Cleavers (Galium aparine) grow rapidly during warm weather. The sticky stems are able to scramble around the garden, smothering small, cultivated plants and setting masses of seed. It’s usually introduced on the coats of animals, birds’ feathers or human clothing. Its lifecycle is approximately eight weeks from germination to setting seed.



A short-lived plant that grows sticky mats of foliage, which can swamp cultivated plants. It produces sticky seeds, which can be spread around the garden by animals and on clothing.

Find it on

freshly-cultivated ground in borders, established flowerbeds, pots, vegetable plots


Remove cleavers regularly by hand, or hoe off young seedlings before they set seed. Avoid getting seeds on clothing, as this can inadvertently spread it around the garden. Mulch borders with a 5cm layer of garden compost or composted bark to suppress seedlings.



Apply a contact weedkiller when the plants are young and before they get a chance to flower.

Catchweed Bedstraw, Galium aparine

Galium aparine is a distinctive herbaceous annual weed with a number of common names including cleavers, bedstraw, catchweed bedstraw, grip grass, stickywilly, and others. This fast-growing plant in the madder famliy (Rubiaceae), native to the northern hemisphere (North America and Eurasia), occurs in all US states except Hawaii, and in most provinces of Canada and northern Mexico. It can grow in a variety of habitats, including forests and woodlands, meadows, prairies, disturbed areas, and cultivated crops. It is commonly found in low shrubby vegetation, arable fields, and in gardens with moist soils. It causes problems in crops during harvesting when bedstraw becomes tangled with the crop or equipment.

This plant supposedly has many medicinal uses (reducing fevers, stopping bedwetting, removing tumors, eliminating freckles, etc.). Native Americans used an infusion of the plant to relieve itches and poison ivy. The dried and roasted fruits can used to make a coffee substitute (this plant is in the same family as coffee, Coffea spp.). The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.

The leaves of catchweed bedstraw are arranged in whorls

The leaves and stems of G. aparine have fine hook-like hairs (similar to Velcro®) that readily adhere to clothing and animal fur, giving rise to some of its common names. Because they cling to each other, the plants don’t mat down easily when used as a mattress filling, giving rise to the name bedstraw. The scratchy hairs can be mildly irritating to those with sensitive skin. The simple linear leaves are borne in whorls of six to eight along the square stems with few branches. The tip of each leaf has a sharp firm point.

Plants often can’t stand up on their own, so sprawl onto others for support.

Seeds germinate very early in the spring, to produce a gangly plant with long stems. Plants can grow up to 6 feet, but can’t stand up on their own, so they often use other upright species for support, clambering over the other vegetation with the aid of hooked bristles at the stem angles. Left on their own, they remain low and sprawling, forming dense tangles only a foot or so in height, shading out any smaller plants they grow over. In some areas, this species grows as a winter annual, germinating in the fall, and overwinter as a small plant, to grow quickly in spring.

The tiny white or pale green flowers are born terminally or in leaf axils.

In early spring to summer, tiny, inconspicuous pale green or white flowers are borne in the leaf axils or terminally. Each inflorescence (a cyme) has 3 to 5 flowers. Each flower is only 2-3 mm across, with four petals. Once pollinated by flies or beetles, spherical fruits of two nearly round halves are produced. Each fruit half contains a single small, spherical, oval or kidney shaped seed. The gray to brown seeds are 1-4 mm in diameter and are covered with small tubercles. The hooked bristles create a burr, which is easily dispersed on animal fur or clothing. Individual plants produce 300-400 seeds, although some specimens will produce many more.

Hooked bristles on the seed capsule create a burr, which easily sticks to animal fur.

Seeds remain viable in the soil for only a couple of years. They survive passage through the digestive tracts of cattle, horses, pigs, goats, and birds, so bringing uncomposted manure into a garden may inadvertently introduce this weed.

Catchweed bedstraw is best controlled while still small.

This weed is not difficult to control if pulled or hoed out while small, before flowering and seed production commences. G. aparine has a shallow root system, with a branching taproot. However, it is weakly connected to the stem so that when weeding, the roots often remain behind (and can grow again) when the tops are pulled. The brittle stems break easily, so it is difficult to remove an entire plant intact. Nearby fragile plants may be damaged as it is pulled if its leaves or stems stick to the tender plants.

