Burweed, The Painful Winter Annual

How to Identify Lawn Burweed

Lawn burweed, also known as stickers or pickers, is a winter annual weed that starts to grow in the fall as temperatures cool. It is a very common and painful weed in Baton Rouge, Prairieville, Gonzales, Denham Springs, and other surrounding areas. It is one of the nine species of the Burweed genus. Lawn burweed grows mostly unnoticed through the cold winter months until spring when it produces the hard, spine-tipped burs in the lead axils. As the temperatures warm in the early spring, it initiates a period of rapid growth. This low growing, freely branched and fast-growing winter annual is listed as a noxious weed in Louisiana. Lawn burweed can severely stunt your lawn’s rate of growth and reduce its aesthetic appearance.

For you to be able to get rid of lawn burweed, you need to know how it looks like. The following are the identifying characteristics of lawn burweed:

pickers baton rouge

  • Numerous stems growing outward from the central base

  • Light to dark green colored leaves that point in numerous opposite directions

  • Small-sized flowers that are yellow or green in color

  • The leaves are approximately 1 inch long to 1/2 –inch wide

  • Produce oval shaped seeds

  • Fruits occur as clusters measuring about 1/8 to 1/5 inches

Ways to Kill Lawn Burweed

The best way to kill lawn burweed is to apply a post-emergent herbicide containing the active ingredients such as simazine, mecoprop, dicamba, metsulfuron, fluroxpyr, 2, 4-D, or auxin. You should apply a post-emergency herbicide from November to February. Stickers are smaller and easier to control during this time of year because they’ve not yet developed the spine-tipped burs. Control is not impossible during the other months, but the spines have already formed by this time and will remain after the weed dies. If the weed pops up in your lawn even after applying a post-emergent herbicide, you may need to call a reputable lawn service that offers weed control services to help you get rid of it.

How to Prevent Lawn Burweed

Once you’ve removed lawn burweed from your lawn, the invasive weed has a tendency to grow again. The following are some of the measures you can take to prevent lawn burweed from growing on your lawn:

  • Maintain a healthy, dense lawn by mowing the grass when it reaches a height of three inches. This encourages thick turf growth that can easily outcompete burweed for water, nutrients, and light

  • Apply Isoxaben 75WG or any other pre-emergent herbicide during late September to October when lawn burweed is usually germinating

  • Fertilize your lawn with a slow-release granular fertilizer throughout the spring season. This will help you maintain healthy, dense turf that lawn burweed cannot easily grow through

  • Water your lawn at least once a week to control moisture levels and encourage thick turf growth

  • Hire a reputable lawn service near you to help you control lawn burweed


Lawn burweed is a nuisance to many homeowners in Louisiana once it creates its burs. Apart from being unsightly, this winter annual deplete your lawn’s essential nutrients for growth. With a proper weed control approach, you can get rid of lawn burweed once and for all.

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