Doveweed and Dollarweed Control
Despite their pleasant-sounding names, doveweed and dollarweed can be real pests in warm-season lawns. This blog post will explain how to identify and control them both with pre- and post-emergent solutions.
Doveweed (Murdannia nudiflora) is a summer annual that germinates in soil temperatures between 60°F and 70°F. Its seeds can stay dormant in the soil for years before germinating, which means that managing it can be a multi-year process.
Identifying doveweed is a challenge because of its grassy characteristics. It can be mistaken for desirable grasses, such as St. Augustinegrass. However, doveweed produces distinctive flowers, each with three small purple petals.
With a creeping growth pattern, doveweed spreads quickly via stolons. Mowing can break these stolons and incidentally help the weed spread even further. Doveweed favors wet soils, which means that high rainfall or irrigation levels can contribute to an infestation. You may find that doveweed clusters around irrigation heads because of the wet soil there.
We carry several pre-emergent herbicides for doveweed control. ArmorTech Kade 4L contains prodiamine, while FMC Echelon 4SC contains both prodiamine and sulfentrazone. Alternatively, Bayer Specticle FLO uses indaziflam to prevent doveweed.
After doveweed has emerged, you still have options to get it under control. Bayer Celsius WG is one post-emergent option containing thiencarbazone-methyl, iodosulfuron-methyl, and dicamba. Another is Bayer Tribute Total, which contains foramsulfuron, thiencarbazone-methyl, and halosulfuron.
Post-emergent herbicides may require repeat applications to get a doveweed infestation under control. In addition to multiple applications, a non-ionic surfactant, such as Chem-Stik LpH from Precision Laboratories, will maximize product efficacy.
Dollarweed (Hydrocotyle umbellata) is a summer perennial weed that thrives in warm, wet conditions. It has a creeping growth pattern and spreads by seeds, rhizomes, and tubers.
Dollarweed has distinctive round leaves with scalloped edges, resembling lily pads. The leaves are about the size of a silver dollar, which is where the plant gets its name. Another distinct feature of dollarweed is that its stems attach to the middle of the leaf.
Like doveweed, a dollarweed infestation can be a sign of a broken irrigation system, overwatering, or drainage issues. Moisture management is key to controlling dollarweed. Inspect your irrigation system regularly and look for drainage issues in the lawns you treat, especially if they have a history of dollarweed.
The same pre-emergent herbicides mentioned above for doveweed control also work to prevent dollarweed. Again, these products include ArmorTech Kade 4L, Bayer Specticle FLO, and FMC Echelon 4SC. Echelon is especially effective against dollarweed.
Some post-emergent doveweed control is also applicable to dollarweed, specifically Bayer Celsius WG. Another option for dollarweed is PBI-Gordon Q4 Plus, which contains quinclorac, sulfentrazone, 2,4-D, and dicamba. As with any weed control program, using multiple active ingredients helps limit the risk of chemical resistance.
Contact your sales rep for help selecting the right product and surfactant for your applications. Once you have doveweed and dollarweed under control this season, you can work proactively to prevent them in future seasons with the proper irrigation practices and pre-emergent herbicides.