7 Weeds In Grass with Little White Flowers

Few things dampen the pristine beauty of a freshly mowed lawn quite like weeds. It’s even worse if those weeds produce flowers that stick out like sore thumbs against the green grass. 

Technically speaking, a weed is any plant that is growing where it doesn’t belong — even a rose can be a weed if it’s unwanted! But we typically think of weeds as plants that spread quickly and are difficult to get rid of once established.

In order to have any luck controlling weeds, you must first identify them. If you’ve noticed weeds growing among your turf grass with little white flowers, the list of potential suspects is already quite short. Below, I’ve covered some of the most common weeds with white flowers found in lawns as well as some steps you can take to remove them.

Identifying Weeds with Tiny White Flowers in Grass

Weeds with white flowers are incredibly diverse. You’ll need to look at much more than flower color to identify the weeds plaguing your lawn.

Traits like the overall size, leaf type, and growth pattern can tell you a lot about a plant’s identity. I also recommend taking note of the flower’s shape to help narrow down your search.

While there are countless weeds that fit this general description, only a small handful make up the majority of lawn infestations. To start, I recommend comparing the flowering weeds growing in your grass to the species below:

Daisy Weeds

1. Daisy Weeds

Because of their beauty, it’s easy to forget that many daisies are also considered to be weeds. There are also some daisy look-alikes that can make an appearance on the home lawn or garden without an invitation. 

Bellis perennis — commonly known as the English, common, or lawn daisy — is the biggest offender. 

Bellis perennis

This daisy is native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia but has naturalized in much of the world. The reputation of this daisy ranges from desirable flowers to annoying weeds. If you’re located in the UK or the northwestern United States, you probably view it as the latter.

The easiest way to identify Bellis perennis is by the distinctive white flowers that grow 1 to 2 inches tall. Since these daisies spread via stolons, you’ll often see dense clumps of flowers growing together.

Leucanthemum vulgare — commonly known as oxeye daisy — is an aggressive weed. It is native to Europe but is widespread across North America and similar climates.

Leucanthemum vulgare

It’s easy to tell the difference between oxeye and English daisies when they reach maturity. Oxeye daisies grow up to 3 feet tall and spread via their root systems. According to the University of Minnesota, you can also identify an oxeye daisy by looking for lobed, spoon-shaped leaves.

Erigeron strigosus — commonly known as daisy fleabane — is not a true daisy (but is a close relative).

Erigeron strigosus

Whilst this species is native to North America, it is often labeled a weed by those who want a 100% grass lawn.

Daisy fleabane grows quite tall when left alone, reaching up to 5 feet in height. The stems and leaves feature small hairs. The white flowers are nearly indistinguishable from true daisies.

Common Mouse Ear

2. Common Mouse Ear

Cerastium fontanum, or common mouse-ear, is an extremely common turf weed native to Europe. It grows invasively in many parts of the world, including the UK and North America, and is most often found in meadows and grassy areas.

Common mouse-ear is a spreading perennial that grows very low to the ground. It’s easily identified by its tiny white flowers that each bear five petals.

3. Chickweed

3. Chickweed

Cerastium fontanum, or common mouse-ear, is an extremely common turf weed native to Europe. It grows invasively in many parts of the world, including the UK and North America, and is most often found in meadows and grassy areas.

Common mouse-ear is a spreading perennial that grows very low to the ground. It’s easily identified by its tiny white flowers that each bear five petals.

wild carrot

4. Wild Carrot

Daucus carota, or wild carrot, is a European native that has naturalized across much of the world. This weed is also known as Queen Anne’s Lace due to the white, umbrella-like flower clusters that appear in its second year.

Planting or propagating wild carrots is prohibited in many areas because of their invasive nature. Be cautious when removing this plant as its sap can cause skin irritation. It’s also important to note that wild carrot is almost identical to poison hemlock which is incredibly toxic.

5. Hairy Bittercress

5. Hairy Bittercress

Cardamine hirsuta, or hairy bittercress, is an unassuming weed that typically pops up in late winter or spring. From a distance, hairy bittercress resembles a dandelion before it flowers. But a closer look reveals stems with alternating leaves.

