Dormancy

    Common Chickweed

    Stellaria media

    Chickweed

    Common chickweed growth habit (Hugo.arg, Wikimedia Commons)

    Chickweed

    Common chickweed (Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)

    Chickweed

    Common chickweed flowers (Ryan Kaldari, Wikimedia Commons)

    Description

    • dense, low-growing plant with highly branched and slender stems that grow 4 – 20 inches long; root at nodes
    • leaves: fleshy and elliptical with pointed tip; oriented opposite to one another on stems; up to 1 1/2 inches long
    • small white flowers are star shaped (1/4 inch wide); each flower deeply separated (like rabbit ears) and shorter than sepals; five visible green sepals

    Location

    • commonly grows in planting beds and occasionally in lawns

    Life Cycle

    • summer or winter annual with peak germination in fall and early spring
    • thrives in temperatures between 53°F and 68°F
    • seedlings grow vigorously, flower and set seed within 5 weeks of germination; mature seeds immediately viable

    IPM Recommendations

    • Effective control must target both aboveground and underground plant structures.
    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation.
    • Shallow tillage or hoeing will control young plants in planting beds; this control method is most effective when underlying soil is dry.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate pre-emergent herbicide prior to seed germination or an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.