Ohio weeds – 17 most common

Unfortunately, Ohio’s climate is perfect for weeds to thrive. With so many varieties of common weeds, it can be difficult to distinguish each one and how they should be treated. Don’t let the weed infestation take over your lawn – get informed on identifying and eliminating them right away. With this guide below, you’ll be able to identify and eradicate 17 of the most common weeds in Ohio.

noxious weeds

Table of Contents

Ohio Weeds

Name of Weed Family
Bittercress Brassicaceae
Black Medic Legumes
Chickweed (carpet weed) Caryophyllaceae
Clover Apiaceae
Crabgrass Poaceae
Dandelions Asteraceae
Doveweed (spurges) Spurges
Ground Ivy Mints
Knotweed Polygonaceae
Mustard Brassicaceae
Nutsedge Cyperaceae
Oxalis Oxalidaceae
Plantain Plantaginaceae
Purslane Portulacaceae
Speedwell Plantains
Thistle Daisy
Wild Violet Violaceae

Bittercress

This weed species is an annual broadleaf plant that reproduces by spreading its seed. It has a bitter taste and grows in sunny, moist areas of lawns or gardens. Bittercress can be recognized by its small white flowers and the way it spreads out over the ground.

Bittercress is considered to be a difficult weed to control due to its ability to spread quickly and germinate from even the smallest amount of soil disturbance. It can also tolerate some herbicides, so it is important to select an appropriate product for controlling this weed.

Type

Broadleaf Annual

Family

Brassicaceae

Control

A healthy, thick lawn will block weeds from sprouting and crowd them out if they do manage to grow. The best way to control bittercress is with a pre-emergent application in the fall. However, you can also use a post-emergent while the weed is actively growing.

post emergent weed treatment

Black medic

This small, low-growing annual weed is easily identified by its yellow flowers and clover-like leaves. It has a shallow root system which makes it easy to pull out of the soil, but it can spread quickly if not controlled in time.

Black medic is often considered the first line of defense against larger weeds such as dandelions since its deep roots are able to draw out much-needed moisture from the soil. This makes it an ideal candidate for pre-emergent control because it will prevent other weeds from germinating in areas where black medic has been eliminated.

Type

Broadleaf Annual

Family

Legume

Control

When the soil is moist, hand removal of this weed can be highly effective because it’s much easier to pull out its roots. Therefore, undertaking this task when damp conditions exist will make for a more successful outcome. Alternatively, a herbicide application can also be used to control black medic.

disturbed soil

Chickweed

This weed species is a low-growing, prostrate annual that forms mats of foliage and has small white flowers. It thrives in moist areas with poor drainage, often invading lawns and gardens. Chickweed can be difficult to control due to its ability to spread quickly and germinate from even the smallest amount of soil disturbance.

Chickweed prefers cool weather, so it is most active during the spring and fall. It can be identified by its small white flowers and succulent leaves with a faint sheen or frosty appearance.

Type

Annual

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Control

Chickweed is most rampant in lawns that are kept moist and mowed low to the ground. If you want to prevent its growth, avoid over-watering your lawn in the fall season and raise your mower blade.

If you want to learn more about weeds you can find in Massachusetts then make sure you have read an article I have written that covers this!

low growing grassy weed

Clover

This weed species is an annual with a creeping growth habit and small white flowers. It often invades gardens, lawns, and other areas of the landscape where it can be difficult to control due to its rapid germination capabilities. Clover can be identified by its small, round leaves that have a distinctive clover-like odor when crushed.

It prefers moist soil and grows in full sun or partial shade conditions. The best way to reduce the spread of clover is by preventing it from taking hold in the first place through proper maintenance practices such as mowing regularly and removing dead foliage

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Apiaceae

Control

Applying a pre-emergent application in the fall is the best way to control clover growth. A healthy, fertilized lawn will also help prevent clover from growing in your lawn. If clover does take hold, post-emergent herbicides can help control it. You may also consider using a mulching mower to grind the weed down and reduce its spread. Additionally, certain nematodes can be applied to lawns to help naturally manage clover infestations.

indigenous weed species

Crabgrass

This weed species is an annual grass that has a low, spreading growth habit and grows in thin blades. It can be difficult to control due to its ability to rapidly spread and germinate from even small amounts of soil disturbance. Crabgrass prefers warm weather and full sun conditions, so it is most active during the summer months. The weed gets its name from the crab-like legs protruding from the stem.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Crabgrass is opportunistic and will colonize any thin or bare areas in your lawn. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring is the best way to prevent it from taking hold. If crabgrass does develop, post-emergent herbicides can help control it.

Be sure to mow your lawn regularly to keep the weed in check and allow plenty of sunlight into thin areas so that it is less likely to take hold. Additionally, core aeration helps reduce soil compaction which can also inhibit the growth of crabgrass.

form dense patches

Dandelions

This weed species is a perennial with a low-growing growth habit and bright yellow flowers. It is one of the most common lawn weeds, and can be difficult to control due to its aggressive root system and quick germination capabilities

Dandelions are easily identified by their deep taproots, round leaves with jagged edges, and bright yellow flower heads that turn into white puffballs of seeds when mature.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Asteraceae

Control

They must be pulled from the taproot up to effectively be exterminated. Pre-emergent herbicides are not effective on dandelions, as they germinate quickly and can easily reestablish from seed. Post-emergent applications will help reduce their spread if applied correctly.

