Five Winter Weeds to Beware of This Season

Annual Bluegrass

This weed isn’t just common in Iowa and the Midwest, it also promulgates nationwide. Of particular concern for golf courses, annual bluegrass is also a pain for businesses and homeowners concerned with lawn care. Characteristics of this weed include boat-shaped leaf tips (which curve up like a boat’s bow), an upright stature, and a height of 3 inches – 12 inches. Annual bluegrass germinates when the mercury drops below 70 degrees, and continues doing so all winter long. Typical seed production is 100 seeds in eight weeks.


Oft found in clearings, under trees, in thickets, and in moist, shady areas, bedstraw is a winter annual with square stems that have short, downward-pointing hooks on the corners. Bedstraw also stands out for its coarse, hairy leaves, its small white flowers, and its hooked spines, which are clingy and hard to remove. At one time, bedstraw’s clinginess was useful for mitigating matting when the weed was used as mattress filling, but now it’s just annoying to homeowners. Thankfully, our local lawn care company has the expertise to remove bedstraw from your landscape.

Shepherd’s Purse

Shepherd’s purse is a prominent member of the mustard weed family: one of the most commonly-found weeds in lawns and flowerbeds. And if you’re out for a walk on a winter’s day, you’re likely to see shepherd’s purse growing in sidewalk cracks and alongside paths. This weed isn’t picky about soil quality, as it will flourish just as well in partly shaded, exceptionally poor soil as it will in well-lit, rich soil. Shepherd’s purse can attain heights around 18 inches after sprouting from a plant similar to a dandelion.


A winter weed that’s part of the mint family, in some parts of the country it can reach 16 inches tall when fully mature, but in the Midwest this weed’s height usually tops out around six inches. Deadnettle is recognizable by its square stem, purple/pink flowers, and triangular-shaped leaves.  Also, deadnettle starts out droopy but straightens up with age.

Common Chickweed

Another root that should be fair game for our professionally-applied, eco-friendly lawn chemicals is common chickweed. This weed is found in many places: agricultural crops, horticulture plants, turf grass, and nursery settings. Crop plants are especially susceptible to common chickweed because it carries several viruses that can cause significant damage. Classified as a winter annual, common chickweed is discernible by its bright green leaves and white flowers with star-shaped petals. This weed’s seeds can germinate any time of year, particularly in spring and fall.

Work With a Local Siouxland Provider

Contact our local lawn care company and let’s talk further about lawn treatment in winter. We offer decades of expertise that includes proven solutions for preventing these five infamous winter weeds from causing you trouble.