How to Get Rid of White Clover From Lawns?

White clover can be a bit of a nuisance in your beautiful lawn or garden. Despite its charming appearance, it often spreads quickly and competes with other plants for space and resources.

Don’t worry! With a few simple steps, you can effectively eliminate white clover and reclaim your outdoor space.

To begin with, it’s essential to understand what makes white clover thrive. This persistent plant loves moist, fertile soil and tends to appear in patches where your grass may be struggling.

Armed with this knowledge, you can create an environment that’s less inviting for clover while taking direct action against existing growth.

In the next few sections, we’ll dive into specific strategies and techniques that’ll help you eliminate white clover from your lawn and garden.

By following these tips, you can maintain a lush, green, and clover-free environment that’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Identify White Clover

White clover may be an attractive addition to some gardens and lawns; however, it can quickly become a nuisance if not dealt with promptly.

In this section, you will learn how to identify white clover by discussing its physical characteristics and growth habits.

Physical Characteristics

White clover is a low-growing perennial plant with trifoliate leaves, meaning each leaf is divided into three leaflets.

The leaflets are typically oval-shaped and have a white ‘V’ marking on the upper side. The flowers of white clover appear in clusters at the end of long stems, forming round, white to pale pink, pom-pom-like blooms.

These flowers are usually about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter.

Growth Habit

White clover tends to grow in patches and thrives in areas with moist soil and plenty of sunlight. It can often be found in lawns, gardens, and meadows. Its roots spread through a system of stolons, allowing the plant to reproduce vegetatively and create new plants. This growth habit makes white clover especially difficult to control without vigilant efforts.

By recognizing the physical characteristics and growth habits of white clover, you can effectively identify this potentially invasive plant in your lawn or garden and take steps to manage it.

Cultural Control Practices

Watering Techniques

Proper watering techniques can help you manage white clover in your lawn. Make sure to water your grass deeply and less frequently.

This encourages the growth of desirable grass species and discourages white clover. Aim for around 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation.

Mowing Height

Adjusting your mowing height is another effective way to discourage white clover growth. Keep your grass at a higher height, around 3-4 inches. Taller grass will shade out the white clover, making it more difficult for it to establish and spread. Don’t forget to keep your mower blades sharp for clean cuts, which; help maintain your lawn’s health.

Fertilizing & Soil Health

Maintaining proper soil health is crucial in preventing white clover infestations. White clover thrives in poorly-fertilized lawns, as it can fix nitrogen from the air. To combat this, apply fertilizers rich in nitrogen to promote the growth of desirable grass species.

Test your soil every few years to ensure it has the appropriate balance of nutrients. Additionally, consider aerating your lawn to promote better air and water infiltration into the soil.

By following these cultural control practices, you can help prevent white clover from taking over your lawn and maintain a healthy, green yard.

Selective Herbicides

White clover can be a frustrating weed to manage on your lawn, but using selective herbicides can help eliminate it without harming your grass.

There are two main types of selective herbicides: post-emergent and pre-emergent.

They each serve different purposes, so be sure to use the one best suited for your situation.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

Post-emergent herbicides are designed to deal with white clover that’s already established in your lawn. They work by targeting the weed’s active growth after it has emerged. You can apply post-emergent herbicides directly onto the white clover patches in your lawn.

  • 2,4-D: This is a widely-used herbicide for white clover control. It’s effective when applied during the weed’s active growth stage. Be sure to follow the label instructions for the best results.
  • MCPA: This herbicide is another option to control white clover. It’s considered a safer alternative to 2,4-D, as it is less likely to damage sensitive plants. Apply MCPA during the weed’s active growth stage for optimal results.

Keep in mind that patience is essential when using these herbicides, as it may take several applications for the white clover to be fully eliminated.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

If you want to prevent white clover from germinating and establishing in the first place, you can use pre-emergent herbicides. These products create a barrier in the soil that prevents the weed seeds from sprouting.

  • Pendimethalin: This pre-emergent herbicide has been proven effective in controlling white clover seeds. Apply it to your lawn as a preventative measure, following the product’s label instructions carefully.
  • Isoxaben: This is another pre-emergent option that can help stop white clover seeds from germinating. Be sure to apply it before the seeds start to germinate for the best results.

Remember that timing is critical with pre-emergent herbicides, as they need to be applied before the weeds begin to grow. Using these herbicides as a preventative measure can save you time and effort in the long run.

In conclusion, it’s important to choose the right selective herbicide for your situation, whether you’re dealing with established white clover or trying to prevent it from germinating. Always follow the product’s label instructions and be patient, as it may take some time for the herbicides to fully work.

Non-Chemical Treatments

In your quest to get rid of white clover, there are several non-chemical methods that can help. Here are a few of those strategies:


Hand-pulling is a simple, effective method to control white clover without using chemicals. Remember to grab the clover close to the base, just below the soil line. This will help to remove the entire root system. Be sure to pull the white clover consistently throughout the growing season to prevent it from spreading.

  • Keep a small bucket or bag with you to collect the clover as you go
  • Pull weeds when the soil is damp, as roots come up more easily

Lawn Aeration

Over time, your lawn can become compacted, making it difficult for grass to grow and leaving room for white clover to thrive. Lawn aeration involves removing small plugs of soil, which helps loosen the soil and allows for better water, nutrient, and oxygen penetration.

To aerate your lawn, follow these steps:

  1. Select the right tool: manual lawn aerator or mechanical aerator
  2. Make sure the soil is moist, but not soaked
  3. Start at one corner of the yard and work your way evenly across the lawn
  4. Focus on areas where grass is thin or struggling to grow

By using these non-chemical treatments, you can effectively combat white clover in your yard while also creating a healthier environment for your grass to grow.