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Download Article as PDF

Controlling Goosegrass Weeds: Treatment And Control Of Goosegrass In Lawns

Goosegrass (Galium aparine) is an annual weed found in warm season turf grasses. The grass seeds readily and spreads on the wind from lawn to lawn. Find answers to what is goosegrass and learn how to control it in order to grow a healthier lawn. The methods on how to kill goosegrass range from cultural to herbicidal. Goosegrass weed control is essential because the rapidly spreading plant can take over entire areas of the lawn.

What is Goosegrass?

If you have identified the splayed tufts of grass with numerous finger-like blades in your lawn, you will need to investigate how to kill goosegrass. The plant can become established even in hard, compacted soils and is very resilient. The thick leaf blades are difficult to cut with a mower and even after a close trim, lawn grass will look ragged and unkempt if goosegrass is present.

The plant is most obvious in warm summer periods, but may persist into winter in temperate zones. The thick, rough blades radiate from a central area in spikes of 2 to 13. Each blade is flat with slight serration at the edges. The color is emerald green with older blades bearing a touch of white on damaged edges.

Control of Goosegrass in Lawns

Controlling goosegrass is essential to an attractive lawn. The tough plant requires vigilance to keep the seed heads from forming. Keep your mower blades very sharp so they can remove the inflorescences before they seed.

Overwatering and extreme culture can promote the growth of the weed. Patchy lawns and areas with heavy foot traffic will have the highest populations of goosegrass.

Control of goosegrass in lawns relies upon proper maintenance first and pre-emergent or post emergent chemicals for flare ups. One simple way to help prevent the weed is by aerating. Aeration increases the porosity of the ground and discourages the formation of goosegrass.

Goosegrass Weed Control

There are several pre-emergence herbicides available for controlling goosegrass. They are either used singly or with other chemicals. The correct formula will depend upon what type of sod is in your lawn.

Post emergence herbicides are useful as spot applications and can be used repeatedly during the season to control the weeds before they seed. Be sure to consult the label of the product you choose for goosegrass weed control.

How to Kill Goosegrass

Follow all recommended precautions on the product you use to control the weed. Most herbicides need to be applied when there is a dry period to prevent the product from rinsing off of grass blades.

If you are using a spray application for control of goosegrass in lawns, apply it on a windless day to prevent drift that can kill non-target plants.

Pre-emergent herbicides work best if applied in late winter to early spring when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 C.) for 24 days in a row.

Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are more environmentally friendly.

