10 Common Weeds in South Carolina {Identification & Pictures}

Published Categorized as Weed Control

Weeds are a major issue throughout South Carolina landscapes. They compete with grass and other desirable crops for nutrients, sunlight, and water, causing significant harm to lawns and gardens. These weeds are also aesthetically unpleasing. Because of this, it’s vital to correctly identify these SC weeds to help you take proper control measures. In this article, you’ll learn about the most common weeds in South Carolina and preventative measures. Read on.

The common weeds in South Carolina include curly dock, common lespedeza, common mullein, henbit, annual bluegrass, bittercress, and common mallow. The best defense against these SC weeds is maintaining optimum lawn health. You can do this by properly mowing, watering, and fertilizing the turfgrass.

10 Common Lawn Weeds in South Carolina

There could be as many as 40 different winter weeds in South Carolina but these are the most common weeds of SC.

1. Common Lespedeza

Common Lespedeza is among the most common lawn weeds South Carolina. It grows uprightly, with large, oval leaves and pink flowers. The weed doesn’t grow in healthy, well-fertilized, and maintained lawns.

2. Common Mullein

This is another common weed of SC lawns, with an enormous erect stem and huge hairy leaves. The weed thrives in unmowed, and less maintained lawns.

3. Bittercress

Weeds in South Carolina

This weed has compound leaves with rounded and elongated leaflets. Its stems are about 10 inches tall, with tiny white flowers. It thrives in shady areas, full sun, and moist soils. You can often find bittercress near paved areas, vegetable gardens, and ornamental beds.

Although it causes significant damage to lawns, the weed is edible to humans and has several health benefits.

4. Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie or Ground Ivy, as some prefer to call it is a beautiful South Carolina lawn weed. The weed is native to Europe and grows low. It has a vining habit, which enables it to kill every other thing around it.

The plant’s bright green leaves have scalloped edges around the stolons.

5. Annual Bluegrass

Annual bluegrass, or Poaannua, is among the common winter weeds of South Carolina lawns. This grassy weed propagates in the fall, flowers in spring, and goes dormant in late spring through early summer. To control it, apply pre- and post-emergent herbicides and conduct proper lawn care practices.

6. Curly Dock

Curly Dock is another common low-growing winter annual weed in SC. It has elongated, oblong leaves with wave-like edges and deep tap roots. To kill these weeds effectively, apply a post-emergent herbicide or pull it manually from the root base.

7. Common Mallow

Common Mallow is another SC lawn weed commonly mistaken for ground ivy. This low-growing perennial or annual plant has white flowers and huge lobe leaves. You can easily prevent the growth of common mallow in your yard with proper weekly mowing and good lawn care practices.

8. Henbit

Weeds in South Carolina

This winter annual grows to the height of up to 30 centimeters in fertile soil but at times it doesn’t grow beyond 10 centimeters. It has fine hairs, which point downward.

The weed goes dormant during winter, revives in early spring, and dies back from late spring through summer when the temperatures increase.

In its early stage, the weed has square stems that are green in color but as the plant grows, the stems change their color to purple.

Although an enemy to grass, the weed is edible.

9. Purslane

Weeds in South Carolina

Purslane is one of the most common lawn weeds South Carolina has ever had. For centuries, this beautiful weed has covered a majority of lawns in SC. You can identify the weed by its reddish stem and rounded and succulent leaves.

Some critics say Purslane is one of the most notorious lawn weeds to kill in SC. However, the good news is that this weed is on the table at dinner thanks to its immense benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and C.

10. Shepherd’s Purse

Weeds in South Carolina

Shepherd’s purse belongs to the same family as cabbage and grows to produce seedpods that take the shape of the human heart. The seeds have a yellowish-brown color and take a long time to germinate.

This South Carolina lawn weed thrives in cool weather.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the cool season weeds in South Carolina?

A: South Carolina region experiences relatively mild winters, making certain weeds flourish in the cooler months in this state. These winter weeds include poa annua, bittercress, clover, Carolina geranium, henbit, common chickweed, chickweed, and oxalis.

Q: What is the best herbicide for winter weeds in South Carolina?

A: Liquid Atrazine is among South Carolina lawns’ best winter weed killers. You can apply it in your yard between late March and May to control winter weeds. The herbicide kills clovers, dollar weeds, annual bluegrass, and chickweed.


Weeds are problematic to all South Carolina lawns as they look unsightly and compete with grass for sunlight, water, and nutrients. These common lawn weeds in South Carolina include curly dock, common lespedeza, common mullein, henbit, annual bluegrass, bittercress, and common mallow.

Although you can control them with pre- and post-emergent herbicides, proper lawn care practices can prevent them naturally.