Often mistakenly called Dollar Weed, this is Dichondra. Dichondra is a Dollar Weed look-a-like. The round leaves grow parallel to the soil and are seen growing in groups much like Dollar Weed. But Dichondra is smaller and prefers shady moist areas of the lawn. Contrast that with Dollar Weed that tolerates a wide variety of soils, temperatures and water conditions and will populate the entire lawn, Dichondra is usually isolated to a few small preferred spots in the lawn.
Dichondra as a Golf Green
Dichondra was once used for golf greens and lawns. If mowed frequently and very close, Dichondra will form a dense ground cover suitable for a putting green. Although I have never seen a Dichondra golf green, I have seen Dichondra lawns in Southern California, but here in Pinellas County, Dichondra is a nuisance weed in St Augustine lawns.
Dichondra is Not a Threat to Your Lawn
I have seen Dollar Weed dominate a lawn to the point it was a “Dollar Weed Garden” but never have I seen Dichondra completely dominate a lawn. Since Dichondra prefers moist cool areas, it is unlikely Dichondra will invade sunny dry areas of your lawn or expand much beyond a few isolated patches in shady moist areas of the lawn.
How to Control Dichondra in the St Augustine Lawn
Rarely will you see Dichondra growing in a healthy lawn that is thick, well-watered and mowed at 4” or higher. Where it will grow and thrive is a cool moist area where the St Augustine has been damaged by traffic or some other physical (not biological) trauma. Best control is let the St Augustine recover and choke out the Dichondra. You can apply any of the popular broadleaf weed control products to reduce Dichondra – but if you don’t cure the cause (weak turf) the Dichondra will return.