Complete Guide to Virginia Buttonweed

Virginia Buttonweed

Virginia Buttonweed is a fast-growing, common weed found in Georgia lawns that can be a frustrating problem for homeowners. If you think you might be battling Virginia Buttonweed, continue reading to confirm and learn how to attack these annoying invaders. It’s best to work with a professional lawn care and weed control company to eradicate Virginia Buttonweed – especially if herbicides are involved. 

What is Virginia Buttonweed?

Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana) is a perennial weed that thrives in warm, moist conditions most prevalent in the Southeastern United States. It can quickly take over a lawn and damage desirable grasses. Virginia Buttonweed has a low-growing, mat-forming habit and produces small, white flowers in the summer. It is considered the most invasive weed of the South. Its stem is square with oval-shaped, dark green leaves arranged in pairs.

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Why Virginia Buttonweed is a Problem for Lawns

Virginia Buttonweed competes with desirable grasses for water, nutrients, and light, leading to thinning and weakening of the turfgrass. Once established, Virginia Buttonweed can be difficult to manage because it produces both seeds and underground tubers, which can persist in the soil and resprout even after the visible above-ground growth has been removed. Even a fragment of the weed left behind can produce a new one that can live up to two years.

What Does Virginia Buttonweed Look Like?

Identifying Virginia Buttonweed can be tricky, but it’s important for effective control. Look for these key characteristics:

Square stems: Virginia Buttonweed has a distinctive square stem, which sets it apart from other common lawn weeds, which are round.

Opposite leaves: The leaves of Virginia Buttonweed are arranged in pairs along the stem, with one leaf directly opposite the other.

Dark green color: The leaves of Virginia Buttonweed are a dark, glossy green.

Small white flowers: Virginia Buttonweed produces small, white flowers in the summer, which can help to confirm its identification.

How to Prevent and Treat Virginia Buttonweed

There are several effective control strategies for Virginia Buttonweed, including:

Cultural control: A healthy lawn is the best way to avoid a Virginia Buttonweed infestation. Proper fertilization, as well as aerating and overseeding as needed, can help prevent the growth of Virginia Buttonweed. This weed thrives on water, so make sure your lawn is free of them before setting a watering schedule. 

Mechanical control: Hand pulling or digging up Virginia Buttonweed can be effective for small infestations, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. It’s important to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth. Lawn-mowing is ineffective at controlling this stubborn weed because of its low height. Machinery such as lawnmowers and weed whackers only trim tops of Virginia Buttonweed, which scatters the seeds and facilitates new growth.

Chemical control: If you are already suffering from an infestation of Virginia Buttonweed, chemical control is the very best option to eradicate it. There are several herbicides that are effective against Virginia Buttonweed, including 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr. These herbicides should be applied when Virginia Buttonweed is actively growing and should be followed up with repeat applications as needed. It’s important to get professional help when using herbicides to avoid improper application.


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Take Action Against Virginia Buttonweed

Virginia Buttonweed is the most persistent and frustrating weed Georgia homeowners have to deal with, but with the right approach, and professional help, it can be controlled effectively. By taking a proactive approach to lawn care, homeowners can keep Virginia Buttonweed and other weeds at bay, and enjoy a beautiful, healthy lawn year-round

Simply Green’s Fertilization and Weed Control Service

Simply Green offers a variety of weed control and fertilization programs. Starting with a careful evaluation of your lawn, Simply Green experts will determine the best program for your property based on the type of grass, types of weeds, time of year and the underlying issues within your lawn.

Simply Green specialists will service your yard every four to eight weeks, depending on the time of year, to ensure proper maintenance, superior weed control and effective fertilization. Simply Green Lawn Care Plus only uses high-quality products that are safe for your family and the environment.

Image contributor: P. McCullough | UGA Extension

About Simply Green Lawn Care

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Simply Green aims to provide the highest quality lawn care, mosquito control, and lawn pest control services to Georgia residents.


We are locally owned and operated which allows us to be accessible, attentive, and responsive for customers in Georgia.


Our well-trained team is easy to work with and determined to exceed expectations.


All our plant health care specialists are Georgia Department of Agriculture Certified and maintain their Category 24 applicators license.

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gloria richardsongloria richardson
12:50 12 Dec 22
Ben is wonderful! He always answers all of my questions, please don’t take him away from our route!!!Also the office always texts few days before they are coming so we always know what date they are coming. Great customer service!!!
CJ BrieskeCJ Brieske
17:16 11 Nov 22
Have used Simply Green for over a year now for weed control & fertilization. Their service & products have helped improve the appearance & health of my grass in this short time. Taffari has been the technician the last few visits and he is great - super knowledgeable & able to answer my questions. On the last visit Taffari had the service manager reach out on a concern and it was addressed & resolved the same day.
Mitch FergusonMitch Ferguson
16:54 04 Nov 22
Taffari the lawn treatment person was professional and knowledgeable of all aspects of the service that he gave me. I would highly recommend him and Simply Green.
Andrea MooreAndrea Moore
14:19 04 May 22
Simply Green is the friendliest and most professional company I have dealt with. Always on time, and quality work. My yard has never looked better. If I have any questions the response is quick and efficient..I would recommend them to anyone looking for lawn care company
Elder Ron Brown Sr.Elder Ron Brown Sr.
23:43 17 Sep 21
Simply Green Lawn Care has really done a wonderful job with my yard. They keep the weeds out and it always looks crisp and green.

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