A member of the mint family, henbit is a common annual weed that often winds up in weak spots of lawns and gardens across the United States. Often confused with purple deadnettle and ground ivy, this quick-spreading and aggressive plant fools many with its pretty little flowers. But you’ll need to control henbit before it takes over. Find out more now.

Why We Hate Henbit

Although it prefers shaded areas and moist soil, henbit is happy to take over your turf anywhere. At first, it’s a pleasingly pretty intruder with tiny purple flowers that appear in the middle of spring. But the real reason to control henbit is because once these flowers appear, the weed then produces up to 2,000 seeds. These seeds easily take root anywhere there’s thinning or unhealthy grass, or in shaded locations, like under a tree, where grass has a tough time growing. Once established, the quick-to-wander weeds won’t go away anytime soon. A few plants spotted this year multiplies to many by next year.


It helps to know what you are looking for in order to successfully control henbit. The tiny tubular flowers range in color from pink to purple, while the plant’s leaves line up on squared stems in pairs. Round or heart-shaped leaves have scalloped or notched edges. Although stems reach anywhere from 5 to 16 inches high, the plant grows close to the ground.

How to Handle Henbit

First and foremost, give grass a fighting chance against this invasive weed with a proper lawn-care routine. Keep your lawn thick, healthy, and well-maintained. A lush environment leaves no room for unwanted weeds. Provide the right amount of watering, regular fertilizing, and mow grass at the right height for its species.

To control henbit, it’s imperative to find it before it flowers and kill it before it produces seeds. This requires using a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide in the spring or a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall. If you spot a few of these plants before they flower, hand weeding works, but only if you get the entire henbit plant and root system.

We Can Help Control Henbit and Other Unwanted Weeds

Now is the time to control henbit by applying treatment in the spring before the plant produces flowers. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at 419-529-5296. We’ll help you build a strong healthy lawn that won’t let weeds invade. We offer personalized maintenance programs that include weed control and prevention.