There are some common weeds that look like flowers. Luckily these don’t blend in with a lawn and so they can be much easier to identify and target when compared to the weeds that look like grass.
In this article I’ll help you identify five of these weeds and offer some tips on how best to eliminate them.
Common Weeds That Look Like Flowers
Dandelions smell fantastic!
They tend to bloom early in the spring.
It’s closest living relative is the sunflower.
You might occasionally see them pop up in your lawn.
If you want to keep them out of your yard, it’s good to get on top of dandelions early so they don’t get out of control.
I wouldn’t recommend regularly using lawn fertilizer to take care of dandelions in your lawn. Although it may be an effective method initially, you don’t want your nearby trees and plants taking too much of it up too.
A better approach would be to fertilize your lawn separately and spot spray the dandelions in your lawn instead.
Some people want to avoid using chemicals on their lawn a choose to try and remove them manually. If you’re going down this road, it’s always best to use a tool for removing weeds. I like to use this Fiskars weeder handle for dandelions (link to Amazon).
Keep in mind that dandelions have a deep root system so removing them manually can be difficult. It’s hard to get rid of all the roots in the soil which is necessary to stop them from growing again.
Clover has a three-leaf pattern. It looks similar to other weeds like black medic and oxalis.
White clover is part of the bean family. These types of plants take nitrogen out of there air and put it into the soil. Some people like to mix their turf grass with clover because of this nitrogen fixation process.
It used to be common to mix in a little white clover to the seed when planting a new lawn.
It’s common to see lawns that have not been fertilized containing lots of clover.
If you want it out of your lawn, it might be easiest to use a small shovel and dig it up before putting down some sod or new seed. This would be the best approach for small patches of clover.
Getting rid of a lot of clover in your yard will require a herbicide product. I like to use a product called Bonide when targeting clover. You could also mix in a little surfactant too.
The best way to prevent it from coming back is to use an adequate amount of fertilizer in your yard.
Wild violet often grows in companion with Creeping Charlie.
Although it can grow in the sun, wild violet does best in the shaded areas of your yard.
This makes it even more difficult to control because your grass won’t compete with it as well in shaded areas.
The best time to control wild violets in your lawn is the fall.
Wild violets have a rhizome system so removing them manually wont fully take care of the problem. If you just hand pick the wild violets, they will just come back so you need to use chemical control.
Try and look for a product that has quinclorac in it to control wild violet in your yard. I like to use Drive XLR8.
Bindweed is one of the most difficult weeds to deal with in your lawn and it’s often misidentified as wild buckwheat.
There are a couple of species of bindweed.
- Field Bindweed
- Hedge Bindweed
Field bindweed is what you’ll see in lawns while hedge bindweed is often found in flower beds.
It has pink/white flowers and looks very similar to morning glory.
It has a very large rhizome system which makes it really difficult to control. Its root system means it’s able to reproduce easily.
If you’ve got bindweed in your lawn, it maybe because you have drought stress so make sure you’re properly irrigating your lawn.
Pulling up bindweed won’t solve your problem. It will simply grow back.
Don’t mow over bindweed. This will make the problem worse when the roots are spread all over your lawn.
You will need to put down some chemical treatment in order to get rid of bindweed.
I like to use triclopyr for field bindweed. It’s good to get in early in the season too.
If you’re going to give roundup a try, use the highest labelled rate possible!
Henbit is a common winter annual that we don’t usually see until springtime.
It’s part of the mint family and it can be found all over the US and Canada with the exception of Alaska.
It has some purple heart shaped leaves that are right up against the stem. It will grow almost anywhere and it can even get up to 18 inches tall.
Henbit is a fast grower and can be super invasive. It can choke out different types of grass.
Henbit is often mistaken for purple dead-nettle and vice versa. They both have purple flowers, square stems and they are of similar height. Both are edible and high in iron and antioxidants.
You can tell the difference between the henbit and purple dead-nettle by looking at the leaves. The leaves on the purple dead-nettle are hairy.
Some people like to use it in salads and in teas.
Luckily there are no poisonous look-alkies to Henbit. In any event, if you’re not 100% certain of what a plant is, do not eat until you have consulted with a local expert.
Fall pre-emergents are the best for preventing henbit from coming up in your yard. I’d recommend using Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG (link to Amazon).
Post-emergents may require multiple applications so it’s best to apply a control before its starts to be a problem.
Not every lawn owner wants to get rid of the weeds mentioned here.
If you’re not a fan of them, I would recommend using pre-emergent products to prevent them before they become a problem. It’s much easier to prevent them from popping up in the first place than trying to get rid of established weeds. This is especially true for weeds with a rhizome root system.
Once the weed is already established, spot treatments are your best option.