What is this plant growing in my lawn?

Asked December 18, 2019, 10:17 PM EST

What is this plant growing in my lawn? This patch of something growing in my lawn is getting bigger and bigger. We have been using 1) Scotts Turf Builder and Crabgrass Preventer in early spring, 2) Scotts Turf Builder Plus Weed Killer in May, 3) Grubex in May to June, 4) Scotts Turf Builder and Disease Control in August, and 5) Scotts Fall Weed Killer and Feed in late September. These fluffy things have started growing this year...maybe in the summer. What we are doing is not helping. Do you know what this is an what to do about it? Thanks for any help you can give! Here are some pix...

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

This appears to be the common lawn weed Nimblewill, which is a native perennial grass that goes dormant in winter and turns this bleached-brown color. While native, it is considered a pest in turf, since it doesn't mow as nicely and tends to get lanky and has an unpleasant winter look.


None of the weed-preventer treatments you mentioned using contain an herbicide that is effective on Nimblewill. The Missouri Botanical Garden mentions one that should work (the same one mentioned on extension's page above), whether you choose to apply it yourself or have a lawn care company do it for you.https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/weeds/nimblewill.aspx Treatments would be made around late spring as the weather warms, as this grass will remain dormant in cool weather. (Fescue turfgrasses, on the other hand, begin to grow in cooler temperatures as they are cool-season grasses, so the lawn will break dormancy first.) The patches can be spot-treated or you can treat the whole lawn. Discoloration of your desirable turfgrass could occur but will be temporary as the grass will grow out of it. You can overseed the lawn next fall to fill-in any bare patches left by the Nimblewill.