10 Most Common Weeds in Florida Lawns and How to Treat Them

Florida boasts a warm, humid climate that provides the optimal conditions for grass growth. However, this condition also fosters the year-round presence of weeds, posing a persistent challenge for lawn maintenance. Weeds not only detract from the aesthetic appeal of your lawn but also compete with your grass for essential resources like water, sunlight, and nutrients, compromising its overall health.

Once weeds take root, they usually proliferate faster than your desired grass. When left unchecked, these unsightly intruders can crowd out your grass, leaving behind a landscape full of unwanted vegetation.

What’s that Weed? 10 Common Weeds in Florida

Besides diligent lawn maintenance practices like proper watering, applying grass fertilizer, and mowing, identifying the types of weeds present is essential for effectively managing weeds. Read further for the list of common weeds in Florida lawns and how to address them.


Bull Thistle

Bull thistle, a native of Europe and Asia, displays characteristics common to thistles. It spreads close to the ground and reaches heights of up to six feet when left uncontrolled. This weed is identified by its purple flowers and small thorns lining its leaves and stems. It thrives in full sun and adapts well to various soil types.

Common Chickweed

Chickweed is a mat-forming perennial that often grows in winter. Although it can tolerate a wide range of soils, it mostly prefers soils with high nitrogen content and neutral pH levels. This weed is distinct for its small, egg-shaped leaves with pointed tips, arranged in opposite pairs along its stem, with tiny white flowers that have five deep-lobed petals.


Crabgrass, a prevalent weed in Florida, is recognizable by its distinct appearance—wide blades extending outward from a central stem. It is known to be notoriously resilient, being able to withstand heavy foot traffic and evade mower blades with its low-growing habit. Adding to its difficulty to control, this weed thrives in high-nitrogen soils, a condition where your desired grass may struggle to survive.



With their golden-yellow flowers, dandelions are easily one of the most easily identifiable weeds in a lawn. Originally introduced to the US as a salad green in the 1600s, they have since spread out of control, earning the classification of pervasive lawn weeds. Dandelions have a strong taproot that extends vertically into the ground, posing a challenge for manual removal.

Florida Pusley

Florida Pusley, an annual weed often encountered among warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and St. Augustine grass, propagates primarily through seeds and usually emerges in sparse or bare areas of your lawn. This weed bears star-shaped white flowers clustered at the end of its stems, contributing to its distinctive and easily identifiable presence in your yard.


Goosegrass, commonly encountered in lawns during summer, often grows in areas with heavy foot traffic and soil compaction. It germinates in the spring and continues to grow vigorously throughout the summer. Its seeds can persist in the soil for years, contributing to recurring invasions. Visually, this weed is distinct for its whitish or pale-green hue, with smooth leaves and flattened or folded blades.


Dollar Weed

Dollar weed, also known as Pennywort, is a perennial weed that earns its name from its distinctive round leaves resembling silver dollars. It thrives in moist conditions, and its presence is often indicative of overwatering. Therefore, adjusting your watering practices can effectively prevent its growth and spread.


Common milkweed is recognizable by its erect, unbranched stems covered in short hairs that look like peach fuzz. It has pinkish-white to purple-hued flowers and releases a milky white sap when the leaves are torn off.  It thrives in full sun and moist to wet soil conditions, reaching heights of up to four feet. Unfortunately, despite its seemingly harmless nature, this perennial weed can spread rapidly, persisting for years as it deposits more seeds for germination.


Purslane, characterized by its thick reddish stems, succulent oval-shaped glossy leaves, and tiny yellow flowers, is an annual creeper. Despite being an edible plant, it also has a reputation as a weed that can compromise the look of your lawn. It can remain dormant in the soil for years and regrow as long as any part of its leaves or stems remains on the ground.


Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettles are perennials covered in tiny needles with chemicals that can irritate the skin. It delivers a burning sensation that can last over an hour upon contact. This weed thrives in damp, fertile, and disturbed environments and features a shallow root system that makes hand-pulling seemingly effortless. However, due to its potent sting, make sure to wear gloves when removing them.

How to Control Weeds in Your Lawn 

Managing weeds is an ongoing battle. It seems that every time you try to remove one, two more appear in its place. Besides accurately identifying the types of weeds infiltrating your lawn, maintaining proper lawn care practices is essential to keep them under control.

This includes measures such as regular mowing to prevent further spreading of weed seeds, adjusting watering habits to avoid water logging, and fertilizing appropriately. Because weeds often thrive in poor soil conditions, proper fertilization is crucial. Additionally, soil amendments may be necessary to ensure adequate drainage, creating less favorable conditions for weed growth.

Using grass fertilizers like NutriPod® can also contribute to your weed management efforts. Designed specifically for new grass plugs, it provides a gradual and steady release of nutrients, reducing the risks of over-fertilization. By creating an environment where grass thrives, NutriPod® discourages the growth of weeds that prefer high-nitrogen soil conditions, promoting a healthier and more resilient lawn.

In cases of serious weed infiltration, you can also use post-emergent herbicides to selectively target and eradicate existing weeds without harming your desired grass. They offer a targeted approach to weed control when necessary. Make sure to read the instructions when using herbicides to reduce any risks to the environment and your vegetation.


This list represents only a fraction of the weeds that unwelcomingly grow in Florida lawns, underscoring the importance of proactive weed management strategies.

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