Along with spring’s budding leaves and bounteous blossoms arrive a few phenomena that we are somewhat less enthused about observing: the persistent spread of noxious and invasive weeds across our gardens. At this time of year, certain weeds appear to be covering supernormal amounts of ground each day. But a little know-how and perseverance can keep them under control so that the rest of your yard or garden can flourish. See Part I: Smilax: Nothing to Smile About in the July 2011 issue of the Cleaver.
The plant commonly known as Catchweed Bedstraw (scientific name Galium aparine) is a good plant to discuss this month. This fast-growing plant in the madder family (Rubiaceae) is native in all US states except Hawaii. Catchweed forms dense, tangled mats that sprawl on the ground or over other vegetation. It grows in a variety of habitats, including forests and woodlands, meadows, prairies, disturbed areas, and cultivated crops. More than likely, you’ve seen it in your yards, beds, fencelines, and empty lots every year since at least 2006, the first spring after Hurricane Katrina. (I’ve heard some people comment that they had never noticed this particular weed until after storm waters washed strange new seeds through town).
Each spring, I rip out bagfuls of this sticky annual weed with whorls of leaves along its lanky square stems. Galium aparine is a herbaceous annual weed with a number of interesting common names. The species name “aparine” comes from a Latin word meaning “to seize,” derived from the clinging nature of this weed. The plant’s many common names derive from the fine hook-like hairs or prickles (similar to Velcro) on its leaves and stems, that readily adhere to clothing and animal fur. Some of its common names are catchweed (because it catches things), “cleavers” (because it “cleaves” or clings to people), “grip-grass,” “sticky-willy,” “sticky-weed,” and “Velcro-plant.” It is also known as bedstraw or “Lady’s bedstraw,” from its use as a mattress filling. Apparently, in the old days, it used to be used as stuffing in mattresses because the clinging nature of the prickles minimized matting and compaction of the mattress-filling (and, when dried, it gave off a nice fresh scent that the ladies liked to lay their heads on).
Interestingly, this plant also supposedly has many medicinal uses (as a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory, fever reducer, removing tumors, treating psoriasis and eczema, etc.). Native Americans used an infusion of the plant to relieve itches and poison ivy. The dried and roasted fruits can be used to make a coffee substitute (this plant is in the same family as coffee). The young leaves can be used as a substitute for herbal tea, or steamed with butter and eaten, and can even be eaten raw. (I’ve read about these uses; I haven’t tried any of these delicacies at home.) The plant has also been used to feed geese and donkeys, and apparently some dogs can’t get enough of the sticky stuff either.
Seeds germinate very early in the spring, to produce a gangly plant with long stems. This fast growing weed can flower in as little as eight weeks after germination, bearing tiny, inconspicuous pale green or white flowers. Once pollinated, little spherical fruits are produced, containing a small seed. The seeds are covered with hooked bristles, creating a burr, which is easily dispersed on animal fur or clothing. The little burs cling to everything that passes through – your clothing, your pets, birds — and it keeps the weed spreading. Plants can grow up to 6 feet, but can’t stand up on their own, so they often use other upright species for support, clambering over other vegetation with the aid of hooked bristles on the stems. Left on their own, they remain low and sprawling, forming dense tangles only a foot or so in height, shading out any smaller plants they grow over.
Though it is almost pretty in its own way, and has a rather pleasant crisp fragrance, like fresh-mown hay, it is a nuisance – make no mistake about that! In landscapes and home gardens, catchweed competes for nutrients, water, and light with desirable plants. Competition for resources aside, overgrown catchweed just isn’t very pretty in your garden beds or yard. It can also be a serious nuisance in some cases by smothering desirable vegetation and causing physical injury to small plants. It makes the harvesting of fruits and vegetables difficult, as the tangled stems weave throughout the garden. It causes problems in crops during harvesting when the catchweed becomes tangled with the crop or equipment. For pet owners, bedstraw seed or vegetation often gets caught in the fur of pets and can be difficult to remove. And, like all noxious weeds, every week that it goes uncontrolled makes it that much harder to eradicate. (Individual plants typically produce 100 to 400 seeds, with occasional plants producing 3,000 or more seeds. Those seeds, with their hooked hairs, can remain viable in the soil for up to three years and can survive passage through the digestive tracts of cattle, horses, pigs, goats, and birds.)
Long-term control of catchweed bedstraw in home landscapes relies on removing existing plants before they flower and produce viable seed. The weed really is not too difficult to control if pulled or hoed out while young and small, before it flowers and goes to seed. Catchweed has a shallow root system, and is very easy to pull up in great masses, as its attachment to the ground is extraordinarily light and sticky. (It’s even easier sometimes to just rake it up.) When you pull it up, it sticks to itself into a big sticky fragrant ball, which is easy to crush into a small compact ball and throw away. However, its brittle stems are connected loosely, and break so easily that it is difficult to remove an entire plant intact; the roots often remain behind (and can grow again) when the tops are pulled. That just means that a little more vigilance is required – even though you may have just weeded the same area last week, you may have to still go over it a few more times. Just keep ripping and ripping until it gives up for the summer.
Mulching can also help keep catchweed under control by reducing seedling emergence and easing the removal of plants that do become established. Chemicals really aren’t necessary to control this weed, but pre-emergent herbicides like Preen and post-emergent herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup) can also aid suppression.
Catchweed’s scratchy hairs and sticky sap can be mildly irritating to those with sensitive skin, and some people have reported allergies to the plant, so you should remember to wash your hands and arms after you’ve handled it. (Gloves are not necessary unless your skin is highly sensitive to it).
Weeding is a great excuse to get out and ramble around your yard and garden, looking at the birds and insects, and all the new exciting growth of spring. Happy weeding!
contributed by Karen Fineran

Nothing ruins your garden or yard like weeds, those uninvited guests that rob your plants of space and nutrients. So murder those weeds most foul, but without harmful chemicals that can do you in, too.

