Hairy Bittercress Identification & Prevention

What is hairy bittercress?

Hairy bittercress is a winter annual weed that is in the mustard family and, while considered an undesirable plant that invades our lawns, is an edible plant. The hairy bittercress starts as a small, flat rosette of green leaves. In the late spring, when the weather warms, the plant shoots up stalks with white, cross-shaped flowers and, eventually, seed pods. When a plant reaches maturity, seeds pop out of the pods and disperse on the surrounding ground; these seeds are what will become the next year’s crop.

a patch of hairy bittercress outside of a home n frederick maryland

Is hairy bittercress dangerous?

Hairy bittercress is a type of weed and not something we want growing in our lawns and gardens. It will use up the nutrients, water, and sun that other plants and grass need to thrive. Although considered a weed, this plant is edible, and many people will forage for it. If not removed from the ground early in its life cycle, it forms a long, deep taproot that eventually becomes very difficult to remove from the ground.

Why do I have a hairy bittercress problem?

Hairy bittercress is a species of weeds that is well known for spreading from location to location in container plants. They often come onto properties in container-grown plants purchased from a retail store or plant nursery. Properties also get infested with hairy bittercress after their seeds pop from pods. These seeds can disperse up to 16 feet from the original plant or get carried even farther in the wind.

Where will I find hairy bittercress?

Hairy bittercress grows well in areas that are wet and shady, as well as in lawns that are cut too short. It is wise practice to maintain healthy, dense turf in order to prevent the growth of hairy bittercress and other weeds on your property.

How do I get rid of hairy bittercress?

The best way to eliminate hairy bittercress is to partner with Royal Greens. Our experienced technicians are always reliable, honest, friendly, and willing to work with our customers to identify their specific hairy bittercress problem, eliminate the weeds, and put into place a plan of action to maintain a lush and healthy lawn.

Our comprehensive lawn care solutions for Central Maryland property owners provide customized, effective, seasonal lawn care solutions you can count on. Learn more about our organic approach to lawn care by reaching out to Royal Greens today!

How can I prevent hairy bittercress in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following prevention tips will help avoid problems with hairy bittercress:

  • Cut back overgrown trees and shrubs that create excess shade on your property.

  • Do not over-water your lawn.

  • Avoid cutting your grass too short.

  • Pull or mow over plants early in the growing season, before they have the chance to germinate.


Get Started With Royal Greens, Inc. Today

(301) 831-3731

Contact us today to receive an instant lawn quote!

Get Started With Royal Greens, Inc. Today

(301) 831-3731

Contact us today to receive an instant lawn quote!

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