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Weeds With Purple Flowers | 5 Most Common Types

Weeds With Purple Flowers | 5 Most Common Types

Weeds with purple flowers are much more common than you might think. But worry not — we’ll show you how to identify and remove the most prevelant types in this guide. Read on to learn all you need to know.

What Are Purple Flowering Weeds?

Wild flowers (weeds) sprouting up from a lawn

Coco Ratta/Shutterstock

Are you trying to identify what weeds with purple flowers have been popping up in your garden? Or maybe you’re trying to learn how these weeds affect your plants and what you should do with them to protect your yard.

Don’t worry — you’re in the right place. If you have weeds with purple flowers growing in your yard, it could be one of the following:

  1. Purple Dead Nettle
  2. Henbit
  3. Ground Ivy/Creeping Charlie
  4. Wild Violets
  5. Forget-Me-Nots

Read on to learn a little about each one, things to consider with each, and see a few frequently asked questions.

5 Common Weeds With Purple Flowers

There are many different types of weeds with purple flowers that may be showing up in your garden. While weeds may have benefits for soils and gardens, they can also be invasive and deplete the water and nutrients that other plants need to grow.

Because of these risks, it’s important to identify what’s growing, weigh the pros and cons, and take steps to control these weeds if needed.

So, what are those weeds with purple flowers in your garden? Here are some ways to identify common weeds that may be growing in your yard.

1. Purple Dead Nettle

Purple dead nettle weed with purple flowers sprouting up from a residential lawn

8H/Shutterstock

The Purple Dead Nettle is a member of the mint family, and its purple flowers are mainly seen blooming in April, although a bloom can often continue into late spring and summer. 

The Purple Dead Nettle has a square-shaped stem, with fuzzy, triangle-shaped leaves that have a reddish-purple hue to them. Their vibrant purple-pink flowers grow in a tubular shape on the upper section of the weed. 

While the flowers are vibrant and delicate, these aggressive weeds can grow quickly and are resistant to cold weather, insects, and disease. This allows it to easily spread in moist lawns where it has access to water and sunshine. 

These purple flowers are often a critical early food source for pollinators such as honeybees and bumblebees. Because of its ability to help these pollinators, many gardeners may take advantage of the benefits that this creates for bees and gardens. 

Even with these benefits, many choose to eradicate this weed, as its durability allows it to quickly take over a lawn. To prevent the spread of Purple Dead Nettle in your yard, you can use a pre-emergent herbicide in the late fall or winter, as well as proper mowing and fertilization practices in early spring to reduce the growth of these weeds.

2. Henbit

henbit weed with purple flowers sprouting up from a green lawn

Jasmine Sahin/Shutterstock

Henbit, another member of the mint family, closely resembles Purple Dead Nettle, which often leads to confusion between the two weeds. Similar to the Purple Dead Nettle, Henbit can grow quickly in moist areas with access to sunlight and is often found growing around ponds or the edge of gardens.

With so many similarities to its close cousin in the mint family, how can you tell them apart? While Henbit also has a square-shaped stem and purple flowers, it has more round, scallop-edged leaves and is more of a low, droopier creeping weed that stays closer to the ground. Its flowers also tend to be a darker purple than the Purple Dead Nettle.

Henbit can also be a great source of food for pollinators, but if left alone can quickly grow to cover large areas of your yard and deplete resources from grass and other plants. 

To prevent and control Henbit, you can use a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring and pull out any Henbit that blooms to help prevent them from spreading throughout your yard.

3. Ground Ivy

Ground ivy weed with purple flowers sprouts up between blades of bluegrass

Niferure/Shutterstock

Ground Ivy, also known as Creeping Charlie, is another distant relative of the mint family that can grow aggressively, even in unfavorable soil conditions. Ground Ivy grows to a height of around 1 inch and quickly forms a low carpet across a garden or lawn, allowing it to scatter its leaves and stems.

Along with the low, creeping stems, you can identify Ground Ivy by its scalloped leaves and bunches of bright, tubular-shaped purple flowers. While Ground Ivy can attract pollinators, it also creates significant ecological threats that you may want to consider.

It’s resistant and grows quickly, and if left undisturbed, it will push out native plants and deprive them of water and nutrients. You can prevent this from happening by properly mulching and fertilizing your garden in the spring and pulling out any weeds that do find their way into your yard.

4. Wild Violets

Wild violet weeds with purple flowers blooming in spring from brown leaves

Olexandr Panchenko/Shutterstock

Wild Violets, a member of the violet family, is known as one of the most difficult weeds to control in a yard. Wild Violets bloom in early spring and can continue to grow and multiply during the warm summer months.

You can identify Wild Violets by their heart-shaped leaves and purple flowers that bloom close to the ground. While they may be beautiful to look at, they are resilient and adapt well to any conditions, allowing them to easily take over your yard. 

Wild violets have thick underground stems called rhizomes that allow them to easily spread through the soil, creating a challenge in preventing their growth. The best prevention of Wild Violets is dense, well-maintained grass that prevents spread through rhizomes. 

Removing any Wild Violets that do grow by hand is also an option, but be mindful that you’re pulling up all the roots and disposing of them properly. Otherwise, they can continue to grow and deplete resources.

5. Forget-Me-Nots

Forget me not purple flowering weed blooming from below an unkempt lawn

dowraik/Shutterstock

While many gardeners choose to use Forget-Me-Nots as border plantings, these weeds can easily get out of control. Forget-Me-Nots grows well in moist but drained soil with either shade or sunlight, allowing them to bloom aggressively and take over your garden. 

You can identify Forget-Me-Nots by their round, bluish-purple petals and their yellow center. While they can look beautiful in a garden, they can be extremely invasive and cause harm to other plants if not controlled. 

Luckily, you can easily pull out Forget-Me-Nots by hand to help prevent them from taking over your garden. You can also cultivate the soil in a shaded area to control the spread if you like how they look but want to keep them in check and avoid aggressive spread. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Risks and Benefits of these Weeds?

Many of these weeds can have benefits for you and your garden. These include:

  • Providing a food source for pollinators
  • Benefits for your soil and yard: Some weed roots can actually help fertilize the soil and prevent erosion 
  • Medicinal benefits: According to the old wives tale, weeds such as Henbit, Ground Ivy, and more can have positive health benefits

With these potential advantages, you have to balance the risks that come from many of these purple-flowered weeds. Possible consequences can include:

  • Depletion of nutrients and water from other plants
  • Taller weeds blocking sunlight from your other garden plants
  • Invasive weeds can quickly take over a lawn, pushing out other native plant species

So, How Do You Identify Weeds With Purple Flowers?

While many of these weeds may share similar characteristics, there are physical differences in their flowers, leaves, and growth patterns that can help you recognize them.

Now that you’ll be able to identify different types of weeds, you can take the correct steps to control the spread and protect your garden and plants.

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