Who says you need standard weeding tools to kill weeds? Here are seven ways to kill weeds with weapons you already have around your house.

How to kill weeds:

1. Newspaper

A carpet of newspaper, which blocks sunlight and oxygen from reaching the soil, will smother weeds already sprouted and prevent new ones from growing. Throw down newspaper in 10-sheet layers, wet to hold it down, and cover with an inch or two of mulch. If weeds begin to grow in the mulch, add more layers, making a mulch-newspaper lasagna, which eventually will decompose and nourish the soil.

2. Old Shower Curtains and Carpet Samples

Spreading these useless items in garden paths or between rows will keeps weeds from ever showing their unwanted heads. Cover with mulch.

3. Corn Gluten Meal

This corn by-product stops seeds from growing into weeds. Since the meal will prevent germination, spread it around established plants, and after seedlings and transplants have taken hold in the soil. After harvest, spread the meal to prevent late-season weeds.

4. Vinegar

The acetic acid in 5% vinegar is a desiccant that sucks the life out of plant leaves. It’s most destructive to young plants with immature roots, though it just rolls off weeds with waxy leaves, like pennywort or thistle.

Make sure you cover desirables before spraying, because vinegar is an equal opportunity killer. Keep your spray on-target by removing the bottom from a 2-liter plastic soda bottle, and placing it over the weed. Spray vinegar into the mouth of the bottle, which will keep it from splattering on your vegetables.

5. Vodka

Don’t know if vodka makes weeds fall down dead or drunk, but 1 ounce mixed with 2 cups of water and a couple of drops of dish soap will dry out weeds that live in the sun. Doesn’t work that well on shade-loving weeds. Protect desirables, because vodka will dry them out, too.

6. Soap

The oil in soap can break down waxy or hairy weed surfaces, making them vulnerable to desiccants. So add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to vinegar or vodka sprays to keep the solution on leaves. The soap also makes leaves shiny, which will help you keep track of what you’ve sprayed.

7. Boiling Water

After you’ve made yourself a cup of tea, take the kettle outside and pour the boiling water on weeds, which will burn up. This is a particularly good way to whack driveway and walkway weeds, because the boiling water can run off impervious surfaces and cool before it reaches border plants.


  • How to Keep Weeds from Sprouting
  • Identifying Weeds and How to Attack Them

Sticky weed – useful, but annoying

Some gardeners call it the Velcro plant. Others know it as cleavers or sticky weed. My favorite common name for Galium aparine? Sticky Willy.

But no matter what you call it, if you do any kind of yard work or gardening, you’ve probably rubbed up against this annual whose seeds germinate in the cool wet weather of late winter and then grow rapidly into swirly, sticky stems of green that glue themselves to your fence, your pets and your socks.

Last weekend, after two hours of nonstop weed pulling (henbit and chickweed as well as S. Willy), I removed strands of sticky Willy from my pant legs, my work boots – and the back of my head. Ugh.

But before declaring war on this annoying, cloying thing, I decided to take a closer look. Why is it in my backyard? Can I make it go away? And should I first consider what it might be good for? Every living thing has some redeeming value, right? Right. So, here’s what I’ve dug up so far on sticky Willy:

According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, sticky Willy is a native throughout North America. Under “benefits,” it is listed as having a “conspicuous flower.” Well, maybe if you’re using a magnifying glass. The Wildflower Center entry also points out that the plant is sometimes called bedstraw because one of its sweeter smelling cousins (G. verum) was used to stuff mattresses in medieval times.

Here’s what certified Austin herbalist Ellen Zimmermann of Sharing the Wisdom of the Plants ( says about sticky Willy: “Cleavers, Galium aparine is a highly valuable medicinal herb. It is used to boost the immune system, particularly to support and cleanse the lymph system. It is also quite useful as a urinary astringent as it assists with inflammation. It is a wonderful spring tonic, cooling for fevers and acts (in older herbal terms) as a blood purifier.”

