What to do about this plant?

Asked May 11, 2016, 3:03 PM EDT

We can not identify this plant, but it spreads like crazy taking over our flower bed and now spreading to our lawn. Can you give a link to tell how to control it -- actually to get rid of it. Thanks so much.

Lancaster County Pennsylvania

1 Response

We think this looks like Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum) also known as wild geranium or crane's-bill.
It is a biennial, and spends it's first year as a low rosette and overwinters in that form. The plant dies out after making seeds. Reproduction is by seeds, which can germinate in late summer/early autumn or even spring. It tends to grow on dry, low fertility sites.
The least toxic method of control is hand weeding.
In your lawn you can use a broadleaved weed control, and in your garden bed you can carefully apply a non-selective weed killer containing glyphosate (like Round Up), being careful not to contact desireable plants. Follow all label instructions for any herbicide/pesticide.