How to Get Rid of Dollarweed in Your Florida Lawn: A Comprehensive Guide

Kenneth Wilson

If you're looking for effective ways to get rid of dollar weed, we're here to help. This bright green perennial weed is such a big fan of moisture that it may deprive your lawn of the adequate water it needs.

The Pennywort is commonly found in the moist areas of your garden or lawn, and it may take over your property in no time when overlooked. This makes your green yard look untidy and unappealing. Once you notice the presence of dollar weed, here's a beginner-friendly guide to help you get rid of dollar weed in Florida for good.

What is Dollarweed?

Dollarweed (Hydrocotyle umbellata), A.K.A. Pennywort, is a warm-season perennial weed with signature bright green, round-shaped leaves, and wavy margins. It is known to thrive best in your lawn's wet, moist areas. Many liken the appearance of a dollar weed to a tiny lilypad, which can grow up to 6 inches. Usually, these leaves grow one inch in diameter with a small umbrella-like shape.

Pennywort may appear lovely to some, but its invasive nature can be somewhat notorious. When overlooked, it can spread quickly (as much as 20 feet) and take over your lawn with seeds and underground roots.

The leading culprits of dollar weed invasions in residential lawns are poor drainage and over-irrigating, so if your turfgrass is unhealthy and weak– this weed will appear in constantly moist areas before you know it. (Related: 15 Different Types of Weeds That Grows In Florida Lawns)

Important Note: Getting rid of dollar weed and controlling its population may require combining different methods. It would also be best to focus on preventative measures to avoid dealing with a persistent comeback.

How to Get Rid of Dollarweed in Four Steps

Here's how you can eliminate dollar weed on your Florida lawn.

1. Identify the Presence of Dollarweed

First, you must carefully examine your turfgrass to determine the lawn spots where the dollar weed growth is most persistent. This allows you to highlight areas on which you must focus your herbicide application.

  • Where to inspect: Ideally, prioritize inspecting the areas in the lawn with high moisture. Any section with too much water in the soil makes it ideal for dollar weeds to thrive and multiply. Another area susceptible to dollar weed growth is lawn spots with grass cut too short.
  • What you need to look for: As previously mentioned, dollar weed looks like a small lilypad. It has glossy, green leaves with signature wavy edges. Most likely, this weed also thrives in a group.

2. Start Measuring the Area for Treatment

Before focusing on the herbicide application, calculate the square footage of the lawn area you want to be treated. This will help you estimate the right amount of product you need for the job.

3. Prepare the Herbicide

Once you've determined the amount of herbicide you need (either through researching online or consulting a professional for expert assistance), it's time to create your dollar weed-killing solution. In most cases, you must mix half a gallon of water and the herbicide amount into a pump sprayer. Ensure to give it proper shaking to ensure the solution is mixed well.

4. Apply the Herbicide to the Visible Dollarweed on Your Lawn

After mixing the herbicide solution, spray the dollar weed-infested areas of your turfgrass. You can also opt to use a fan spray setting to ensure even coverage.

Expert tip: While you need to spray the solution until the grass is visibly wet, avoid doing so to the point of runoff. Also, it’s better to move at a steady pace as you are treating your Florida lawn.

Experts also suggest holding off watering your lawn for at least 24 hours (1 whole day) to allow the weeds to absorb the product well. Ideally, you can observe noticeable results in as little as two weeks. Depending on the severity of the dollar weed invasion, you may need to re-apply the herbicide treatment in 21 days.

Most Common Methods to Getting Rid of Dollarweed in Florida

Listed below are the best methods to get rid of dollar weed on your Florida lawn:

  • Spot treatment: Suppose you’re only dealing with a few dollar weed on your lawn. In that case, you can opt to use a ready-to-use product you can purchase at your nearest home improvement store. Experts strongly advise against pulling out dollar weed one by one, as it may only cause the weed to regrow if you miss removing even a piece of their root.
  • Apply a Weed & Feed product: For extensive dollar weed problems on your lawn, it would be best to skip your regular watering schedule for at least two weeks (14 days). While most grasses can survive a brief dry spell, dollar weed won't survive such a drought, so it becomes weak and more effective in absorbing control products. Wait for at least two weeks, apply your weed-and-feed product of choice (designed for dollar weed), and follow its label directions. Aside from keeping your lawn well-fed, it will also help you eliminate dollar weeds.
  • Feed the lawn: Experts recommend following a regular lawn feeding schedule at least 2 to 4 times a year. This allows you to give your lawn the proper nutrients to grow lusciously thick and strong. It also helps control the presence of persistent weeds such as dollar weed.
  • Water less frequently: Simply put, dollar weed loves water. If your lawn has pennywort growing on it, this only means that it is staying too wet. Try to lessen your lawn's watering to only 1 inch of water per week for the soil to dry. In drier soil conditions, dollar weeds won't be able to grow as well, but your lawn will have deeper roots, allowing it to outcompete weeds effectively. Improving drainage in your soil will help reduce the moist soil conditions and control the spread of dollar weed in the future.
  • Mow high: Mowing your lawn at the ideal height encourages thicker growth and more profound root development in the grass. Zoysia and centipede lawns perform best when cut at 2 to 3 inches, while Bermuda lawns like a 1.5 to 2-inch height. St. Augustine and Floratam lawns prefer to be mowed at 3 to 4 inches.

Organic Methods to Eliminate Dollarweed

Environmentally-conscious homeowners may want to consider organic methods to eliminate dollar weed. First, improve your backyard's drainage– including the clay soul condition and downspout extension. You can also install a drainage pipe to eliminate any excess water.

The next step is to improve the condition of your turfgrass. Since dollar weed is known to take over a weak, unhealthy lawn easily– ensure that your grass is free of diseases, infections, and pest infestation.

For organic chemical solutions: apply vinegar to kill dollar weed (only on a dry, sunny day so it won't be washed away by the rain). The acid in the vinegar won't allow the leaves to produce adequate food for the weed– so it will die eventually.

Pro Tip: You can also add lemon juice into your vinegar solution, making it more effective. Practice caution when applying this homemade herbicide, as you wouldn't want the acid to hurt your eyes or skin.

Lastly, you can also try the straightforward solution of pouring hot water on the areas infested with dollar weed.

How to Prevent Dollarweed from Making a Comeback on Your Lawn

You want to be sure that dollar weed does not return after treating your turfgrass. Here are some steps you may take to preserve your lawn.

  • Thickening your turf is a great measure to keep dollar weed away because it loves thin grasses.
  • Make sure to mow your lawn at a good height since low-height turf is more prone to weed invasion. Mowing St. Augustine grass at 3 to 4 inches is ideal. Bermuda lawns require a 1.5 to a 2-inch height when trimmed, whereas Zoysiagrass and Centipede lawns work best at a 2 to 3-inch height.
  • Ensure that the soil on your lawn is not too wet. You may prevent this by aerating your soil or installing an irrigation system.
Kenneth Wilson
July 8, 2022
2terra, Contractor Tips, Yard & Garden

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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