How To Get Rid Of Henbit And Purple Deadnettle

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How to get rid of henbit and purple deadnettle – In the realm of lawn care, few invaders are as persistent as henbit and purple deadnettle. These pesky weeds can wreak havoc on your pristine turf, but fear not! This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to effectively combat these lawn enemies and restore your yard to its former glory.

From preventive measures to organic remedies and chemical control options, we’ll delve into the intricacies of henbit and purple deadnettle management, empowering you to reclaim your lawn and enjoy a weed-free oasis.

Henbit and Purple Deadnettle: Common Lawn and Garden Weeds

Henbit ( Lamium amplexicaule) and purple deadnettle ( Lamium purpureum) are common winter annual weeds that can infest lawns and gardens, especially in moist, shady areas. Both species belong to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and share several characteristics, including:

  • Low-growing, spreading habit
  • Scalloped, heart-shaped leaves
  • Square stems
  • Small, tubular flowers that bloom in early spring

While henbit typically produces purple or pink flowers, purple deadnettle has reddish-purple or lavender blooms. Both weeds can spread rapidly, forming dense mats that crowd out desirable plants and compete for water and nutrients. They can also host pests and diseases, further damaging lawns and gardens.

Cultural Control Methods

Cultural control methods can help prevent and manage henbit and purple deadnettle infestations. These include:

  • Mowing regularly: Mowing lawns at a higher height (2-3 inches) can help prevent weeds from establishing.
  • Watering deeply and infrequently: Deep watering encourages deep root growth, making lawns less susceptible to weed invasion.
  • Fertilizing regularly: A balanced fertilizer application can promote healthy turf growth, making it more competitive against weeds.
  • Mulching: A layer of organic mulch can help suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.

Chemical Control Methods

If cultural control methods are not sufficient, chemical control may be necessary. Several herbicides are effective against henbit and purple deadnettle, including:

  • 2,4-D: A selective herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds, including henbit and purple deadnettle.
  • Dicamba: Another selective herbicide that can be used to control henbit and purple deadnettle in lawns and gardens.
  • Glyphosate: A non-selective herbicide that kills all plants it comes into contact with, including henbit and purple deadnettle.

When using chemical control methods, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure safe and effective application.


Preventing henbit and purple deadnettle infestations is crucial for maintaining healthy lawns and gardens. Here are some effective prevention strategies:

Maintain Healthy Lawns

  • Keep lawns healthy and dense by mowing at the proper height, watering deeply and infrequently, and fertilizing regularly.
  • Healthy lawns compete with weeds for nutrients and sunlight, reducing their ability to establish.

Proper Watering and Fertilization

  • Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture encourages weed growth.
  • Fertilize lawns according to soil test recommendations to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy grass growth.

Remove Plant Debris

  • Remove fallen leaves, grass clippings, and other plant debris from lawns and gardens.
  • This prevents weeds from using this material as a seedbed and reduces the spread of existing infestations.

3. Cultural Control

How to get rid of henbit and purple deadnettle

Cultural practices, such as mowing, tilling, and hand-pulling, can be effective in controlling henbit and purple deadnettle.Mowing can prevent these weeds from producing seeds, which is essential for their spread. Mowing should be done frequently, at a height of 2-3 inches, to weaken the weeds and reduce their competitiveness.Tilling

can be used to uproot henbit and purple deadnettle, but it is important to note that this method can also spread the weeds if they are not completely removed. Tilling should be done in the fall or early spring, when the weeds are actively growing.Hand-pulling

is a labor-intensive method, but it can be effective in removing small infestations of henbit and purple deadnettle. When hand-pulling, be sure to remove the entire root system of the weed to prevent it from re-growing.

Additional Tips for Cultural Control

  • Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn, as this can encourage weed growth.
  • Water your lawn deeply and infrequently, as this will help to promote a healthy root system and make your lawn more resistant to weeds.
  • Mulch around your plants to help suppress weed growth and retain moisture.

4. Chemical Control: How To Get Rid Of Henbit And Purple Deadnettle

How to get rid of henbit and purple deadnettle

Herbicides can effectively control henbit and purple deadnettle. Several types of herbicides are available, including pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.

Pre-emergent herbicides are applied before the weeds germinate and establish themselves. They form a barrier in the soil that prevents the weeds from emerging. Post-emergent herbicides are applied to actively growing weeds. They target the plant’s foliage or roots, causing them to die.

Herbicide Application

  • Read and follow the herbicide label carefully before using it.
  • Apply the herbicide at the recommended rate and timing.
  • Use a sprayer that is calibrated to deliver the correct amount of herbicide.
  • Avoid applying herbicides on windy days or when rain is expected.
  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, and pants, when applying herbicides.

Potential Side Effects

Herbicides can have potential side effects, such as:

  • Injury to non-target plants
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Soil contamination
  • Health problems for humans and animals

To minimize the risk of side effects, use herbicides only when necessary and follow the label directions carefully.

5. Organic Control

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Incorporating natural and organic methods into your weed control strategy can be an effective and eco-friendly approach to managing henbit and purple deadnettle. These methods harness the power of beneficial insects, companion planting, and homemade remedies to combat these pesky weeds without resorting to chemical solutions.

Beneficial Insects

Encourage beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, to your garden. These insects prey on henbit and purple deadnettle, helping to reduce their populations naturally.

Companion Planting

Plant companion species that release chemicals that inhibit the growth of henbit and purple deadnettle. Examples include marigolds, nasturtiums, and garlic.

Homemade Remedies

  • Vinegar Solution:Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Apply the solution directly to henbit and purple deadnettle leaves, avoiding contact with desirable plants.
  • Soap Spray:Dissolve 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap in 1 gallon of water. Spray the solution on the weeds, covering the leaves thoroughly.
  • Corn Gluten Meal:Apply corn gluten meal around plants as a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent henbit and purple deadnettle seeds from germinating.

6. Comparison of Control Methods

When choosing a control method for henbit and purple deadnettle, it’s important to consider the effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact of each option. The following table compares the different control methods discussed in this article:

MethodEffectivenessCostEnvironmental Impact
Cultural ControlModerateLowMinimal
Chemical ControlHighModerate to HighCan be harmful to beneficial insects and wildlife
Organic ControlModerate to HighLow to ModerateLeast harmful to the environment

Pros and Cons of Each Method, How to get rid of henbit and purple deadnettle

Cultural Control* Pros:


Easy to implement

No harmful chemicals involved


Can be time-consuming

May not be effective on large infestations

Chemical Control* Pros:


Effective on large infestations


Can be expensive

Can be harmful to beneficial insects and wildlife

Can leave chemical residues in the soil

Organic Control* Pros:

Least harmful to the environment

Can be effective on small infestations


Can be time-consuming

May not be effective on large infestations

7. Conclusion

Henbit purple nettle lamium flowers deadnettle genus restaurant

Henbit and purple deadnettle are common weeds that can quickly infest lawns and gardens. Early detection and proactive management are crucial for effective control. Implement cultural practices like proper mowing, fertilization, and watering to create a healthy environment that discourages weed growth.

Chemical control options are available, but organic methods like hand-pulling, mulching, and using natural herbicides are eco-friendly alternatives. Regularly monitor your lawn and garden to identify and address any weed infestations promptly. By following these recommendations, you can prevent future infestations and maintain a healthy, weed-free landscape.