Weed Identification and Control

How to identify and manage Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) a common lawn weed throughout the United States. It is a member of the mint family, prefers moist fertile soils, and has purple to pink tubular shaped flowers that bloom in the spring. Photos are included to help with weed id.

It is also commonly confused with purple deadnettle and ground ivy. The upper leaves of purple deadnettle are triangular, have petioles, and are purple to red.

Life cycle - winter annual (cool-season weed) that reproduces by seed. Starting its life cycle in the fall when seeds germinate. It lives through the winter (overwinters) and then flowers in the spring. Finally dying as the temperatures rise.

Lawn Weed Control

The best weed control is always a healthy, well-managed lawn the will not allow weed seeds to germinate. Weed seeds need contact this soil and sunlight to germinate and grow. A dense, vigorous lawn will choke out young weed seedlings before they can grow and develop into mature plants.

Lawn Weed ID Henbit
Picture of Henbit a common lawn weed

Weed Images

henbit flower
lawn weed - henbit in my garden
henbit illustration© Public Domain

Winter annual weeds complete their life cycle in the spring. So the best time to control them with chemicals is in the fall - when they are actively growing.

A pre-emergent herbicide can be used in the fall if you are not planting new grass seed. Be sure to apply it in early fall before the weather turns cool and weed seeds germinate.

Another option is to use a post-emergent broad leaf herbicide. Post-emergent herbicides work best on young, actively growing weeds.

Landscape beds can be spot sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup), a non-selective post-emergent weed spray. Avoid damage to non-target plants from over spray or drift.

Hand Weeding - pull or dig, be sure to remove the entire plant and root.

**Be sure to read and follow the directions on the label if you choose to use an herbicide. It is a violation of federal law to use ANY pesticides in a manner that is not consistent with the label**

Weed ID

stems - square, green to purplish color, root at the lower nodes, fine downward-pointing hairs.

leaves - arranged opposite on the stem, circular to heart-shaped, Margins have rounded teeth, lower petioled, upper sessile, minutely haired above, veins below minutely haired.

Low, very prostrate growth habit (up to 16" tall)

very nice purplish pinkish colored flowers that grow in whorls around the stem.

Video About Henbit From UI Extension


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