Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana)

Closeup of Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana).
Closeup of Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana).

I hate this stuff. Sure, it may look all sweet and innocent in the photo, but this weed is a tenacious lawn-destroyer. It likes wet areas and started growing next to my birdbath a few years ago. Not realizing how evil it was, I did nothing until last year. By then it had spread out over several feet, and even started growing in a completely separate section of my yard.

I used Bayer’s Weed Control spray last summer, which destroyed everything above ground level but didn’t kill the roots. The buttonweed is back this year and I’ve been trying to remove it by hand, which I read is the preferred method of control.

If anyone has successfully dealt with this weed, please share your experience in the comment box below.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

118 thoughts on “Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana)”

  1. Hello all

    I live in SE Texas and been at this VBW for 5-plus years now. Originally I figured it was just another weed, so tried the “normal” stuff to no avail. Actually, I didn’t even know what it was at the time, but after many failures, started my online research. ID’d it, then more research. Found no viable help at all. So I donned my knee pads, grabbed a 5-gallon bucket, laid out a mental grid of my yard and literally crawled every square foot of my yard (100’ x 100’). Produced nearly nine 5-gallon cans, pushed down and packed down. Took 3 weeks (I’m old and retired).

    For the next four years I walked my lawn, on a mental gird, covering the entire lawn after each mowing, pulling new VBW. Wasn’t making any real headway, just staying even. So this year I decided to put out the 12 yards of 60/40 dirt (by hand and wheel barrow) in large and small low spots that I had been planning for years (These are the places it seems to like the best). At the same time I mixed up some Roundup in small spray bottle and started hitting the VBW I found. Since I already knew that these darn things seed underground as well as above (when mature), I revisited old brown spots throughout the summer and sprayed many new seedlings. I’ve done this every week after each mowing, when they’re easier to see (Unfortunately, they’re best seen at high-noon). Can’t say at this time if I’m winning the war, but I’ve certainly won a few area battles.

    I am going to use the Fertilome Weedfrees Zone this fall and next spring, but not just because several of you folks have recommended it but because many others on the I-net are also touting it. It appears to be the most popular of the few that are recommended (St. Augustine and Centipede grass).

    I will come back here next summer and let you know my failure or success (If I’m still kicking – I’m 71).

    PS: Thanks to all who have worked to keep this string about VBW.

    1. Hi all. I fought VBW for years in Houston then found the answer. As odd as it sounds try baking soda (I told you it would sound odd). Apply a healty handfull of baking soda on the critter and be sure you get the entire patch. Watering it in a smedgion is a good idea. VBW will die in 3 days and will vanish within a week. It also kills the root. I haven’t found that it will harm anything else except carpet grass.

  2. First, apologies for not updating last year as promised.

    (If you are new to this thread, please ready my entry above from 2014 before you read this one.)

    As planned I started using Fertilome Weedfree Zone on Virginia Buttonweed. In the early spring of last year I sprayed my entire yard with it but I think I was too early. I should have waited until about mid- to late April to spray. It took nearly two bottles of Fertilome Weedfree Zone to cover my 100 x 100 foot lot.

    I also switched from using Roundup to Fertilome Weedfree Zone for spot kills. I would mix up a gallon in a milk jug and fill a household product trigger sprayer. I later purchased a 40 oz. pump up hand sprayer with adjustable nozzle so as to target VBW more directly. I used that all year except for very young weeds which I pulled but only if the soil was wet. Otherwise I used Fertilome Weedfree Zone.

    I started out mixing per recommendation for St. Augustine and Centipede grass but eventually increased it by about 20 to 30 percent. The reason was I was not quite pleased with how long it was taking to kill it, and worried it really wasn’t doing the trick. The increased amount does turn the St. Augustine a little yellow but it recovers. The Centipede wasn’t affected.

    By the end of the season I felt like I had been pretty successful but this year will tell the tale. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will never get to the point where I never have any for two reasons: one is that I live toward the low end of the sub-division and my ditches collect water from the many houses that don’t fight VBW, and neighbors to my right, left and behind just let theirs go. So I suspect I will always have some spots to treat, but I am finding them mostly on the edges of my property. Bu the end of this season I should know exactly where I stand.

    It is very important to kill or pull the young weeds before they have a chance to mature and start blooming. Once they do that you will most certainly have to re-treat the same spots. The reason is that VBW seeds both above and below ground as pointed out in my original post, and the below-ground seeds detach from the roots when mature. Therefore even Roundup will not kill the seeds.

    Hope my experience helps others. I will try to remember to update here (hopefully a final update) at the end of this season.

  3. Forgot one thing in above comment. After mixing a gallon you need to shake it very good each time before pouring into sprayer. Also, as you walk around yard keep the sprayer shaken. Fertilome Weedfree Zone will settle to the bottom fairly quick.

  4. Sherry, I tried the salt route. It does not work here in SE Texas. Click the “newer comments” link and read what I’ve been posting for 3 years about how I had to handle VBW.


Join the conversation!