Chickweed is an annual plant that competes vigorously with other plants. It is edible.
Description and Life Cycle:
- Bright green, mat forming low grower with multiple branches from central crown.
- Stems 1½ to 3 feet long.
- Leaves oval and pointed at the tip, smooth and shiny, opposite in pairs on stem.
- White 1½ inch flowers with 5 split petals that look like 10 petals; blooms in spring.
- Red-brown seeds with bumpy ridges; sets seed in fall.
- Reproduces by seed and creeping and rooting stems.
- Prefers rich soil; tolerate acid soil.
- Chickweed cover will slow soil erosion.
Root System: Chickweed has a fibrous, shallow root system. Weeded debris including stem parts or roots left in the garden will re-root and generate new plants.
- Hand weed; pull up root and all; best done early in the season.
- Remove all roots and plant parts from garden; even small root left behind can re-root.
- Mulch with layer of cardboard or newspaper with bark chips on top to kill plants.
- Do not allow to spread and cover ground; competes vigorously with other plants.
- Solarization using clear plastic mulch will heat soil and kill seed, but also may kill beneficial soil microorganisms.
Range: Throughout the United States and southern Canada.
Botanical Name: Stellaria media
Four Quick Ways to Control Weeds:
- Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
- Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
- Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
- Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.