habit and thin blades. Its rapid spread and ability to germinate from minimal soil disturbance make it challenging to manage. Crabgrass thrives in warm weather and full sun conditions, making it most active during summer. The weed derives its name from the crab-like legs that protrude from the stem.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

Crabgrass has the tendency to colonize thin or bare areas in lawns, making it an opportunistic weed. To prevent crabgrass from taking hold, applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring is recommended. In case crabgrass does develop, post-emergent herbicides can be used to control it.

Regular mowing of the lawn can help to manage the growth of crabgrass and allow more sunlight to reach thin areas, making it less likely to take root. Core aeration can also be useful in reducing soil compaction, which can inhibit the growth of crabgrass.

crabgrass stems

Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie, also known as ground ivy, is a weed that derives its name from its creeping stems that grow along the ground. It can be identified by its green vine, round leaves, and purple flowers. This low-growing weed forms a mat-like cover and thrives in damp areas such as hedgerows, waste areas, woodland margins, and shady locations. It also has the ability to survive in sunny areas.

Type

Perennial

Family

Lamiaceae

Control

Creeping Charlie tends to thrive on an unhealthy lawn, making it essential to maintain a healthy lawn as a preventive measure. Once this weed takes root and invades your lawn, it can be challenging to remove. Most broadleaf herbicides are ineffective in eradicating creeping Charlie. Hand-pulling can be a viable option for removing one or two weeds, but for a large patch, using a professional-grade herbicide in the autumn season is recommended.

Creeping Charlie

Dandelions

Dandelions are a popular and hardy perennial weed that can survive freezing temperatures. The weed produces blooms that emerge from a single stem and flat, spear-shaped leaves that produce a milky sap. 

Seed heads can be seen emerging from the flowers, which children often pluck and blow across the garden, leading to the rapid spread of the weed.

Dandelions prefer acidic soils, making it difficult to control their growth. The far-reaching seed pods can sprout hundreds of new shoots, making it challenging to manage this weed.

Type

Perennial

Family

Asteraceae

Control

Controlling dandelion weed can be achieved by manually removing it from the root using a trowel or fork or by using herbicides such as glyphosate or 2,4-D. The effectiveness of herbicides depends on the timing of application, and it is recommended to apply them during the fall season when the weed is actively growing. Maintaining a healthy lawn by regular mowing, fertilizing, and watering can also help prevent the growth of dandelion weed. Applying lime to the soil can help reduce its acidity, which dandelions prefer. 

Dandelions

Foxtail

Foxtail is an annual grass weed that has a dense and bushy growth habit. The weed grows quickly and has long, pointed leaf blades with small spikes at the end of its stems that resemble the tail of a fox. Foxtail can be found in lawns, gardens, and fields across North America.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To prevent foxtail from germinating, it is recommended to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. In case of a foxtail infestation, the most effective way to manage its growth is by using a post-emergent herbicide.

control green foxtail

Goosegrass

Goosegrass is an annual weed that grows in clusters and can be recognized by its light green leaves and stems, which have a V-shaped notch at the base. The weed produces seed heads that resemble small balls, earning it the nickname “crow’s foot”.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To manage the growth of goosegrass, it can be removed manually using a small trowel or by hand. However, for a large infestation, the most effective method is to use herbicides by spot-spraying the weeds.

Goosegrass

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed is identifiable by its white flowers that emerge from pink buds and reddish-purple shoots. The plant has the ability to grow through piping, cables, buildings, and foundations, causing significant damage to the property. This weed species blooms most prolifically in late summer and early autumn. Once established, Japanese knotweed is extremely challenging to control.

Type

Perennial

Family

Polygonaceae

Control

Managing Japanese knotweed requires professional guidance, although approved herbicides can be used to prevent its spread. Treating this weed species can take up to three years to achieve complete control.

Japanese Knotweed washington

Moss

Moss weed is a type of plant that belongs to the Bryophyte family. Unlike other plants, it does not have flowers, roots, or stems. It grows in dense green clumps and is often found in damp, shady areas. 

Moss weed is a perennial, meaning it can survive for several years, and it reproduces through spores rather than seeds. This weed species is common in lawns, gardens, and other outdoor areas where moisture is present. 

Moss weed can be unsightly and can also cause damage to the lawn by preventing healthy grass growth.

Type

perennial

Family

Bryophyte

Control

Controlling moss can be done by improving lawn drainage to reduce moisture levels, manually removing the weed using a rake or hoe, or using a moss control product containing ferrous sulfate or potassium salts of fatty acids.

 Improving water penetration by aerating the soil, removing thatch buildup, and avoiding overwatering can help prevent the growth of moss weed. Manual removal should ensure that the entire weed, including the roots, is removed to prevent regrowth. 

