Weeds are a way of life for many Florida homeowners. Year after year, these pesky pieces of vegetation rear their ugly heads and take over your lawn, wreaking havoc on your grass and damaging its visual appeal.

While there are many variations, five weeds are commonly found in Sarasota, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, FL, and surrounding areas. These include crabgrass, broadleaf plantain, clover, chickweed, and spurge. Keep on reading to learn more about these weeds and how you can eliminate them.


1. Crabgrass

Crabgrass growing on a property in Sarasota, FL.

No, crabgrass doesn't mean that an army of small crustaceans has invaded your yard. But the presence of the unsightly weed can put your lawn in a pinch if it goes untreated. From a distance, crabgrass resembles healthy turf with its lush, green blades. Upon closer inspection, however, you can easily tell that it is an unwanted visitor. Like a crab with many appendages, crabgrass hugs the ground and grows thick, untamed stems in different directions. These absorb moisture and nutrients from the surrounding soil.

Crabgrass thrives in warmer temperatures and can grow rapidly in the late spring and summer months. Once cooler air arrives in the fall, crabgrass slowly fades away until only a brown patch of dead weeds remains. You have likely seen these patches dotting yards in your neighborhood during the winter months.

To prevent crabgrass growth, you should have a pre-emergent herbicide applied to your lawn by the end of each winter. In central Florida, that means in mid-to-late February.

Taking a proactive approach to treating crabgrass will protect your lawn and position it for a healthy growing season.


2. Broadleaf Plantain

A broadleaf plantain weed growing on a property in Siesta Key, FL.

As its name suggests, broadleaf plantains have broad, ovular leaves that cascade outward and upward. Thin, tall stalks grow amid the green leaves and feature small, pointy flower buds that are clumped together. Broadleaf plantains grow throughout the year in both sunlight and shade as long as they have access to moist soil. The weeds can spread throughout your yard and negatively impact its health and appearance.

It is best to remove broadleaf plantains as soon as they are spotted so they don't grow deep roots. Broadleaf plantains can be effectively treated with both pre- and post-emergent herbicides, though it is always better to get ahead of the unwanted growth by treating your lawn proactively.


3. Clover

A bed of clover growing on a property in Lido Key, FL.

Your lawn may have run out of luck if it begins to grow clover. This weed most commonly has three oval leaflets and, in Florida, typically sprouts small, white flowers at the end of its tiny stalk. Clover grows best in cooler, drier conditions and is a popular snack for pollinating bees in the early spring.

Clover growth can be slowed by manually removing it from the ground and treating your lawn with both pre- and post-emergent herbicides. You can also increase the height at which you mow your lawn since taller grass blocks the sunlight that spurs its growth.


4. Chickweed

Chickweed growing on a property by a home in Longboat Key, FL.

Chickweed looks like a messy, grounded vine that has many small leaves attached, in addition to little, white flowers. It grows best in cool, moist conditions with ample shade, and peaks from the late fall to early spring. Chickweed can spread quickly and take away from your lawn's visual appeal but can be treated with both pre- and post-emergent herbicides, as well as by manual removal.


5. Spurge

Spurge weeds growing on a property in Bird Key, FL.

Spurge has red and purple stems that branch in different directions with numerous green leaflets. It can either lay down or stand tall and grows best in warm conditions. Spurge sprouts in a variety of surfaces, including grass, mulch, and even cracks between concrete and pavers.

The weed loves sunlight but can also fare well in the shade. Spurge is a nuisance that can strip your lawn of its luster, but it can be stymied with a combination of pre- and post-emergent weed treatment. Don't hesitate to remove it when you spot it.


Let us wipe out your weeds!

Have you seen any of these weeds in your yard? We can make them go away. At Tropical Gardens Landscape, we provide the most effective weed control services available in Sarasota, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and surrounding areas in central Florida. Call (941) 993-2442 today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawn care experts. We look forward to helping you wipe out your weeds for good!