Guide to Chickweed Identification & Control

chickweed weed

Type of Weed: Broadleaf Weed

Stellaria media


Chickweed is a very common broadleaf weed found all across the United States. Though once a popular feed for chickens and birds, it is now a difficult weed for homeowners’ lawns. In Texas, the two most common types are Common Chickweed and Mouse-ear Chickweed. 

Common chickweed is a winter annual, often found in shaded areas of the lawn. Mouse-ear chickweed is a perennial weed that has the ability to act as a winter annual in certain climates and can be found in both shady and sunny areas of the lawn. 

Both weeds tolerate low mowing, and can produce tens of thousands of seeds in any season. These seeds can stay in the soil for ten or more years.

How to Identify

Both Common chickweed and Mouse-ear chickweed form prostrate patches in lawns and then grow upright if not mowed. Common chickweed is a low spreading weed with a weak, shallow root system. Its stems are light green, thin, and root at the nodes. Older portions of stems can be hairy, while newer growth stems are smooth.

Common chickweed leaves are light green, opposite of each other, oval shaped, and pointed at the tip. Mouse-ear chickweed has a fibrous, shallow root system which produces nodes when roots make contact with the soil.

Its stems and leaves are hairy and slightly sticky when touched. Its leaves are darker green, oval shaped, and grow opposite of each other. Both of these chickweeds have long, sparsely hairy petioles for the leaves on the lower stems, while not having petioles for the leaves on the upper stems.

Both produce small white flowers with five heart shaped petals, arranged in clusters. These heart shaped petals are deeply lobed in the center, sometimes making it appear as though the flower has ten petals.

Common chickweeds flowers bloom between February and November, while mouse-ear chickweeds flowers bloom from May to October. Both weeds germinate from seed in late summer to fall, with mouse-ear chickweed also being able to germinate into early spring.

Control Methods

Control Difficulty: Difficult

Hand pulling both of these weeds in the early stages will be effective due to their shallow roots, doing so before the weed has turned to mat-like patches. For more mature chickweeds, applying a selective post-emergent herbicide will be effective, if done multiple times throughout the growing season.

Prevention Tips

Preventing chickweed from entering your lawn starts with having a dense, thick lawn. This is achieved by mowing your grass at its proper height, aeration, fertilization, and the proper amount of irrigation. Using a combination of selective pre and post emergent herbicides throughout the year can be an added layer of defense against chickweed.

If you continue to struggle with chickweed, our team of technicians are experts when it comes to broadleaf weeds, and can help get your lawn back to its proper health.
50% Off First Service

First Lawn Care Application

Fill out the form below for a free, no-obligation custom quote! For immediate assistance, please give us a call at 972-899-9249.

We will contact you via phone call or text shortly!