When using a moss control product, it is important to follow the instructions carefully to use it safely and effectively.

new grass seed can prevent moss

Nutsedge

Nutsedge, also known as Nutgrass, is a perennial weed with bright green leaves and sharp edges that grows in clusters. The weed produces yellow flowers that emerge from spikes or “nuts” located at the top of the plant. Nutsedge thrives in moist soil and can spread quickly throughout lawns. Initially, nutsedge may go unnoticed as its seeds resemble out-of-season Bermuda grass and thatch.

Type

Perennial

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

To manage the growth of Nutsedge, regular maintenance is crucial. Maintaining a healthy lawn with proper mowing and watering schedules is essential. Additionally, post-emergent herbicides can be used to target established weeds like Nutsedge. It is recommended to apply the herbicide during the early stages of growth and follow up with another application as needed.

Nutsedge

Poison Ivy

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

Type

Perennial

Family

Anacardiaceae

Control

Controlling poison ivy involves wearing protective clothing, physically removing the entire plant, and using herbicides containing glyphosate or triclopyr. Preventative measures include removing debris and planting ground cover to prevent the weed from growing. It is essential to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants when using herbicides.

Poison Ivy

Purslane

Purslane, also known as Portulaca oleracea, is a leafy green vegetable with small green leaves and red stems. It has an impressive water content of 93% and is both tasty and succulent. 

Purslane can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various dishes and is also known by other names such as pigweed, little hogweed, fatweed, and pusley. Although considered a weed by many, it is a healthy and nutritious plant. 

Purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, containing more than any other leafy vegetable, as well as vitamins B and C, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Type

Annual

Family

Portulacaceae

Control

Eliminating purslane can be done manually by extracting it or through chemical control methods. Conserving soil moisture by using rainfall and irrigation can limit its spread. Broadleaf herbicides like 2,4-D or dicamba (Weed Master) can also be used to control it effectively.

Purslane

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle, also known as Urtica dioica, is a perennial weed that belongs to the Urticaceae family. It is a herbaceous plant that can grow up to 7 feet tall and has leaves that are covered with tiny hairs that can cause a stinging sensation when touched. 

Stinging nettle is commonly found in damp areas such as riverbanks, meadows, and woodlands. The weed has a long history of medicinal use and is also used as a food source in some cultures. 

Stinging nettle is a perennial plant, meaning it can survive for several years, and it reproduces through seeds and underground rhizomes.

Type

perennial

Family

Urticaceae

Control

Controlling stinging nettle can be achieved through several methods. One approach is to manually remove the weed using gloves and long sleeves to avoid being stung. 

It is important to ensure that the entire plant, including the root system, is removed to prevent regrowth. Another effective method is to use herbicides containing glyphosate or triclopyr, which can be applied directly to the weed. Preventative measures such as maintaining a healthy lawn and improving drainage can also help to limit the growth of stinging nettle.

Stinging Nettle

Thistle

Thistle is a broadleaf weed that can grow up to 6 feet tall, and its flowers are large and range in color from rose to purple. The leaves are irregularly lobed and have yellow prickles at the tips, with wing-like structures on the leaves. Thistles are often recognized as prickly plants due to the presence of tiny, sharp prickles on the leaves and stems of the plant.

Type

Annual, Biennial, or Perennial

Family

Asteraceae

Control

For controlling thistles, herbicides are a cost-effective and versatile option. However, timing is crucial for many herbicides to be effective. Applying certain herbicides earlier in the growing season can control thistles effectively.

noxious weeds bull thistle

Yellow Nutsedge

Yellow nutsedge, also known as Cyperus esculentus, is a perennial weed that belongs to the Cyperaceae family. It is a grass-like plant that has yellowish-brown flowers and triangular stems. 

Yellow nutsedge is commonly found in wet or poorly drained areas, such as lawns, gardens, and agricultural fields. The weed is considered one of the most difficult to control due to its extensive root system and ability to regenerate from small pieces of tubers. 

Yellow nutsedge is a perennial plant, meaning it can survive for several years, and it reproduces through underground tubers.

Type

perennial

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

Controlling yellow nutsedge can be challenging due to its extensive root system and ability to regenerate from small pieces of tubers. One approach is to improve drainage to reduce moisture levels, as yellow nutsedge thrives in wet or poorly drained areas. 

Physical removal of the weed, including the entire root system, is necessary to prevent regrowth. Herbicides containing chlorsulfuron-methyl or sulfentrazone can be effective, but it is important to follow label instructions carefully and use caution to avoid damage to non-target plants.

Yellow Nutsedge

Oxalis

Oxalis, also known as Yellow Woodsorrel or Sourgrass, is a low-growing weed with three leaflets that resemble clovers. Its flowers are white and can be seen in the summer months. Oxalis thrives in moist areas of your lawn and prefers full sun.

Type

Perennial

Family

Oxalidaceae

Control

Oxalis love compacted soil, so make sure to Core Aerate your lawn every year. The best time to apply post-emergent weed control is while the weed is actively growing.

Oxalis
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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