Liverwort Problems and Cures

Liverworts are primitive plants that can become a nuisance in plant pots and lawns. Liverworts are related to mosses and can look like slimy Algae.

Liverwort Varieties

  • There are 300 species of Liverwort native to the UK and up to 10,000 worldwide.
  • Thallose Liverworts have a flattened, plate like body, called the thalus, and no leaves.
  • A common thallose is Marchantia which is topped with an umbrella like sexual organ.
  • Leafy Liverworts have two ranks of flattened leaves growing out from a stem and a third under-layer.
  • Instead of bearing regular roots, liverworts anchor themselves with simple appendages known as rhizoids

Liverwort Problems and Cures

  • These plants are a nuisance because they colonise a pot plant and form a crusty surface layer.
  • Liverworts like acidic, moist, shady¬† conditions so deny them these luxuries where practical.
  • Use free drainage in pot plants especially at the top couple of inches.
  • Liverworts can grow on hard surface and can be treated with acetic or pelargonic acid, (Doff Fast Acting Natural Weed Sprayor Finalsan moss killers)
  • If they infest a damp lawn scrape off the excess and spike to improve drainage. Add lawn sand if desired.
  • Some thallose Liverwort species are aquatic and grow on ponds like flecks of lettuce.
  • Liverworts reproduce by spores or gammea often transferred by water. Water pots from the bottom.
  • Glyphosate and several weed killers will work. Add a few drops of detergent in the water to try to penetrate the waxy surface of the Liverwort.


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