low growing purple lawn weeds

Or, you can eat your dandelions. Yes, dandelions are edible and delicious. All parts of the plant are good in salads or as cooked greens.

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova.

The Spruce / David Beaulieu.

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

There are many species of clover, all of which homeowners would like to banish from the lawn. This is perhaps a mistake, as clovers are actually quite healthy for a lawn. It is fragrant, resists most pests, helps to aerate the soil, and best of all, as a member of the pea family, clover actually adds nitrogen to the soil. There is a lot to be said for a lawn that contains a healthy percentage of clover within its turf-grass blend. Besides red clover ( Trifolium pratense ), white clover ( Trifolium repens ) is the most common lawn clover.

Common plantain has a broad leaf, but a relative, Plantago lanceolata , has grass-like foliage and is called b uckthorn plantain, or ribgrass .

There are two types of ragweed, but the form that haunts lawns is Ambrosia artemisiifolia , common ragweed.

Unlike many weeds, dandelion is a perennial plant, and its tenacious long taproot makes it a difficult enemy to eradicate. But dandelions can be pulled by hand, and they can also be killed with vinegar.

There are dozens of different lawn weeds, but the greatest problems are caused by a select few. While it is tempting to simply use heavy doses of broad-spectrum chemical killers to eradicate weeds, there may also be more specific remedies for specific weeds. Plus, some weeds are remarkably resistant to herbicides, responding better to different methods of control.

The Spruce / David Beaulieu.

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale and Teracacum erythrospermum)

Yellow or "curly" dock is one of the easier plants listed here to identify. It has a distinctive dried flower head that resembles coffee grounds. A dock is a tall plant when mature, so you may not associate it with lawns, but seeds may well sprout up as tiny plants in your lawn, and especially along fence lines if you haven't trimmed diligently.

This is another plant with a big taproot. While digging it out is possible, you'll have to be thorough. Follow up removal by checking to see if new growth has emerged from any root fragments left behind. If you don't care about staying organic and you're dealing only with an isolated yellow dock plant here or there, the leaves are big enough that you could carefully daub a bit of Roundup (glyphosate) onto the foliage to kill the plant.

Although it's just a common lawn weed, one can count creeping Charlie among the fragrant plants. When you mow a lawn that has creeping Charlie mixed in with the grass, the fragrance is released into the air. Perhaps it's a small thing, but inhaling the pleasant aroma takes one's mind off the work involved in mowing.

The Spruce / David Beaulieu.

Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

Here are nine common lawn weeds that most homeowners eventually have to deal with.

Unlike some of the other examples on this list, Ambrosia artemisiifolia does not have a taproot, so weeding is easy: just pull it up. Ragweed thrives in poor soil, so keeping your lawn healthy and well-fed will also discourage ragweed.

But if you are resolute about eradicating the clover mixed in with your turf grass, there are both chemical and organic means to do so. For the former, seek a broadleaf herbicide intended for use on the type of grass that you’re growing (study the label on the bottle carefully). Along with other broadleaf weeds, clover will also be killed by such herbicides.

Common plantain ( Plantago major ) may take you back to your childhood. Did you have a pet bunny as a kid? What did you feed it? If you built a bottomless outdoor cage for your pet (with the cage resting directly on the ground, without legs), your bunny no doubt would eat the vegetation under him. Grass would have been on the menu, but another favorite dish would have been common plantain (if present). Common plantain is also edible by people and may be used in salads or as a cooked green.

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Musk Thistle is a biennial plant and because of this many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that if they let a freeze in the fall kill it, it won’t come back the next year. This plant flowers during its’ second year of growth. putting out a dark purple flower.

One of the easiest ways to tell clover from similar looking weeds like Oxalis is by looking for a whitish crescent in the center of the leaves.

Broadleaf Plantain has green, oval to egg-shaped leaves that grow in a rosette. They have thick stems that meet at a base and when the stems are broken, they reveal string-like veins that resemble those in celery.

Dandelion is probably the easiest to recognize, it’s leaves are lance-shaped with irregular and jagged edges. And there are few plants that can be identified as quickly with it’s bright yellow flowers, and their seed heads that look like puffballs. They are perennial, which simply means, once a plant establishes it’s self in your lawn it will grow every year unless you take action to control it.

They can produce a lot of seed so they spread across your property very rapidly. They also spread from one area of your lawn to another by hitching a ride when you mow your lawn.


Controlling this weed is difficult, there are few options available that work. Spraying in the spring will only slow the weed down. Fall is the best time to spray and look for a product that contains Dicamba as an active ingredient.