To prepare a spring tonic, she makes a tincture of sticky Willy by steeping crushed plants in a jar with vodka for about six weeks. Then she strains and dilutes it to make the tonic. Hmm. Add a squeeze of lime and a splash of simple syrup and this sounds like a tonic that could catch on at happy hours around town. A sticky Willy on the rocks?

Sticky Willy can also be consumed as a tea, according to several other herbal sources. “The Handbook of Alternatives to Chemical Medicine” suggests steeping 1 teaspoon of crushed leaves in 1 cup of boiling water to promote weight loss and soothe irritation of the urinary tract. Or cook it with beans, to add flavor and reduce flatulence. Sticky Willy Beano?

Some enterprising folks dry and roast sticky Willy seeds and use them as a caffeine-free coffee substitute, according to “Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest.”

Now that I know that sticky Willy is much more than a weed, am I finding it less annoying? Not really. I might consider keeping a small patch of it in a side yard, but I’m ready for it to be gone and, if possible, stay gone from my backyard.

I don’t have much of a lawn, but for those of you who do, Daphne Richards, Travis County’s extension agent, says you’re having more weed problems this year (sticky Willy as well as others) because of recent heavy drought, high heat and watering restrictions. “Lawns were stressed and had no time to recover before the weather got cold and they went dormant. The dead patches in dormant lawns allowed space for the weeds to root and take off with all of the winter rain.”

She says the important thing to do now is to get lawns healthy again, so that invading weeds won’t find a welcoming environment.

And if you want to keep sticky Willy from coming back next spring, pull it (or mow it) as soon as you see it. Otherwise, after it blooms, it will throw off seed that will turn into next year’s sticky Willy problem.

Corn gluten meal is an organic pre-emergent treatment recommended by many organic sources to help control annual weeds. Some gardeners swear by it, but others say it’s not very effective. I haven’t tried it, but I’m planning to before next spring. (Some of my sticky Willy is already blooming, so I might have missed my best chance to stop its spread by yanking it out.)

One thing I will not try is a weed and feed product because of ongoing concerns about the use of atrazine, a common ingredient in herbicides.

Happy gardening (and weed pulling)!

This ‘Sticky Weed’ Is Probably Growing In Your Yard, And It’s Totally Legal

Sticky Weed View Full Caption

LINCOLN SQUARE — There’s one kind of “sticky weed” that’s cultivated covertly and, if discovered, is likely to be confiscated by the feds and land its grower in jail.

And then there’s the other Sticky Weed, spreading unbidden across Chicago with wild abandon wherever it can take root, from vacant lots to cracks in the pavement.

Not to be remotely confused with marijuana, Galium aparine — aka, Sticky Weed, which goes by nearly as many nicknames as Mary Jane — is actually a cousin of coffee, packing a fairly mild, but totally legal, buzz.

Turns out, Sticky Weed is also an edible green (with caveats) and has been put to all sorts of uses historically, including as a dye, an herbal remedy and stuffing for mattresses.

Imagine, this valuable resource has been hiding in plain view.

How to identify Sticky Weed?

It’s easier done by touch than sight. The plant’s looks are nondescript but give the weed a tug and the source of its appellation becomes clear — it acts like nature’s velco.

A close-up of the plant’s hooked hairs.

That’s because the edible leaves and stems are covered in hooked hairs which latch onto anything they touch. Keep that in mind before swallowing raw.

Sticky Weed is more commonly consumed cooked — sauté it the same as spinach or kale — or the stems and leaves are dried and used to brew tea.

To make “coffee,” look for plants that have borne fruit. The tiny balls are also barbed — this is one seriously armored plant — but contain seeds that can be dried and roasted similar to coffee beans.

Try this at home:

Sticky Weed’s fruit — pick with caution.

One of the broadleaf weeds that runs rampant in our area during February and March is sticky weed, also known as Velcro weed.

It’s very easy to control with simple broadleaf weed killers (be sure to add a surfactant), but if you do nothing at all, it will burn away quite naturally once high temperatures reach the 80s and 90s.

