Henbit and Purple Deadnettle


Type: Weeds, members of the mint family

Appearance: Both have square stems and two-lipped flowers. Henbit flowers are pink to purple and darker than deadnettle. Henbit flowers are longer and more slender.

Risk: Grow in areas where soil has been disturbed, like fields, gardens, and along buildings.
Timing: Early spring. They are winter annuals, so they develop in the fall, form small leaves during the winter, and flower and seed in the spring.

Outlook: These weeds produce about 2,000 seeds, so they can quickly take over a space if not controlled.

How to Control Henbit & Purple Deadnettle


Like many other weeds, having a healthy lawn can prevent henbit and purple deadnettle from growing in your yard. Good lawn care practices include:

  • Watering Well: Your grass needs adequate water to thrive. It prefers long soakings about two to three times weekly instead of daily watering, depending on the rain levels from the week.
  • Reseeding patchy spots: Grass roots go deep into the ground and take up a lot of space, taking away the valuable real estate weeds need to thrive.
  • Aerating Your Soil: Soil compaction keeps air and water from reaching the deeper levels of soil where grass roots grow, so only plants that grow nearer to the surface, like weeds, can thrive.
  • Checking Your Lawn’s pH Level: If your soil’s pH level isn’t neutral (about 7.0), your grass doesn’t have the right environment to thrive, but weeds might. To balance the pH level, your soil may also need applications of lime.


Because they reproduce by seed, they are best controlled in the fall or when they are actively growing. A herbicide can be used. As always, refer to manufacturer’s instructions for proper herbicide use.

If you just have a few of these weeds, you can pull them by hand. Mowing also works as long as they haven’t seeded yet (otherwise, you’re just spreading the seeds around!)

For help managing henbit and purple deadnettle, call Shades of Green Lawn & Landscape at 765-771-9998. We know how to keep your lawn healthy and strong and how to get rid of these weeds if they invade. Check out our lawn care packages to see which is best for your lawn and budget.

Need Help with Henbit and Purple Deadnettle?

Call Shades of Green Lawn & Landscape today at 765-771-9998 and let's talk about how we can help you with Henbit and Purple Deadnettle and other Indiana lawn weeds.

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