How To Control Dollarweed (Pennywort) in Your Lawn

dollar weed causes
Dollarweed thriving near a seaside outdoor faucet.

If you live in a warm or coastal climate, you’ve likely experienced the invasion of dollarweed (also called pennywort) in your lawn or garden. Dollarweed is caused by excess moisture, and it thrives in areas of poor drainage, excess irrigation, poor soil, and thin turf. Here’s what you need to know to control dollar weed in your yard.

About Dollarweed

Dollarweed has small, round, shiny leaves that are shaped like coins. It’s often mistaken for dichondra, a weed with similar round leaves, but the difference is in the stem. Dollarweed’s stem comes directly out of the center of the leaf, while dichondra’s stem is attached at the edge of the leaf. As weeds go, dollarweed’s glossy leaves are actually rather pretty, and if you can keep it under control, dollarweed can serve as a groundcover in impossible areas.

The main culprit in a dollarweed invasion of your lawn is too much water. Whether it’s caused by over-irrigating, too much rain, or poor soil drainage, thin turf in wet areas can quickly be taken over by this tough and hardy plant. Dollarweed spreads both by seeds and underground roots, making it very difficult to eliminate. Like many weeds, you may find that you’re managing dollarweed rather than eradicating it.


How To Control Dollarweed

If you have dollarweed in your yard, here are some tips on how to reclaim your turf:

  • Improve Grass: The presence of weeds is a sign that your grass isn’t healthy, and thick turf is by far your best defense. Take steps to identify why your grass is weak, and focus on getting your lawn healthy. Treat any diseases, insect infestations, soil problems, and maintain proper mowing height.
  • dollarweed

  • Reduce Irrigation: Use a rain gauge to make sure your lawn is receiving one inch of water per week. If it’s getting a lot more than that, reduce irrigation to keep your lawn from becoming soggy which can discourage your grass and encourage dollarweed.
  • Improve Drainage: Take steps to improve the drainage in your lawn to reduce the moist conditions that attract dollarweed. It may be as simple as aerating and top-dressing your lawn to improve the soil. Or it may require a more costly solution, such as an underground drainage system.
  • Remove Weeds: Hand pull dollarweed whenever you can, and be sure to get all the roots.
  • Herbicides: If all else fails, you may need to apply a broadleaf herbicide to help control dollarweed. Apply products while the weeds are actively growing. Choose an herbicide rated both for dollarweed and your grass type. Dollarweed is a common invader of warm-season lawns, which can be sensitive to generic herbicides. Some success with dollarweed has been reported with Atrizine (which requires professional application), Image (Imazaquin) and 2,4-D, although all of these products pose health hazards. You can also paint a full-spectrum herbicide (such as Roundup) directly on the leaves of dollarweed.
  • Organic Solutions: Natural, organic products, such as vinegar, may also work on dollarweed if repeatedly applied.

Further Information


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12 Comments on “How To Control Dollarweed (Pennywort) in Your Lawn”

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  • Cynthia Hill Says:
    April 30th, 2019 at 11:13 am

    My house is sitting on top of a swamp. I bought my house 11 years ago; I bought it new. There are at least 10-15 homes on my side of the street, all built on the same swamp at the same time. All the lots are built up. Now I have noticed the dollar weed really getting bad in my backyard. I am seeing several damp holes in my back yard as well. I am assuming the water table underground is causing the holes and creating a mess of dollar weed. I have tried the white vinegar and it works……..IF you spray everyday forever. The leaves of the plant do turn brown but the long tentacles of the dollar weed live on. It is a never ending battle. I guess I can just move but I love my community and will stay put. I guess the dollar weed will eventually take me, my house and my cats!

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    April 9th, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Hi, Ken,
    Gardening questions can be tricky since the rules can change based on the region. You didn’t include the location, so we suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association.
    Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area.
    Thanks for your question, and good luck!

  • Ken Says:
    April 9th, 2019 at 5:30 am

    My dollar weed is thriving in high ground in the sunniest and driest part of my flower bed.i find most of the info here to be either disprove or irrelevant to get this out of my FLOWER BEDS. Can you help or not. It sounds as if this weed will win no matter what from what I am seeing here. Not to mention that my problem is in the driest hottest and highest point in my landscape

  • John Says:
    January 27th, 2018 at 10:20 am


  • Susan Says:
    January 14th, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Nutgrass! Wretched stuff. Because the “nut” is the source of growth, the only way is to dig it up. They are attached by runners, so you can sort of follow the roots to dig up a patch. Sorry. Wish there was an easy way.

  • Jasper Nettles Says:
    February 10th, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I have dollar weed in a like 50×50 foot area of my lawn. It is a low area which I’m going to level up with fill dirt. My yard is fenced because I have 3 dogs. Is there anything I can kill dollar weed with that won’t hurt my dogs?
    Thank you for your time.

  • Bill Says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I am also fighting dollar weed. I have tried most of the ideas mentioned here with limited success.I have tried Dudleys idea of laying weed mat that I purchased at Bunnings, but the weed managed to grow through it. So now I am really monitoring the water system and supplying my garden with as little as needed

  • Dudley Fort Says:
    December 18th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I paid $30,000 to have an all native garden planted in my .25 acre yard. The plants are beautiful but the gardner used bulk mulch and it was loaded with DollarWeed which has taken over the yard. I can use a rake to bring up the roots which are like chicken wire. Round up for Poison Ivy kills the leaf but does not affect the roots. I have pulled up wheel barrel loads of roots but their tiny filaments remain behind. My neighbor tells me I am wasting my time. I will try sugar and vinegar and covering the area with a weed control hardware cloth and putting mulch or gravel over it to hold it down. I am going to use Contractor weed control fabric. 300 square feet costs $128.00.

  • Larry Owens Says:
    September 5th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Hello Danny,

    I have read your article on the ‘control’ (nice weasel word) of Dollarweed (pennywort). I am confused.

    In the second paragraph you state that Dollarweed is characterized by the center attachment of the stem to the leaf, as opposed to the leaf’s EDGE as referenced a dichondra type plant. You make further distinction that these two types of plants are often confused with one another and in fact, (according to your article) are different. From an eradication point of view, is there a distinction between Dollarweed and a dichondra?

    I have a serious infestation of Centella asiatica (Goto Kola) in my yard. Your stem/attachment description of Dollarweed definitely precludes this infestation as being Dollarweed. Again, from a chemical eradication point of view, is there any difference in the treatment between these two kinds of plants?



  • Mischa Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Dollarweed is an edible weed, much like parsley, the younger plants better tasting (like dandelion). Thus foraging in your yard will help eradicate this weed as well as offer a nice addition to your salads, much like Purslane (my all time fave).
    There are always better solutions than poisons!

  • Clara Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    They told me the dollars weed are round, the Penny worth got a slit on top ,so they are not same. One are herb need to grow, one are weed need to kill.

  • Virginia Clark Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 10:27 am

    How to control nut grass in a flower bed in south Alabama?

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How To Control Dollarweed (Pennywort) in Your Lawn