The botanical name for sticky weed, Velcro weed or sticky willy is actually Galium aparine. It’s also often mislabeled “sticker burrs,” but that’s a different menace altogether.

No matter what you call it, you’ve probably rubbed up against this annual while gardening or working in the landscape. Its seeds germinate in the cool, wet weather of late winter, then grow rapidly into swirly, sticky stems of green that glue themselves to your fence, your pets and your socks. But before you run to the store for broadleaf weed control, know that it is very easy to just pull out of your landscape or lawn, roots and all. But with our rough January in mind, HERE IS EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BROADLEAF WEED CONTROLS.

Usually, when it comes to sticky, we are not a fan (sticky fingers, sticky hands, sticky floors, sticky counters…). But give us some sticky weed, and we’re happy as a clam at high tide (no scrubbing required).

Those of you new to the canna-experience — and even some long-time canna-enthusiasts — may not be familiar with sticky weed. That’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about sticky weed and why you should get ahold of a few gooey nugs for yourself.

What Is Sticky Weed?

Sticky weed (or “sticky icky”) is a slang term for marijuana flowers that still contain a good deal of resin in their trichomes. It’s this resin (or essential oil) that gives sticky weed its name.

Think of it like the sap of a plant. Or like maple syrup for those of you who’ve already had enough biology for the day. Either way, it’s what makes this type of weed sticky to the touch.

So is that stickiness a good thing? Or should you smoke something dryer instead?

Is Sticky Weed Any Good?

Usually, with something sticky, we’d tell you to drop it like it’s hot. But with sticky weed, all we can say is, “Hold on to that sticky icky like your life depends on it!”

Put another way — and to answer the question directly — “Yes! Yes! Yes! Sticky weed is good.”

In fact, it’s the best of the best. It’s the holy grail of cannabis if the holy grail was available for sale in your local dispensary and not hidden away in some warehouse somewhere.

If you have the good fortune to try some sticky weed, do it. It just may change your life forever.

Why Sticky Weed Is Top-Shelf Cannabis

Sticky weed is all about the resin. But that resin doesn’t just appear out of thin air (unfortunately). And there’s actually more to the resin than first meets the eye.

To help you understand, we’ll start from the top and work our way down.


It all begins with flowers. Cannabis flowers (or “buds” for short) grow on the female pot plant. At full maturity, they’re often orange, purple, or some combination of the two.

The flowers will also be covered with what look like tiny hairs. But don’t grab your razor just yet. Those “hairs” have a purpose.


“Trichomes” is a fancy word for the glands of the pot plant. You’ve got glands. I’ve got glands. The pot plant has glands. We’ve all got glands.

The job of those glands is to produce and secrete stuff. In humans, that “stuff” is hormones. In the pot plant, that “stuff” is resin.

There are actually three different kinds of trichomes on the cannabis plant, but capitate-stalked are the largest and most common of the bunch. They’re where the bulk of the resin production takes place.

You can find the trichomes if you look closely at the flowers of a mature female cannabis plant. At first glance, they’ll look like small hairs.

But on closer inspection, you’ll see that they’re actually a stalk with a round head at the top. This is where all the action occurs.


The cannabis plant produces flowers. Those flowers produce trichomes. The trichomes, then, produce resin.

And, as we’ve mentioned, it’s the resin that gives sticky weed its name and makes the cannabis plant the ninth wonder of the world (at least according to us, anyway).

As you’ve probably guessed from all the sticky talk, the resin in the cannabis plant is gooey and adhesive. It ranges in color from translucent to cloudy reddish to orange depending on where the cannabis plant is in its lifecycle.

But that may leave you with the question, “Why are you making resin out to be like an orgasm wrapped in powdered ecstasy with endorphins drizzled on top?”

You can find the answer to that very creative question in the next section.


In simplest terms, cannabinoids are chemicals. More specifically, cannabinoids are chemicals that interact with the cannabinoid receptors in your brain.

They have names like:

  • THC
  • CBD
  • CBG
  • CBN

These chemicals are the stuff that gets you high, relieves your pain, and takes the edge off your anxiety after you smoke a doobie or devour some brownies.

