How to remove White Clover from your lawn

How to remove White Clover from your lawn

White Clover is easily recognisable from its smooth trifoliate leaves but once established can require patience to beat.

A hardy, herbaceous perennial plant that tolerates shade and frost, White Clover is a legume commonly grown in mixed pastures to produce fodder for livestock. 

White Clover is often added to lawn seed mixes because it can develop into soft mats providing green ground cover in poorer soils where turfgrasses do not perform well. This was especially common in the 1950s and 1960s when lawn mixes often included 20 percent Clover.

Apart from being an excellent forage crop for livestock, the fresh leaves and flowers of White Clover have been used for centuries in salads, brewed drinks and for medicinal purposes. 

Bees love the flowers for both pollen and nectar.

How to identify White Clover

White Clover is low growing, with stems that function as stolons and put out roots where the nodes touch the ground. The smooth green oval-shaped leaves often have pale or dark markings.

A common weed in Australia, White Clover can germinate in winter when many grasses are dormant.

The 15 to 20mm pom pom-like flower heads are white, with a brownish green centre and may develop a tinge of pink or cream as they age.

White Clover is hardy, tolerates close mowing and prefers clay soils, although it can grow on many different soil types and pH levels

White Clover typically gains a foothold in lawns that are sparse and underfed, providing little competition against weeds.

How to control White Clover

White Clover has shallow roots which can be dug up using a gardening tool or fork, preferably before flowering. Collect all the pieces of stem and root so they don’t propagate new plants.

If you’re determined to rid your lawn of White Clover, be prepared to tackle it every year, because it produces seeds capable of surviving high heat and low temperatures that can lie dormant in the soil for several years. 

Where the size of the affected area makes it impractical to dig out the weeds, there are several treatments that will kill White Clover in lawns without damaging the grass.

Try an organic weed killer, pour liberal quantities of white vinegar onto the plants, or choose a Broadleaf Weed or Clover-specific selective herbicide.

Depending on the maturity of the plants and how large an area is affected, it may be necessary for you to treat the White Clover more than once.

Selective herbicides are less dangerous to your lawn than glyphosate. 

Look for products containing these active ingredients:

  • Halosulfuron-methyl
  • Mecoprop and dicamba (not suitable for Buffalo lawns)
  • Dimethenamid-P and pendimethalin
  • DSMA and MCPA (not suitable for Buffalo lawns)
  • Bentazone, MCPA and dicamba (not suitable for Buffalo lawns)
  • Bromoxynil and MCPA (some Soft Leaf Buffalo varieties are sensitive).

Products containing more than one active ingredient will usually act as both a contact and a systemic herbicide. This means they kill on contact as well as being absorbed by the White Clover plant. The plants must be actively growing and not under any stress for it to work. 

Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use. 

How to prevent White Clover

Prevention is always better than treatment. Making sure your lawn is healthy, mowed at the right height and well-fed will give it all the ammunition it needs to combat incursion by weeds such as White Clover.

In areas where White Clover is a known problem, try using a pre-emergent herbicide in autumn to stop weed seeds from germinating in winter.

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

Free Lawn Guide

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive your free ...

View our Privacy policy
Weeds

Related Articles

Chickweed

Controlling Chickweed in your lawn

There are several types of Chickweed, a common herbaceous plant, that prefers cool, damp shady sites and can quickly take hold in your lawn during winter. Mouse-ear Chickweed ...

Read More

Removing Sedge Grass from your lawn

There are hundreds of sedges in the genus Cyperus, which is found in both tropical and warm temperate environments across the world. Some Sedge Grass is grown as ornamentals ...

Read More
Dandelion Weed

Dandelion Weed removal from your lawn

Dandelions are a perennial herb that gardeners either love or hate. Some people loathe Dandelion Weed with a passion because it can reappear in lawns year after year, despite ...

Read More
Crowsfoot Grass

Controlling of Crows Foot Grass from your lawn

Crows Foot Grass is a common weed of lawns, gardens, parks, footpaths and roadsides. It was recently ranked in the top 200 environmental weeds in south-eastern Queensland and ...

Read More

Ridding Mullumbimby Couch from your lawn

Mullumbimby Couch is one of the hundreds of sedges in the genus Cyperus, which is found in both tropical and warm temperate environments across the World. Some Sedge Grass is ...

Read More
Summer Grass

Ridding Summer Grass from your lawn?

Summer grass is a common invasive annual grass that also goes by the name crabgrass. Not surprisingly, Summer Grass seeds germinate when temperatures begin to rise above 20 ...

Read More

How to remove Soursob from your lawn?

Also known as Sour Grass, Bermuda Buttercup and Creeping Oxalis, Soursob is an extremely annoying fast-spreading weed. Soursob is sometimes confused with Clover – they have ...

Read More

Identifying and Removing Onion Weed from your Lawn

The bulb of an Onion Weed plant gives off an onion-like scent when crushed or cut and an outbreak can be enough to make any lawn-lover cry. A perennial, Onion Weed has been ...

Read More
Nut Grass

Nut Grass – Identification and Control

Nut Grass is an annoying fast-spreading long-lived perennial lawn weed that grows from underground tubers. A member of the sedge family – other names are nut sedge, coco grass ...

Read More

A Guide to the Most Common Lawn Weeds

Weeds may be green, but they are plants growing where they’re not wanted within your lawn. Weeds can take any form and can vary depending on where they grow and typically ...

Read More