There are many look alikes in the world of weeds. For example, henbit and and purple deadnettle have many similarities. They both feature lovely purple flowers in the spring. But these pretty posies also pose a threat to your landscaping. Make preventing henbit and purple deadnettle a priority this season. Here’s why.
Both henbit and purple deadnettle are winter annuals in the mint family. Growing close to the ground, these broadleaf weeds thrive in the same locations, making their homes in fields and meadows. Unfortunately, they also thrive in areas where the soil has been disturbed, such as gardens and thinning grass. Their life cycle starts in the fall. By early spring, flowers appear and attract bees and other pollinators. The plants set seed in late spring and early summer. Their most obvious shared traits are squared stems and small, tubular purple flowers. Oddly enough, both henbit and purple deadnettle are edible and actually nutritious.
There are ways to tell these two look-alike weeds apart. Mainly, the leaves are distinctly different. Purple deadnettle leaves are slightly pointed and hairy. Toward the top of the plant, the leaves gradually get smaller and have a purplish tinge. Henbit leaves are a little bit smaller, rounder, and glossier, plus they feature scalloped edges. Gaps between sets of leaves on henbit expose the stem, while purple deadnettle leaves overlap and mostly cover the stem.
Why These Weeds Are Worrisome
Although these weeds produce attractive flowers, the pretty sight won’t make up for the fact that they are quick to spread and take over a lawn. Each plant produces thousands of seeds after it flowers. Preventing henbit and purple deadnettle is important because once these invasive weeds set seed, it’s hard to stop them. A few plants this year turn into many more each following year, especially if the environment is right. Patchy grass and thinning lawns are prime for takeover.
Preventing Henbit and Purple Deadnettle
Keeping your turf healthy and well-maintained is the best way to stop weeds before they start. There’s nowhere for them to grow in a thick, lush lawn. Setting up a proper lawn maintenance schedule is the first step in preventing henbit and purple deadnettle. This includes regular watering, mowing, and fertilizing. Call in an expert to keep your turf in top shape. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone] and we’ll help you build a strong, healthy lawn that wards off weeds.