You can only find cannabinoids in the resin produced by the trichomes of the marijuana plant. Sounds like a familiar children’s song: the cannabis plant that sprouted the flower that grew the trichome that produced the resin that contained the cannabinoids.

Ah, if only our childhood were that much fun.

Let’s Put It All Together

So cannabinoids are what you come to cannabis for. They’re what you’re looking for when you blaze a blunt or nosh a hemp gummy. And they can only be found in the resin produced by the trichomes of a flowering pot plant.

So if you want to get as many trichomes out of your marijuana experience as possible, you want a nug with lots of resin. You want sticky weed.

Are you starting to see why sticky weed is such a good thing? Basically, it’s because you’re going to have more fun — or feel more medical benefits — with sticky weed than you would with the dry alternative.

Sure, it’s kind of a pain (to clean) when you’re all done, but the trip is well worth that inconvenience. Plus, cleaning is one of the top 15 fun things to do while high (seriously), so bonus.

But before you run out and blow your wad on all the sticky weed you can find, let’s discuss how sticky weed compares to dry weed.

Sticky Weed vs. Dry Weed

We’ve been talking a lot in this article about the wonders of sticky weed. But that may have left you with the impression that dry weed is the equivalent of regs and should be avoided at all costs.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Dry weed has its place. In fact, it’s more the norm than anything else. It’s very much like the old adage about pizza and sex: even when it’s bad, it’s still good.

Here’s how sticky weed and dry weed stack up side-by-side.

They’re Both Dried

Don’t get us wrong, both sticky weed and dry weed are both dried — meaning they’ve both been cut from the stem of the cannabis plant, hung in a cool, dry place, and allowed to…dry (the beginnings of the decarboxylation process).

The dry weed may have been left hanging longer, or it may have had fewer trichomes (or less resin) to begin with. The fact that it’s dry and not sticky doesn’t mean that it won’t get you righteously high. It just means that the dry weed might have a harsher smoke or that it might not have a full, tasty flavor like the sticky weed.

Sure, it might diminish the initial experience a bit, but it will have very little effect on the psychedelics you’re searching for.


Think of sticky weed as the highest quality you can get. The trichomes are literally bursting with resin, so you’re going to get more cannabinoids.

Dry weed still has plenty of cannabinoids. Just not as many as its sticky relative. But the impact of quality doesn’t just stop there. The high quality of sticky weed will affect other variables as well.


The high cannabinoid content of sticky weed means that you’ll need less to get good and truly high. In this case, a little goes a long way.


Other than quality (and cannabinoid count), price is the biggest difference between sticky weed and dry weed. So let’s say you have $75 to spend. You could get a quarter of an ounce of dry weed, or you could get an eighth of an ounce of sticky weed.

What you choose depends on your goals.

Your Goals

If you’re throwing a party for all your ganja friends, buying an eighth of sticky weed probably isn’t the best idea. That small amount isn’t going to cover your needs (even though the quality is higher).

You should probably opt for the higher quantity (the quarter) even though the quality suffers just a bit. Your friends really probably won’t notice anyway. They’ll just be happy for a toke of whatever you’ve got.

Similarly, if you want to put as much time as possible between trips to the dispensary, go for a dry strain instead of the sticky weed.

So what you choose — sticky weed or dry weed — depends in large part on the experience you’re looking for and the dough you’ve got in your wallet.

Whichever you choose, you’re going to have fun. We promise.

Don’t Fear The Sticky Icky

So the next time someone offers you some sticky icky, don’t be afraid. There’s really nothing to fear (certainly not like a sticky floor or counter). All we can say is jump on that opportunity like a nine-figure lottery ticket!

Sticky weed is the cream of the crop, the best of the best, and you’ll likely see, hear, and feel things you’ve never experienced before with dry weed. So give it a go.

Even if you only do it once, at least you can say you’ve tried it. That’s the fun of the marijuana experience: there’s always another option just around the corner.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit today.

