Carolina geranium can be found in most of the United States. It also goes by the names Carolina cranes-bill, wild geranium, or cranes-bill. The weed is mostly a biennial but it can be a winter or summer annual. Identification is pretty easy as it looks similar to cilantro at first glance. Here are some specifics about the weed and how to control it.
What does carolina geranium look like?
It can be identified by its elongated stems that branch at the base. They grow vertically and only get up to about a foot in height. Stems are hairy and greenish-pink in color, but can be more reddish when growig in a particularly dry area. The leaves are also hairy on top and bottom and are divided into five segments. Each segment is lobed giving it a similar look to cilantro. Flowers are white or pale pink. The roots are fibrous and it has a shallow taproot making pulling an easy effort.
How to control carolina geranium?
This weed likes to grow in both dry and open spaces. A homeowner can avoid both scenarios by watering efficiently and taking steps to ensure a healthy dense turf like aerating and overseeding in the fall, fertilizing throughout the year, and using proper weed control. If you do see this weed, pulling is effective. But make sure you pull it before it seeds otherwise you'll be distributing seeds to other unaffected areas. It's best to stay up-to-date on pre-emergent treatments and spray a post-emergent if you see it pop up.
Appearance: It can be identified by its elongated stems growing vertically and branching near the base. The stems are greenish-pink in color and hairy. The leaves are also hairy on top and bottom and are divided into five segments. Flowers are pale pink or white.
Life cycle: Normally a biennial, but can be a winter or summer annual.
Where it grows: This weed can typically be found growing in prairies, pastures, abandoned fields, lawns and roadsides, as well as waste areas.
Reproduces by: Seed
How to prevent: Use a pre-emergent in both fall and spring to prevent this weed from coming up!
How to remove: With a shallow taproot, this weed will come up easily when pulled. But pull these up before they seed or you risk spreading the seed to other parts of your lawn. Use a post-emergent to rid your lawn completely of this weed.