How to Rid Your Lawn of Common Mallow

Mallow is a weed that grows in all types of lawns, gardens and landscapes. It is a weed that’s often hard to identify because it can look like other plants in your lawn.

In this article, we’ll show you how to identify mallow and explain why it has been classified as an invasive weed in some countries. We’ll also give instructions on how to remove common mallow from your lawn so that you don’t have any more problems with these pesky weeds!

Common Mallow – Malva sylvestris

What Mallow Is

Mallow, a.k.a Common Mallow or Malva Sylvestris, is an invasive herbaceous perennial weed which typically grows 3-4 feet tall. It is originally native to Europe, Asia, and north Africa, but has been planted in many different countries all around the world, including North America and Australia.

Common Mallow was introduced into North America in the 1800s for its edible leaves and stems but quickly became a pest due to its ability to grow rapidly under unfavorable conditions such as poor soil drainage, drought, high winds etc., so it can be found everywhere from the east coast all the way out west in the United States and Canada.

It is one of several species that is sometimes referred to as Creeping Charlie, although the more common Creeping Charlie plant is Glechoma Hederacea, or Ground Ivy.

How Does Mallow Grow And Where?

Common mallow usually grows in waste spaces and rough ground, such as along highways, railway lines, and roadsides.

In your lawn, mallow can grow in any type of soil, but it prefers moist areas such as poorly drained soils and wet spots near the foundations of homes. If left unchecked, mallow can form dense patches up to three feet wide.

Mallow’s seeds spread by wind or water so when you see this plant make sure to get rid of it before it spread throughout your yard and becomes an infestation.

It has a long taproot making it hard to pull out by hand or use chemicals on without harming other plants nearby.

How You Can Identify Mallow

You might be wondering if Common Mallow is growing in your garden. So, what does this invasive weed look like?

The most striking feature of common mallow is its flowers. They are bright pink or purple, with darker pink or purple stripes. The flowers can be a few inches in diameter and usually have five petals.

Surrounding these flowers, the mallow has soft leaves that are a very dark, luscious green. These leaves have multiple points, up to five like on a hand, rather than just being round or ovoid. The stems are also green on top where they emerge from the ground but can be white below where they meet the leaves, and they might have hairs on them, but they might not.

When the mallow first starts to flower in spring and summer it looks very lovely, but as the warm weather continues and summer turns to fall the leaves lose their deep verdigris and the stems start looking very ragged.

Ways You Can Kill Mallow In Your Yard

If you have established that common mallow has definitely infested your lawn, don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to get rid of it.

If Common Mallow is growing in your lawn, you need to up your mowing game and cut the weed’s leaves back as much as possible. This will deprive the plant of nutrients and water it needs to keep going. After a while, there won’t be any leaves left and the plant will die.

If you do this as soon as you spot mallow, it should take one or two months to kill off that area of lawn. This is a much more organic way of killing the weed than using chemicals which can harm other plants and animals in your yard.

If, however, you need to use an herbicide to get rid of common mallow, follow this next step.

Chemically

To best eliminate mallow, use an herbicide with 2,4-D in it, such as Southern Ag Crossbow Specialty Weed & Brush Herbicide. This will kill the plant, roots and all.

Be sure to read the instructions on your product of choice thoroughly before use. You will need a sprayer as chemicals can’t simply be put on mallow by hand as they would just wash off the leaves without getting into the soil to reach the roots. In fact, chemicals should always be used following the instructions and with proper safety equipment, such as personal protective gear and eyewear. Rinse the sprayer immediately after use because 2,4-D is toxic to fish and plants.

Organically

Pulling out common mallow by hand is the safest way to get rid of it. However, if you have a large amount in your yard, this can be time-consuming and energy-intensive.

If you are doing it by hand, make sure you remove all of the taproot if possible. If any pieces are left behind, they will produce new leaves which could lead to a resurgence of the plant.

If you don’t have the time, energy or access to pull out mallow by hand, using a grubbing hoe can also work. Go as deep into the soil as possible to cut off any pieces that could possibly produce new leaves. This is one of the best ways for organically ridding your lawn of common mallow.

Can You Prevent Mallow from Growing In Your Lawn?

As mentioned above, mowing your lawn can make a big difference in preventing mallow from growing. This weed isn’t too difficult to get rid of if you keep it in check.

Additional methods to stop common mallow from coming back would be to spread wood chips or mulch. This is especially useful in flower beds and corners where mallow likes to grow. Covering areas with mulch will keep the soil too dark and moist for the plant to survive.

Maintaining a healthy lawn also helps, as mallow and many other weeds don’t usually grow well in thick turf grass.

If all else fails, you can always replace your lawn with a more common weed-resistant variety of grass!

That’s All

Common Mallow is a very annoying weed to have in your yard or garden. If you have a lawn full of mallow, don’t worry. In the article we’ve discussed how it grows, where it typically shows up in yards, as well as multiple ways that you can kill it off.

Regardless of whether you use chemical or organic removal methods, preventing the growth of this pesky plant from ever happening again should be priority number one for any homeowner who wants their yard looking its best.

Leave a Comment