While hairy bittercress is native to the British Isles, it is often considered a weed by gardeners and landowners. Some people forage wild-growing hairy bittercress for use as a pungent salad green. 

According to Pennsylvania State University, hairy bittercress is a widespread problem in North America where it has naturalized. It is best identified and eradicated in early spring before other plants emerge.

6. Wild Violet

6. Wild Violet

Viola odorata, commonly known as wild violet, is an adorable spring perennial native to Europe and Asia. Its beauty has made it a popular ornamental in its native region and abroad. Unfortunately, wild violets are quite vigorous and can easily take over native habitats.

Many people mistakenly believe that all violets have purple flowers. But wild violets can be in many colors, including white and yellow. I actually have both white and purple wild violets in my own back garden that were planted by the previous owners. (While I don’t plan to remove the wild violets at this time, I do have to pull new plants that have escaped the garden bed and entered the lawn each spring.)

7. White Clover

7. White Clover

Trifolium repens, or white clover, is one of the most common flowering weeds found in many lawns. This particular clover species is native to all of Europe, including the British Isles, but is fully naturalized in North America and similar climates. 

Whether or not white clover is a weed is a controversial subject. Personally, I love the look and feel of clover as a turf grass alternative. However, anyone who prefers an all-grass lawn will view this plant as a nuisance.

According to Clemson University, white clover thrives in non-fertile soil. If your lawn is being dominated by this flowering weed, it may be an indication that fertilizer is needed.

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How To Get Rid of Weeds Without Killing Your Grass

The safest way to remove lawn weeds is via hand-pulling. This is my preferred method for my own lawn but I also know it isn’t always practical. 

I recommend wearing gloves to protect your hands and using a narrow digging tool to pull weeds with taproots. I find that the sweet spot for pulling weeds is when they are mature enough to identify but not yet fully established.

For weeds that cannot be pulled or that cover a large area, herbicides are generally the best option. However, I do not recommend using chemical herbicides without first doing some research.

Most herbicides are categorized as either pre- or post-emergent. Pre-emergent herbicides are applied directly to the soil and block seed germination. These products prevent future weeds from growing but do not kill existing ones.

To target mature weeds in your lawn, you’ll need to use a post-emergent herbicide. Be sure to choose a selective herbicide that is marketed as safe for your grass species. Non-selective herbicides kill all plants they come into contact with, including turf grass.

Fertilizing your lawn as needed can discourage the growth of weeds that prefer poor soil conditions. In addition, regular feeding encourages strong healthy lawn growth both above and below the soil. This means there will be less room for weeds to grow.

Some granular fertilizers include pre-emergent herbicides, so you may be able to take care of two chores at once.

When to Remove Weeds with Flowers

Timing is everything when it comes to controlling flowering weeds. If you remove flowering weeds before they go to seed, you’ll also prevent the next generation of weeds from invading your lawn. 

In my own lawn, I tend to wait to remove non-noxious weeds. I’ll allow weeds to flower so that the local pollinators can take advantage of the natural food source. However, I make sure to pull, spray, or mow all flowering weeds well before they go to seed. (This last step is crucial to controlling next year’s weed population!)

For particularly aggressive weeds, the earlier you remove them the better. Post-emergent herbicides can be applied as long as there is active growth. If you opt to hand-pull weeds, you’ll have an easier time removing young weeds that have yet to develop strong root systems.

Preventing Weeds in Grass

One of the best things you can do to prevent weeds in your lawn is to maintain healthy turf grass. A vigorous lawn will grow dense enough that weeds struggle to break through. Select a grass variety that is well-suited to your property and overseed as needed to repair thin or bare patches. 

Mowing regularly will make a big difference in the number of weeds that manage to go to seed. I’ve been known to get the mower out early just to cut down weed flowers growing above the grass. This simple step is easy to neglect since it’s all about prevention but you’re sure to notice a difference after a season or two.

Last but not least, pre-emergent herbicides can work like magic on many common lawn weeds. Be sure to select a formula that targets the weeds most often seen in your yard. In most climates, I recommend applying a pre-emergent herbicide twice a year for maximum control.

FAQ Weeds In Grass with Little White Flowers