Controlling Lespedeza

Q: How do I control lespedeza?

A: I see two kinds of lespedeza that are problematic in lawns. Annual lespedeza, Lespedeza striata, is a low-growing annual plant; it sprouts from seed each year. Sericea lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata, is an upright perennial plant. Both have tufts of three leaves arranged along the stem. Common lespedeza thrives in thinly growing lawn grass and on compacted soil. Your best option for control of either plant is hand pulling as soon as you spot it in early summer. Waiting until fall allows both plants to develop woody stems and deep, tenacious roots.