What Is Clover and How Do I Control It?

If you dream of a picture-perfect lawn, clover may be your nemesis.

If you dream of a picture-perfect lawn, clover may be your nemesis. Known for its 3-part leaves and white flowers, clover (a perennial plant that returns each year) was once a welcome addition to lawns. Over time, though, many have come to see it as an invasive species that mars the look of a pure green stretch of grass.

Clover: Friend or Foe?

Up until WWII, clover was commonplace in American yards. In fact, many grass seed mixes included clover, as it works as an excellent ground cover in areas with poor soils (since it produces its own nitrogen) and won't hurt your grass. Plus, its flowers attract bees, which are important pollinators. Since then, though, a lush, uniform green lawn – minus the clover – has become the ideal.

So it comes down to this: If clover has become an intruder on your happy green space, you need to take action. Follow these simple tips kill the clover in your lawn.

3 Steps to Stop Clover


1. Maintain a Thick Lawn

If clover has made inroads into your lawn, there may be bigger trouble afoot. Your lawn (especially if it's sparse and straggling) may lack the nutrients it needs to become thick and lush. Clover provides its own nutrients, so it can withstand dry, poor quality soil. The easiest way to control clover is to crowd it out with a lawn so thick that it leaves no room for clover. Make a point of feeding your lawn 4 times a year to provide it with all the nutrients it needs to thrive.


2. Raise Your Mowing Height

It may seem wise to lower your mower so you can churn up clover as you cut the grass, but there's a smarter, more effective way. Raise the height of your mower instead, so that it allows the grass to grow a little higher. The taller grass will end up blocking the sunlight the clover depends on -- and without sun, the clover won't grow.


3. Reach for Roundup® For Lawns

If you just want to get out there and kill the clover, simply use Roundup® for Lawns, which is specially formulated to kill weeds like clover while leaving your lawn unharmed when used as directed. Here's an important thing to note, though: Wiping out clover plants is one thing, but preventing clover seeds from sprouting into new plants is a tougher issue, since they can stay dormant in the soil for years before they sprout. Chances are, you're going to need to re-apply Roundup® for Lawns each year to kill any new clover plants that appear.