Chickweed

Chickweed is a common weed that can be found in many places, but it’s not always easy to identify.

This article will help you understand the different types of Chickweed and how to eliminate this pest from your lawn. We’ll also give you some tips on how to prevent this plant from coming back next year!

This blog post will provide an in-depth guide on what Chickweed are, how they grow, and how to eradicate them from your garden.

Quick Facts

Common names: Common Chickweed, Stitchwort, Starweed, Chickenwort, Craches, Maruns, Winterweed
Scientific name: Stellaria media
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Origin: Native to Eurasia and naturalized throughout the world
Flowering season: January to December
Habitat: This plant seems to prefer open woodland but can be found in gardens, parks, waste ground and field edges or almost anywhere, including beds and borders, roadsides and uncultivated ground.

Chickweed Identification

Chickweed is a weed that is often found in gardens and lawns. It can be identified by its round, white flowers with five petals that grow on long stalks from the ground. If you are looking for an easy-to-grow plant to add to your garden, chickweed may not be the best choice because it spreads quickly and can get out of control very easily!

In this blog post, we will provide information on how to identify chickweed, seasonal changes and removal methods so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want it in your garden.

Other weeds can be mistaken for Chickweed too.

chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is closely related; however, it has leaves that typically grow vertically off its stalk with no hairs present on any part of its foliage. Fields containing chickpeas should not be mistaken for fields infested with Chickweeds!

Chickweed grows over a large area and covers densely too
Chickweed grows over a large area and covers densely too

What does Chickweed look like?

Characteristics that make up the Chickweed leaf, stem, root and flower are detailed below.

Chickweed is one of the easiest weeds to identify since it grows very close to ground level during most seasons of the year!

Chickweed green leaves
Chickweed green leaves

Leaves: Chickweed leaves are small, round or oval and generally lighter on the top than they are underneath. It can be identified by its rosette-like leaves too.

Chickweed has tiny hairs which give it a velvety appearance on the leaves. This weed can be either dark or light green depending on where it grows.

Long thin mainly spherical stem of the Chickweed with its thin small hairs
Long thin mainly spherical stem of the Chickweed with its thin small hairs

Stem: The stem of common Chickweed is its most distinguishing feature. The stem is thin and mainly spherical, but it has a line of small hairs running down one side that may be seen if you roll it in your fingers. It appears that the plant has a small Mohican on it.

Roots: Chickweed has a taproot system where all parts are interconnected for water intake and storage – their extensive root structure makes them difficult to remove!

Chickweed roots are a little more difficult to spot than the above-ground parts of this weed. They are found in clusters at or near the base of plants, and often have a reddish colouration.

If you’re looking for them, they can be spotted by searching through small tufts of vegetation on either side of where chickweed emerges from the stem.

Chickweed flower its five lobed petals
Chickweed flower its five-lobed petals

Flowers: A small white flower with five petals that are lobed/split so they appear as ten petals, this is typical of the whole family.

The flowers bloom in early spring, solitary with five white petals around a central cone of yellowish anthers.

Chickweed flowers can form an umbel shape with five (or more) of the petals looking like a star. The flower itself is usually a solid colour- either pure white or pinkish, depending on where it grows most often. You’ll want to remove chickweed before it produces seeds because they are small and easily spread by wind or water.

Fruits/Seeds: Chickweed has oval-shaped seeds that can be found at the plant’s base or between its roots in autumn.

Seeds will stay viable for about two years in your soil so getting them all out might not be possible if you don’t act now!

The Problem

Seeds are produced very quickly as an individual plant they can produce over 1300 seeds and takes 5- 6 weeks for germination to seed dispersal and can do this up to 4 or 5 times a year. It can also spread by creeping across the ground often under the height of the mower blades where it can swarm out grass.

Chickweed Seasonal Changes

This weed typically emerges when soil temperatures have reached 15 degrees Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) for several days.

Chickweed in Spring

Chickweed mats will begin to grow in January and continue well into the spring. They can be found in your lawn, landscaping, orchard, wooded edge, and other areas. The leaves are tiny and oppositely placed on a 1/4″ long, faintly pubescent stem.

Their flower buds are unique, and they are located at the end of a lengthy pedicel (the stem). The five sets of double petals on the tiny blossoms give the impression of ten petals.

The primary stems are rather fibrous, and removing the outer layer reveals a unique elastic inner that can expand when pulled!

It will be a light green colour with tiny white flowers that grow in clusters on the top of each plant.  

Chickweed beginning to flower
Chickweed beginning to flower

Chickweed in Summer

Its flower blooms from late winter until mid-summer and is identifiable by its rounded seed head which appears as soon as it begins flowering.

Chickweed in Autumn

 In late summer and Autumn, they’ll turn deep red and develop small hairs all over their stalks as well as their leaves.

Chickweed in Winter

These are winter-blooming annuals that can withstand temperatures as low as ten degrees Fahrenheit. They prefer shaded, moist, and fertile soil in a shaded environment. Chickweed develops absolutely phenomenal growth if your soil is heavy in nitrogen.

Growing up against the house or at the edge of a garden, they appear to be edge lovers. It’s common to discover it growing along the edge of a woodland area.

Chickweed is a periennial weed capable of reproducing throughout most of the year
Chickweed is a perennial weed capable of reproducing throughout most of the year

How to get rid of Chickweed

You will know when you see this rapidly growing pest because it often appears during cool seasons (during winter) and in other seasons.

Chickweed has a taproot system where all parts are interconnected for water intake and storage – their extensive root structure makes them difficult to remove!

The most effective way to remove chickweed is by using a hoe or blade at ground level when plants are actively growing in spring and early summer before other weeds have emerged from dormancy because this weed has shallow roots.

It’s also important not to use any herbicide (unless you’re confident that none contains glyphosate) since Chickweeds can become resistant to chemicals very easily!

We recommend using an organic weedkiller or digging out the plant with your hands. Both of these methods have proven successful, but depending on the area covered by the weeds, some people might want to go with a chemical option instead.

If you’re going to use chemicals, please be sure that they are safe for humans and pets; hand-digging is usually best as long as you wear gloves and are careful not to break the plants up into small pieces.

Chickweed is a standing plant that can be pulled out of the soil by hand, but it will often come back if left in place for too long due to its extensive root system

Management of Chickweed

Though it is time-consuming, hand weeding or hoeing beds and borders can be the best way to control this weed. However, there are a number of herbicides available for the control of this troublesome weed. 

Once you’ve removed all traces of chickweed (or at least tried), give the soil time to settle before planting anything else! This will prevent new seeds from being brought into contact too early and helps maintain healthy soil conditions so weeds won’t grow as fast next year.

If there are areas where weed growth is likely, such as cracks in concrete or gaps ensure that you take measures to prevent weeds from coming back

In Conclusion

Chickweed is a tough plant but with this guide outlining all areas for attack, we hope you’re ready to fight back against this enemy before they get too far into your garden again!

Chickweed is a very adaptable weed that grows in our gardens today and is one of the most resistant. However, using one of the products mentioned below will eliminate it.


How does Chickweed spread?

Large numbers of easily distributable seeds produced throughout the growing season ensure they can spread far and wide for the next season.