Micro Clover Lawn Pros and Cons Guide

As homeowners look for eco-friendly and low-maintenance alternatives to traditional grass lawns, micro clover has emerged as an increasingly popular option. This article discusses the pros and cons of micro clover lawns to help you determine if it’s the right choice for your yard.

What is Micro Clover?

Micro clover (Trifolium repens var. Pirouette) is a low-growing, perennial legume that forms a dense, green carpet when used as ground cover. It is a smaller variety of the more common white clover and has gained popularity as a lawn alternative due to its environmental benefits and low maintenance requirements.

Description of Micro Clover as a Plant Species

  • Small, trifoliate leaves
  • White or pinkish flowers
  • Forms a dense mat

Origins and History of Micro Clover Use in Lawns

  • Historically, clover was a common component of lawns before synthetic fertilizers and herbicides became widespread
  • Micro clover is a newer cultivar, specifically bred for use in lawns

Characteristics that Distinguish Micro Clover from Traditional White Clover

  • Smaller leaf size
  • Lower growing habit
  • Less aggressive spreading

Benefits of Micro Clover Lawns

Low Maintenance Requirements

  1. Mowing frequency: Micro clover grows slowly and requires infrequent mowing
  2. Fertilization needs: As a legume, micro clover can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, reducing the need for additional fertilization

Drought Tolerance and Water Conservation

  • Micro clover has deep roots, allowing it to access water more efficiently and reducing the need for supplemental irrigation

Nitrogen Fixation and Soil Health

  • Micro clover, like other legumes, hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its root nodules
  • This nitrogen fixation process improves soil fertility and reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers

Weed Suppression

  • The dense growth of micro clover can help suppress weeds, reducing the need for herbicides

Resistance to Pests and Diseases

  • Micro clover is generally resistant to common lawn pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments

Pet and Child-Friendly

  • Micro clover is non-toxic and safe for pets and children to play on

Aesthetics and Year-Round Green Color

  • Micro clover provides an attractive, lush green carpet that maintains its color throughout the year

Drawbacks of Micro Clover Lawns

Potential for Spreading

  1. Invasiveness in flower beds and gardens: Micro clover can spread to nearby areas if not properly contained
  2. Difficulty in containment: The spreading habit of micro clover can make it challenging to manage and contain within specific areas

Limited Tolerance to Heavy Foot Traffic

  • While micro clover is somewhat resilient, it may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas or sports fields

Attracting Bees and Other Pollinators

  • Micro clover’s flowers attract bees and other pollinators, which can be a concern for those with allergies or who prefer a bee-free environment

Compatibility With Other Grasses and Plants

  • Micro clover may outcompete or struggle to coexist with certain grasses and plants, requiring careful planning and management

Establishment Challenges

  1. Seed availability and cost: Micro clover seed can be more expensive and harder to find than traditional grass seed
  2. Time and effort required for establishment: Establishing a micro clover lawn may take more time and effort than a traditional grass lawn, particularly if existing grass must be removed or suppressed first

Comparing Micro Clover to Traditional Lawn Grasses

Maintenance Requirements

  • Micro clover lawns generally require less mowing, fertilization, and watering than traditional grass lawns

Environmental Impact

  • Micro clover lawns have a lower environmental footprint due to their reduced need for synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and irrigation

Aesthetic Differences

  • Micro clover provides a dense, green carpet that may be more uniform in appearance than mixed grass and clover lawns

Suitability for Various Lawn Uses and Conditions

  • Micro clover is a versatile lawn option but may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas or sports fields

How to Establish a Micro Clover Lawn

Selecting the Right Micro Clover Seed

  • Choose high-quality, coated micro clover seed from a reputable supplier to ensure optimal germination and establishment

Soil Preparation and Seeding Techniques

  1. Remove or suppress existing grass and weeds
  2. Loosen the soil and remove any debris
  3. Evenly spread micro clover seed, either alone or mixed with compatible grass seed
  4. Lightly rake the seed into the soil and water thoroughly

Watering and Initial Care Requirements

  • Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination and establishment period, typically 2-3 weeks

Tips for Successful Establishment

  1. Seed at the recommended rate, typically 2-4 ounces per 1,000 square feet
  2. Choose the right time of year for seeding, usually spring or early fall
  3. Consider overseeding existing lawns with micro clover to encourage a mixed lawn

Micro Clover Lawn Maintenance

Mowing Practices

  • Mow micro clover lawns infrequently, typically every 3-4 weeks during the growing season or as needed to maintain a desired height

Watering Requirements

  • Water micro clover lawns less frequently than traditional grass lawns, aiming for deep, infrequent watering to encourage deep root growth

Fertilization and Soil Care

  • Fertilize micro clover lawns sparingly, if at all, due to their natural nitrogen-fixing capabilities
  • Monitor soil pH and adjust if necessary to maintain a pH of 6.0-7.0

Pest and Weed Control

  • Use organic or targeted treatments for pest and weed control, if necessary, to minimize environmental impact

Frequently Asked Questions About Micro Clover Lawns

Can Micro Clover Be Mixed With Other Grasses?

  • Yes, micro clover can be mixed with compatible grass species, such as fescues, to create a diverse and low-maintenance lawn

How to Remove Micro Clover If It Becomes Invasive?

  • Hand pulling, smothering, or targeted herbicide applications may be used to remove or control invasive micro clover

Is Micro Clover Suitable for All Climate Zones?

  • Micro clover is adaptable to a wide range of climate zones but may struggle in extreme heat or cold

How to Prevent Micro Clover from Spreading Into Neighboring Properties?

  • Installing physical barriers, such as edging or borders, can help contain micro clover within your lawn

Case Studies and Testimonials

Success Stories of Micro Clover Lawns

  • Homeowners who have successfully transitioned from traditional grass lawns to micro clover lawns, citing reduced maintenance and environmental benefits

Challenges Faced By Homeowners and How They Were Resolved

  • Examples of homeowners dealing with invasive micro clover, compatibility with other grasses, or establishment difficulties and the solutions they implemented

Expert Opinions on Micro Clover as a Lawn Alternative

  • Landscape professionals and horticulturists weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks of micro clover lawns


In summary, micro clover lawns offer several benefits, including reduced maintenance requirements, improved soil health, and lower environmental impact. However, they may also present challenges, such as invasiveness, limited tolerance to heavy foot traffic, and attracting bees. By carefully considering the pros and cons of micro clover lawns, you can make an informed decision that will result in a beautiful, sustainable, and functional landscape that meets your needs.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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