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Japanese Stiltgrass

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Japanese Stiltgrass

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) is an annual grassy weed that germinates in the spring. This invasive species spreads rapidly, with each plant producing thousands of seeds that can last up to 5 years in the soil. It can easily take over your lawn if effective control measures are not taken. 


Japanese stiltgrass germinates in the spring (usually several weeks before crabgrass), grows to a maximum height of 2 to 3.5 feet, and eventually dies out in the fall. It thrives in moist, shady areas of the lawn. This invasive grass is similar in appearance to bamboo, with broad, pale green leaves that vary in length from about 1-3 inches. The stems of the plant are thin and wiry, and can be brown, purple, or green in color. Throughout the late summer months, stiltgrass plants generate slender flower spikes that appear in pairs. After blooming, dry fruits are produced, which are yellow to red in color. In the fall, the plants develop a purplish tinge and eventually takes on a tan hue during the dieback stage. 
Photo credit: ipaw.org

Controlling Japanese Stiltgrass

Early identification is critical to the reduction or elimination of Japanese stiltgrass in residential lawns. Contact Weed for pre-emergent & post-emergent control options for your turf.
And remember: a thick, healthy lawn is your best defense against invasive grassy weeds. A combination of regular fertilization and proper mowing/watering can help keep your lawn at its best.