Difference Between Broadleaf and Grassy Weeds

And What to do About Both


You may think that a weed is a weed and they all need to disappear from your lawn, but all weeds are not created equal. There are two main types of weeds, and some may not be as bad as you think. Read on to learn the difference between broadleaf and grassy weeds.

Difference Between Broadleaf and Grassy Weeds

Just from their names, you can tell the difference between some wider variety of broadleaf weeds and thinner, grass-like grassy leaves. Here are some other characteristics.

Broadleaf Weeds:

  • Annual or perennial
  • Wide, two seed leaves
  • Main vein in the center; smaller, net-like veins branching out
  • Oval, round, or square stems; often branched
  • Grow straight up or close to the ground
  • Noticeable flowers; single bloom or cluster
  • Common types: chickweed, clover, dandelion, prostrate knotweed, thistle

Some of these weeds—like clover and dandelion—appear early in the growing season and produce one of the first varieties of flowers that bees use as a food source. Clover is also sometimes used as a ground cover in fields for this very purpose.

Grassy Weeds:

  • One seed leaf
  • Long, narrow blades with parallel veins
  • Round or oval hollow stems; seed heads at the end
  • Alternating leaf blades on each side
  • Inconspicuous flowers
  • Common types: bluegrass, ryegrass, Bermudagrass, crabgrass, creeping bentgrass, sedges

Some people who have trouble growing grass in certain areas will grow one of these weeds to get that green grassy look.

Weed Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent any type of weed is to properly maintain your yard. This means sufficient water, fertilizer, and mowing.

Once the weeds appear, treatment depends on what type of weed you’re dealing with. Selective weed killers treat broadleaf weeds, not grassy. This makes it easy to kill a weed and not the rest of your lawn. There are also products more specialized for grassy weeds like crabgrass herbicides.

Contact Cardinal Lawns for more information on the difference between broadleaf and grassy weeds and how you can best deal with them in your lawn.

Lawn Weed Guide

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Before weeds take over your yard this season, learn to identify and prevent them in the first place. Keep your lawn looking great all year!