Dandelions

Doveweed

This weed species is an annual with a low-growing growth habit and almost hairless leaves. It usually appears in thin turf areas where it can spread quickly and be difficult to control. Doveweed prefers warm weather conditions, so it’s most active during the summer months. The leaves are smooth and a deep green, while the flowers grow in clusters and are vibrant purple.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Spurges

Control

Doveweed is best controlled by regularly mowing your lawn as well as removing dead foliage from the area. Watering and fertilization requirements should also be kept up to date as doveweed is opportunistic and will colonize any thin or bare areas.

oval shaped green leaves

Ground Ivy

This weed species is an evergreen, low-growing perennial with leaves that are deeply lobed and have scalloped edges. It spreads quickly and prefers moist soil conditions. The flowers are small in size and a bright purple color.

Ground ivy can be difficult to control due to its aggressive creeping habit and ability to quickly establish itself in any area with minimal care or maintenance.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Mints

Control

Controlling ivy with weedkiller sprays can be difficult due to the glossy, moisture-resistant leaves. To tackle this issue effectively, consider using a tough formulation of glyphosate for maximum results (Roundup would be an obvious choice).

young ground ivy

Knotweed

This weed species is an aggressive perennial with sprawling stems and thick, pointed leaves. It prefers moist soil conditions and can spread quickly, colonizing lawns and gardens alike. Knotweed can be identified by its bright green leaves that are heart-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Polygonaceae

Control

Knotweed needs to be treated with a systemic herbicide for best results. Digging out the root system is difficult due to its deep-rooted nature, so chemical control is often the only feasible option. Pre-emergent herbicides are not recommended as knotweed germinates quickly from seed.

Knotsweed

Wild Mustard

This weed species is an annual with a low to medium growth habit and small yellow flowers. It is often found in gardens and lawns where it can quickly spread if not controlled.

All the leaves on this plant are connected to a main stem, some with an additional stalk and others joined directly. Furthermore, they all have tiny hairs, serrated edges as well as being mainly lobed in shape.

Type

Annual Broadleaf

Family

Brassicaceae

Control

To effectively control this weed, use select broadleaf herbicides like 2,4-D or dicamba (Weed Master). If physical removal is preferred, make sure to remove all parts of the plant.

broadleaf 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 grass and thatch.

Type

Perennial Grass

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.

If you want to learn more about weeds that grow in the State of Georgia then make sure you give an article I wrote earlier which covers this. 

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 Broadleaf

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

Plantain

This low-growing weed has wide, green leaves that grow in a circular arrangement. Leafless stalks grow upright from the base, with seeds on the end. Plantain is a tough weed that can survive in almost any condition and prefers heavily trafficked areas.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Plantaginaceae

Control

Compacted soil is an ideal condition for Plantain to grow and spread. To control this weed, it is important to core aerate your lawn every year. Additionally, applying post-emergent herbicides targeting broadleaf weeds can help with controlling this stubborn weed.

Plantain

Purslane

Tasty and succulent, purslane (or Portulaca oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable with red stems, small green leaves, and an impressive 93% water content. It can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various dishes under many of its other names such as pigweed, little hogweed, fatweed, and pusley.

It is considered a weed by many but is a healthy, nutritious plant. Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable, plus vitamins B and C, iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Type

Annual Broadleaf

Family

Portulacaceae

Control

Eliminating purslane can be achieved by both manual extraction or chemical control methods. Rainfall and irrigation can help conserve soil moisture, which will reduce its spread. Additionally, broadleaf herbicides such as 2,4-D or dicamba (Weed Master) can also be used to effectively control it.

Purslane

Speedwell

Have you noticed a purple-hued weed in your lawn? If so, it could very well be Speedwell. This creeping annual grows best among Ohio’s cooler and more humid soils that are also shaded from direct sunlight. With its light blue to purple flowers and brilliant round leaves with scalloped edges, identifying this pest is an easy task for even novice gardeners.

Type

Annual Broadleaf

Family

Plantaginaceae

Control

Speedwells can be successfully controlled by applying specific broadleaf weed herbicides. These herbicides are designed to target and eliminate individual plants, as well as any seeds produced so that the weed does not spread further throughout your lawn. When applying these herbicides it is important to follow the directions on the label carefully and to never apply them.

Speedwell

Thistle

Thistle is a weed that appears to have an attractive purple flower, making it difficult to realize that it’s actually considered a weed. Its leaves are deeply lobed and the edges are covered in prickly spines. Thistle grows best in dry, barren areas and its flowers can be seen from April through August.

Type

Biennial Broadleaf

Family

Asteraceae

Control

It is important to identify the thistle in its early stages and take immediate action. Applying pre-emergent herbicides is the most effective control method for this weed, as they prevent seed germination. Additionally, post-emergent herbicides that specialize in broadleaf weeds can also be applied to target and control thistle.

Thistle

Wild Violets

Wild Violets are a perennial weed with heart-shaped leaves and small flowers that range in color from purple, blue to white. These weeds grow low along the ground and prefer moist soil conditions.

Type

Annual or Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Violaceae

Control

Wild violets can be difficult to control due to its spreading underground roots. To prevent these weeds from growing, use a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring or fall. Additionally, regularly mowing your lawn will help keep it healthy and strong enough to outcompete invasive weeds like Wild Violets.

Wild Violets
Share your love
Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

Articles: 344