How to Get Rid of Pesky Dollarweed From Your Lawn

Dollarweed is a common and pesky weed that invades lawns across many regions. Getting rid of dollarweed takes some effort, but with the right techniques, you can banish it from your yard. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to effectively remove dollarweed and restore a healthy, weed-free lawn.

What is Dollarweed?

Dollarweed (Hydrocotyle umbellata) is a perennial broadleaf weed that spreads aggressively via stolons and rhizomes. It is characterized by round, coin-shaped leaves with finely toothed edges that grow along creeping stems rooted at the nodes. The stems radiate outwards from a central location, forming the characteristic circular dollarweed patches.

Dollarweed thrives in moist, shady areas and appears as a lush green groundcover. It can tolerate mowing but does not thrive when the lawn is cut too short. Dollarweed spreads rapidly to colonize bare patches and competes with grass for nutrients, water, and light. If left uncontrolled, it can quickly take over turfgrass and become a stubborn problem.

Why Get Rid of Dollarweed?

Though considered an ornamental plant by some, dollarweed is classified as a weed by most turfgrass managers. Here are some key reasons to get rid of dollarweed from your lawn:

  • It chokes out desirable grass and creates thin, patchy areas in the turf.
  • The low-growing dollarweed prevents effective mowing and proper grass growth.
  • It makes the lawn bumpy and uneven underfoot.
  • Dollarweed harbors other lawn pests like chinch bugs.
  • It ruins the aesthetic uniformity of a well-manicured lawn.
  • Dollarweed dies back in winter, leaving unsightly dead patches.

Controlling dollarweed allows healthy grass to thrive and restores a lush, even, and attractive lawn.

How to Get Rid of Dollarweed

Eliminating dollarweed requires an integrated approach combining cultural, mechanical, and chemical controls. Persistence is key, as dollarweed is stubborn and good at reestablishing itself.

Improve Lawn Health and Density

The best defense is a thick, vigorous lawn that can outcompete weeds. Improving overall turfgrass health and density will make it harder for dollarweed to invade.

  • Maintain proper mowing height for your grass type. Never cut more than 1/3 of the blade at once.
  • Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  • Fertilize at least twice a year to provide balanced nutrition.
  • Dethatch and aerate compacted areas to allow water, air, and nutrients to reach the roots.
  • Overseed bare spots and re-sod thinning areas to fill in gaps that weeds could invade.

Hand Pull Small Infestations

For minor dollarweed invasions, hand pulling may control the problem.

  • Wear gloves and use a weeding tool to remove all visible stems and leaves.
  • Ensure you pull up the entire root system if possible to prevent regrowth.
  • Dispose of the weed debris promptly to avoid spreading.
  • Follow up with overseeding or spot sodding at removal sites.

Hand pulling can be effective for small patches but is labor intensive for large infestations.

Apply Selective Herbicides

Post-emergent herbicide applications provide the most effective chemical control of widespread dollarweed.

  • Products containing dicamba, sulfentrazone, or 2,4-D amine are effective options. Always read labels thoroughly before using any herbicide.
  • Spray dollarweed during active growth periods for best results. Spring and fall are ideal times.
  • Adhere to all safety precautions during handling and application.
  • 2-3 treatments spaced 7-10 days apart may be needed for full control.
  • Combine with fertilization to help the grass fill in bare areas.

Use Preventative Pre-Emergents

Pre-emergent herbicides provide a defensive barrier against dollarweed germination and growth.

  • Apply before weed seeds germinate in early spring and summer. Time applications based on soil temperatures.
  • Products with prodiamine, dithiopyr, pendimethalin are proven against dollarweed.
  • Water in pre-emergents thoroughly after application. Reapply every 2-3 months.
  • Use alongside post-emergent herbicides for enhanced control.

Remove Excess Shade and Moisture

Since dollarweed thrives in damp, shady spots, improving air circulation and light penetration deter growth.

  • Prune overhanging trees and shrubs to open up the canopy.
  • Redirect downspouts and drainage to prevent puddling.
  • Improve subsurface drainage with French drains or catch basins as needed.
  • Reduce irrigation frequencies to allow soil to dry out between waterings.

Be Patient and Persistent

Dollarweed control takes time, repetition, and vigilance. Maintain your efforts and you will see success.

  • Continue cultural practices to promote thick turfgrass coverage.
  • Monitor the lawn weekly and remove any new dollarweed growth promptly.
  • Follow up chemical treatments with targeted spot sprays on stubborn patches.
  • Reseed, overseed, and aerate renovated areas to prevent reinfestation.

With diligence and a multipronged attack, you can eradicate dollarweed for good and reclaim a gorgeous lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some organic ways to control dollarweed?

Some organic options to try include corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent, vinegar-based herbicides, or boiling water poured directly on patches. However, these tend to be less effective than chemical controls. Maintaining a healthy lawn is the best organic strategy.

How long does it take to get rid of dollarweed?

With persistence, you should see noticeable results within a few weeks. However, it can take 2-3 months to fully remove an established dollarweed infestation. Ongoing maintenance will be needed to prevent return of the weed.

What time of year is best to treat dollarweed?

Spring and fall are ideal times to treat dollarweed as the weed is actively growing. Avoid summertime applications during hot, dry weather or winter applications when the plant is dormant.

Is dollarweed harmful to my lawn?

While not toxic, dollarweed competes aggressively with turfgrass for space, water, and nutrients. It spreads rapidly to form patches and does not stand up well to foot traffic. Dollarweed presence indicates underlying lawn issues to address.

Does dollarweed come back every year?

Yes, established dollarweed infestations will return each year from the roots and stolons left behind. Regular pre-emergent herbicide use is needed to prevent recurrence of this perennial weed.


Dollarweed can be a challenging weed, but rid your lawn of it for good by using a complete control program. Promote dense, vigorous turfgrass growth, regularly hand pull seedlings, apply selective herbicides properly, and stay persistent. With concerted effort, you can reclaim a beautiful dollarweed-free lawn this season.