Creeping Buttercup
(Ranunculus repens)

A spreading perennial weed that is a serious problem is lawns, as well as garden borders. In the lawn it forms a rosette at soil level so isn’t affected by mowing. It spreads by runners that creep along and root at intervals, forming new plants. It is a very aggressive weed and can colonise large areas.


The main ways to keep weeds under control is constant vigilance, never allowing the weed to flower or set seed.

  • Fortunately this weed is sensitive to all selective weedkillers so is easy to control in the lawn. Spraying with one that contains 2,4-d, such as Verdone will kill this weed

  • Applying lawn sand to large areas will help to check its growth

  • Established clumps in the lawn need to be rake regularly before mowing so that creeping stems are brought up to meet the mower blades

  • Spraying with weedkiller will do the job if the weeds are in the garden border. Spray with a systemic weedkiller, such as one that contains glyphosate, as this is absorbed through the leaves of the plant and the active ingredient makes its way through the cells of the plant down to the root. It kills these first and then the foliage starts to die off

  • Spot treatments on lawns can also be done but the weedkiller will kill the surrounding grass too