List of common weeds in Virginia (with pictures)

Weeds are any plants that grow in unwanted areas near you. While some are easy to manage, there are many weedy species that you should keep an eye out for because they can be aggressive and choke out your garden or invade your lawn and make it unsightly.

If you are in Virginia, the best way of controlling common weeds in Virginia is to identify them and learn more about their life cycle before applying the right removal strategy.

You can also control the most common weeds in Virginia by minimizing soil disturbance. When you cultivate or dig the ground, it tends to bring more seeds to the surface. If exposed to the sun or light, the seeds will germinate and cause more problems.

Since different weeds have different removal methods, a more practical way of getting rid of unwanted plants on your lawn or garden is to identify them.

List of the most common weeds you will find in Virginia

Here are some weeds you will see in most areas of Virginia (with pictures and scientific names) and how to remove them.

1. Annual Bluegrass – Poa annua

Annual Bluegrass

The annual bluegrass is a widespread, low-growing turfgrass that is common in temperate climates. It has a fibrous rootstock and its stem can grow to a height of 25 centimeters. Its leaves are short, blunt at the tips, smooth above and below, and vivid green.

Annual bluegrass is invasive or weedy. When it grows in your area, the best way of controlling it is to withhold water until it shows drought stress. You can also use pre-emergent herbicides to limit its germination, but you must apply them before the seeds germinate.

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2. Common chickweed – Stellaria media

Common Chickweed

The common chickweed is an annual or perennial flowering plant that germinates in the autumn or late winter and forms large mats of foliage. When it comes to Virginia weed identification, you will know you are dealing with the plant because it has a weak slender stem with oval leaves and small white flowers. You will find the weed in lawns and areas of partial shade to sun in moist soil.

Common chickweed needs seeds to reproduce. To keep it away from your lawn, you need to mow from time to time to prevent the spread of its seeds. While a weed killer may help, choose one that is selective to avoid harming your grass.

3. Common Blue Violet – Viola sororia

Common Blue Violet

The common blue violet is a short-stemmed herbaceous perennial plant that self-seeds freely in lawns and gardens. Its leaves and flowers emerge directly from the rhizomes and form a basal rosette. In suitable growing conditions, the weed tends to multiply in numbers and thus considered invasive.

As one of the many common blue violet weeds in Virginia, it has a taproot system that makes it easy to remove. You can kill it selectively on large lawns using broadleaf-based herbicides such as 2,4-D or Dicamba. The best time of removing it is during the fall.

4. Corn Speedwell – Veronica arvensis

Corn Speedwell

Corn speedwell is an annual flowering plant that grows as a weed in gardens, waste places, cultivated land, and pastures. It has hairy leaves and can grow to a height of 40 centimeters from the taproot. You can also identify the plant because of its small and weak stem with rounded and toothed lower leaves.

Classified among invasive weeds in Virginia, you can control it using specific broadleaf herbicides. A pre-emergent or post-emergent weed killer that combines triclopyr and dicamba can be useful it eliminating the plant.

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5. Creeping Charlie – Glechoma hederacea

Creeping Charlie

The creeping Charlie is a perennial plant considered to be an aggressive weed of lawns and woodlands. When trying to identify weeds by photo, you will notice the plant has round, kidney, or fan-shaped crenate opposed leaves. It tends to spread by seed and comes in variable sizes, depending on the environmental conditions on which it is growing.

Since the plant spreads by seeds, it is exceptionally challenging to eradicate it. It has an extensive root system, which means you cannot remove it through hand pulling. The only way to kill creeping charlie is by using a horticultural herbicide.

6. Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale

The dandelion is a herbaceous perennial plant known for its yellow flower heads. It grows in temperate regions in lawns, on disturbed banks, waterways, on roadsides, and areas with moist soils. As a weed, it sprouts from unbranched taproots and produces several stems that can reach 40 centimeters in height.

When the dandelion grows on your lawn, you can eliminate it using a broadleaf herbicide. Uprooting it may not offer a better solution because of its taproot system that will grow back.

7. Hairy Bittercress – Cardamine hirsute

Hairy Bittercress

The hairy bittercress is an annual or biennial plant whose seeds germinate in the fall and remain green throughout the winter. It flowers in the spring and often grows a rosette of leaves at the base of its stem. Its stem is hairless, and the leaves do not clasp on it.

If the plant is growing on your lawn, chemical control is the best option of eradicating it. Use a pre-emergent herbicide in the late summer before its seeds germinate. A post-emergent weed killer can also work when applied to young and actively growing weeds.

8. Wild Garlic – Allium vineale

Wild Garlic

The wild garlic is a perennial, bulb-forming noxious weed with a strong garlic odor. It has a fibrous outer layer with a stem that grows up to 120 centimeters. Its leaves are slender and waxy in texture.

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The wild garlic is among the many grass weeds in Virginia. To eliminate it, you have to dig it out deep and wide from the ground. You can also apply a selective herbicide for a long-lasting solution.

9. Purple Deadnettle – Lamium purpureum

Purple Deadnettle

The purple deadnettle is an aggressive weed that tends to spread quickly whenever it invades a yard or garden. As an annual plant, it grows in the winter and germinates in the spring or fall. You will find it in thin grass because this is the environment where it thrives.

You can identify the deadnettle because of its square stem with an umbrella or small and light-purples flowers. It also has pointed leaves that appear red to purple and are one inch long.

As one of the many lawn weeds in Virginia, you can control it by growing a healthy, thick yard and applying enough fertilizer. Pre-emergent herbicide is also useful to apply before its germination.

10. White Clover – Trifolium repens

White Clover

The white clover is a herbaceous perennial plant sometimes used as a forage crop. It is common in most grassy areas, including lawns and gardens. Throughout its growth, it produces heads of whitish flowers with trifoliolate, smooth elliptic to egg-shaped and long-petioled leaves.

White clovers grow in clumps and considered among pasture weeds in Virginia. Thus, natural methods, such as hand-pulling, are the best way of getting rid of the plant. But you must ensure you remove the entire root system to prevent it from re-growth.

Learn more about clover weeds removal here.

Conclusion

Some of the common weeds in Virginia include Dandelions, Blue Violets, and Annual Bluegrass, among others. The plants can either be annual or perennial and can grow in various areas, including yards, disturbed areas, lawns, and gardens.

If these unwanted plants become invasive, you can eradicate them by uprooting or using herbicides.

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