There are quite a variety of weeds that will appear in your yard throughout the season. Many of them will be of the flowering sort. While they do add color and beauty, you must be careful; for these weeds will choke out your grass and overtake your landscape.
Below, we show and describe some of the most common purple flower weeds and identify and manage them.
Tiny Purple Flowers in Grass: 7 types of weeds
Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is one of the most common purple flowering weeds known. It is an edible plant that got its common name because of its popularity with chickens.
- Description – This broadleaf annual can grow up to 12” high and wide, making them a tall weed. The stems of the weed are square-shaped. Its leaves are heart or round-shaped, with their edges having round teeth. The top of the leaf’s veins are recessed, making it look wrinkly, and the leaves are “hairy.”
- Henbit commonly grows in lawns, gardens, or the edges of landscaping. It thrives in both sunny and shaded areas and loves wet patches. It is part of the
mint family and blooms in early to mid-spring.
- Management – Henbit is spread through seeds that move through the air after it flowers in late spring. If you can identify it before it flowers, then a standard herbicide will kill the plant before it has a chance to seed. If the plant has already flowered, you can pull the weed by hand, being careful not to spread the seeds. Place discarded weeds in a container of some kind (so the seeds do not encounter the soil). You can use a pre-emergent herbicide in the early fall to kill any seeds that have dispersed and germinated.
Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is an invasive broadleaf weed that will quickly take over your yard or garden. Also known as ground ivy, Creeping Charlie is low-lying and has tiny purple flowers.
- Description- This broadleaf annual grows between 2-8” inches high and grows wide rapidly. Its tiny purple flowers grow from its center. If your lawn is thin and you see tiny purple flowers all around it, chances are good that it is Creeping Charlie.
- Creeping Charlie needs a moist and somewhat sunny location to thrive. It is not drought resistant. It blooms in early summer. It is part of the mint family.
- Management- Creeping Charlie has rhizomes that build underground, and it is very difficult to control it with an herbicide. If you have small areas, the best way to manage it is to pull the entire plant out, including the rhizomes; the roots will take stock, and the plant will re-emerge. It is also possible to starve the plant by denying sunshine or water to it.
Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) is another common weed you may find in your lawn. Purple deadnettle derives its name from the flower blooming right in the middle of it.
It is not poisonous to humans and can be used in salads, as the purple leaves are semi-sweet. The plant is somewhat toxic to dogs and cats, though; not deadly, but if ingested, will give them a tummy ache for a day or two.
- Description – It is an annual broadleaf weed, similar in height, and looks similar to the henbit. Purple deadnettle is a tall weed, growing 10-15” in height. They have a square stem with purple-tinged, triangular leaves and are pointed growing on the upper half of the stem. The purple flower blooms on top of these purple leaf stems.
- Purple deadnettle is part of the mint family and thrives in moist areas where grass is unlikely to grow. However, it can germinate in your lawn from seeds from nearby plants.
- Management – Purple deadnettle is a winter annual that blooms in early to mid-spring. Therefore, it is vital to stop the seed production before blooming. The best methods for seed prevention are either by using herbicides or by tilling the weed.
Wild Violet (Viola sororia) is another common plant that produces tiny purple flowers in your grass. Also known as forget-me-nots, there is some debate as to whether wild violets are an actual weed or not.
This is up to you. If they are growing in your grass and you do not want them, it is best to identify them and then manage them.
- Description – Although wild violets can grow up to 12” inches tall, they are generally grass weeds that live among the grass. Wild violets are perennial weeds that bloom in late spring. The plant has thin, delicate stems with heart-shaped leaves and a purple bloom in the center. They prefer mild shade and moist areas for growth.
- Wild violets are a member of the viola family.
- Management – Wild violets are very difficult to control and will grow back. Your best bet is to use an herbicide before seed production in late spring. If you choose to pull the weeds by hand, use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent any seeds that have been scattered from germinating.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is the familiar plant with purplish flowers (and sometimes white). It grows in lawns, gardens, and roadsides. Also known as Dutch Clover.
- Description- Red clover is a perennial weed that grows up to 8-24” inches tall. It is a member of the Fabaceae family, along with beans and peas. Red clover blooms April through October. The stems have many branches and grow upright.
- The flowers can get up to 1 ¼” big and are generally globe-shaped. They may have anywhere from 40-150 florets per flower. The flowers have been used to make teas and jellies, as well as for medicinal purposes.
- Management- If you want to get rid of your red clover, you may pull or dig the weeds by hand, making sure to get rid of any roots. Another method is to deprive the plants of oxygen and sunlight by placing a black plastic over them for several days. Of course, an herbicide is another method of managing the wild clover.
How do I get rid of the weeds with purple flowers in my lawn?
As you have read in the management portion of the above purple weed descriptions, there are multiple methods for getting rid of purple flowers in your lawn. The first is to make sure your lawn is properly watered, fertilized, and mowed. This encourages the grass to grow in thick and green and prevents weeds from starting.
Once weeds have taken hold, you may get rid of them manually by hand pulling or digging; chemically by using an herbicide or pre-emergent herbicide; or by starving them of sunlight, oxygen, and water – the three things they need to grow.
Note that it may take several seasons or years to eliminate the weeds and for your lawn to grow in healthy and dense. To keep a lawn in top shape takes constant effort throughout the seasons, and any lackadaisical care will likely increase weed infestation.
Is Pulling weeds a waste of time?
Pulling weeds is only a waste of time if you are pulling out the growth above ground. If you are not getting the roots or rhizomes, then yes, it may be a waste of time. To remove the entire weed, pull when the ground is moist, at the base of the plant.
This will help for the whole plant to be removed from the ground. If you don’t get the roots or rhizomes, the plant will simply grow back. If you find that pulling the weeds by hand does not help you remove the root systems, then you might try digging the plant with a garden trowel or shovel.