Also Known As: cleavers, stickywilly, cleaverwort, white hedge, bedstraw, goosegrass, gripgrass,
scarthgrass, velcro plant, white hedge

Catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine L.), native to North America and Eurasia, is an annual broadleaf plant with a shallow, branching taproot. The stems of catchweed bedstraw are square in cross-section, weak, mostly unbranched, and grow to about 6 feet long but are unable to stand on their own, so they often clamber over upright plant species. Left on its own, catchweed bedstraw remains low and sprawling, forming dense, tangled mats. Hairlike bristles cover the stems and leaves of the plant; these bristly hairs are responsible for its characteristic tangled growth habit and the “sticky” way it clings to clothing and animals. The leaves of catchweed bedstraw are linear, narrow, and mostly whorled, with 6–8 leaves per whorl. Inconspicuously small, pale green to white flowers occur on long stalks in the axils of upper leaves. Two-lobed, spherical fruits separate into 2 nutlets, ranging in shape from nearly round to kidney shaped at maturity and covered with sticky hooked hairs that aid in dispersal. Individual plants typically produce 100–400 seeds, which require burial to germinate and remain viable in the soil for a couple of years. While this species spreads only by seeds, a related species (northern bedstraw, Galium boreale) is a perennial with a spreading root system.

Catchweed bedstraw prefers shady, moist sites, but tolerates full sun with sufficient moisture. Commonly found in waste sites, roadsides, and other disturbed areas, catchweed bedstraw can grow in a variety of habitats, including along fence lines and in forests and woodlands, meadows, prairies, abandoned fields and cultivated crops. Bedstraw is a troublesome agricultural weed, considered a major weed of crops such as cereals, hay, and oilseed crops. Not only does it become tangled with the crop or equipment at harvest, but its seeds are extremely difficult to remove from harvested grain, vegetable seeds, and oilseeds. Heavy infestations of catchweed bedstraw can cause significant yield losses. Catchweed bedstraw can host several nematode, insect, and disease pests; on the other hand, its flowers provide a food source for some beneficial insects. If ingested by animals, bedstraw forage can inflame the digestive tract or act as a diuretic. Entanglement in sheep wool reduces value.

Historically used as an herbal remedy for various ailments, its dried and roasted fruits have also been used to make a coffee substitute (in fact, the plant is in the same family as coffee, Coffea spp).


Cultural Control: In agricultural areas, growth of catchweed bedstraw can be suppressed by planting a competitive crop or ground cover, although preliminary consideration should be preventing it by eliminating contaminated crop seed, machinery, livestock, and manure. Long-term control of catchweed bedstraw relies on removing existing plants before they flower and produce viable seed.

Physical/Mechanical: For small infestations, hoeing or hand-pulling can be effective, especially when soil is damp; care must be used, however, because the weak stems of bedstraw break easily making it difficult to remove the roots. Regular mowing at a low height may be an option, although cutting of the plant to 2–3 inches has been reported to actually increase biomass production up to

30% compared to uncut plants. Winter annual bedstraw should be controlled in the fall after germination with tillage or an herbicide

Chemical Control: Control of bedstraw is different depending on the crop it infests. Herbicide options are available in cereal crops, field peas, and herbicide tolerant canola varieties. There are no herbicides registered for control of cleavers in conventional canola. Herbicides that can be effective for the control of bedstraw (dependent upon crop) are fluroxypyr, sulfosulfuron, carfentrazone, imazamethabenz, diuron, dicamba, oxyfluorfen and glyphosate.

More information can be found in the PNW Weed Management Handbook

Use pesticides with care. Apply them only to plants, animals, or sites listed on the label. When mixing and applying pesticides, follow all label precautions to protect yourself and others around you. It is a violation of the law to disregard label directions. Store pesticides in their original containers and keep them out of the reach of children, pets, and livestock.

Biological Control: No insects or other biological agents are available to control catchweed

bedstraw. While livestock will eat the plant, it is not a nutritious food source since it produces so little biomass; moreover, germination percentages actually increase following passage of the seed through animal digestive tracts so grazing should not be allowed after seed production.

Questions: contact Steve Van Vleet or phone (509) 397 – 6290

Photo credits included in pdf

Printable version of this information as a PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *