Common Chickweed

    Stellaria media


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


    Common chickweed (Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia,


    Common chickweed flowers (Ryan Kaldari, Wikimedia Commons)


    • 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


    • 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.