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Which Herbicides Are for Virginia Buttonweed?

wet grass image by Lister Photography from

Virginia buttonweed (Diodia virginiana) is an invasive weed that reproduces by seed, making it extremely challenging to control. This perennial broadleaf weed most often appears in wet sites and is best controlled with the use of post-emergence herbicides, due to its capacity for rapid spreading. When in need of assistance, contact your local county extension agent or a licensed professional for effective Virginia buttonweed chemical control.


Another herbicide that is effective when used to control Virginia buttonweed infestations in your home lawn is 2,4-D. As a chemical that contains phenoxy, this type of herbicide may be applied more than one time per growing season, according to the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Applied as a post-emergence herbicide ( a chemical employed after weeds have emerged from soil and are actively growing), 2,4-D is a systemic herbicide. The herbicide enters the Viriginia buttonweed's vascular system where nutrients and water circulate and kills the weed slowly over the course of several days.


Dicamba is a phenoxy-containing herbicide similar to 2,4-D. This chemical's effect on Virginia buttonweed is similar in nature to that of 2,4-D. Known as a benzoic acid herbicide, dicamba is formulated to treat broadleaf weeds through a systemic function. Selective in nature, dicamba was created to treat particular plants and is generally safe for lawns, where it damages weeds but leaves your desired grass unharmed. Apply dicamba as a foliar spray and reapply every two weeks until the weeds are under control, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension website.


Metsulfuron-methyl is a sulfonyl-urea type of herbicide that is effective in low rates for the control of Virginia buttonweed, according to the Mississippi State University Extension Service. This selective herbicide is used as a post-emergence treatment that acts systemically and is applied to either foliage or soil, where it absorbs into the plant and acts quickly to kill it, particularly in comparison to phenoxy-containing herbicides. This herbicide kills weeds by stopping their cell division, or the process by which plants grow, according to the Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Special caution is necessary with metsulfuron-methyl as it remains active in soil for a period of several months to nearly two years. For gardeners that choose to plant new crops in treated soil, it is necessary to determine the fallow period for the soil according to what is to be cultivated in it after applying the herbicide.

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