Here are 7 Common Weeds.

Keeping a well maintained lawn can be costly and confusing. You know the basic needs of your lawn. What height to cut your grass for maximum health. How much and when to water your lawn. And of course, the basics of fertilizing your lawn . But have you ever found yourself looking at a weed in your lawn or landscaping and wonder what it is and how do I get rid of it? Well we are here to help you with your lawn weeds identification.

The good news is that Dandelion is fairly easy to control. If you don’t have too many you can pull them by hand by using a weeding tool made for dandelions. If they do get established in your lawn and there are just too many to pull by hand you can control them by spraying or during your fertilizing application. There are pet-safe options available as well.

White clover is a creeping perennial broadleaf plant. It grows fairly low to the ground, you could even characterize it as creeping across the ground. Especially mature plants in your lawn that are in high traffic areas or have been mowed several times.

If you only have a few plants they are easy to dig using a shovel. Best control is done in the fall using a herbicide that is labeled for broadleaf control like 2,4-D and several others.

Controlling clover is difficult and if possible you should dig them out of landscape beds. And in the lawn, it will take several perfectly timed herbicide applications over the course of a couple of years to get rid of a heavy infestation. The same herbicide that you use for Oxalis works on Clover.

When it comes to controlling weeds in your lawn, knowing what you are trying to kill is more than half the battle. Once you know the weed you can then choose from many options to control them, sometimes if you get it early enough it won’t cost an arm and a leg to get rid of them.

You can identify this groundcover weed by its scalloped leaves and clusters of purple flowers in late spring.

Broadleaf Plantain.

Oxalis is one of the more difficult weeds to control so when you do use a product for control of Oxalis choose one that will control it along with another hard-to-control weed, chickweed.

They can easily spread into turfgrass. You can dig these up to remove them but make sure you remove all the root or they will grow back.

Wild violet can be controlled with the same product and timing as clover.

Commonly found in lawns that are cut too short, Creeping Charlie is probably the hardest weed to get rid of because even a small piece left behind can regrow and make a new plant.

Musk thistle can be controlled by digging the plant out of your flowerbeds. I’ve found that a tiling spade works best for this job, it helps to get as much of the root as you can. Just be sure to wear heavy gloves when you dig them as the plant has needle like thorns on its’ leaves.

If it invades your garden beds you can kill it by smothering it with a thick layer of newspaper and mulch. Then pull any new growth as soon as you see it.

Creeping Charlie.

Your lawn is the welcome mat to your home. Everyone strives for the perfect lawn, you know, the one that makes the neighbors green with envy.

There are many ways to prevent these weeds from getting established in your lawn. Good cultural practices such as not mowing your grass too short and giving your lawn the nutrients it needs throughout the year so your grass can outgrow and compete with the weeds will go a long way to keeping them at levels where you won’t need to spray. And knowing how to choose and apply mulch to your landscape beds goes a long way to keep them nice and tidy.

The leaves can vary but usually are heart shaped, and the flowers range from white to blue to purple. And the flowers are shaped like pansies.

Here are 7 Common Weeds with Identification Pictures for you.

Also known as Wood Sorrel is another perennial plant that is becoming more common in homeowners yards. This plant is easiest to recognize when it flowers, the most common variety has bright yellow flowers but there is also a variety that has pink/lavender flowers. All varieties have cup-shape flowers with 5 petals. Oxalis also is called “lucky plant”, only because the leaves are shaped like a three-leaf clover. But don’t let your pets eat any parts of the plant because it’s poisonous if they eat enough of it.

Now let’s talk about some of the weeds you’ll commonly find and how you can control them.

White Clover can completely overtake a lawn and smother out any grass. Mowing your grass short promotes clover to take over your lawn.

Larger infestations of Henbit are manageable with early spring and fall tillage, the same as Purple Deadnettle.

As with most of these purple flowering weeds, eradication involves an appropriate herbicide or hand pulling.

Creeping Charlie is hardy in zones 2 – 12, making it a nuisance nearly everywhere. Because this weed is exceptionally resilient, it thrives in some of the most unsavory conditions. However, it prefers partial sun and moist, fertile soil.

Additionally, the hand pulling method will most likely require several sessions, so be vigilant and patient.

Probably the most apparent visual difference between Purple Deadnettle and Henbit is that Henbit leaves have a “hairy” appearance.

How do I get rid of it?

However, if you prefer to try organic ways of ridding your acreage of weeds, tillage in the late fall and again in the early spring is a decent solution. Understandably, you won’t want to till your entire lawn. But the reality is that Purple Deadnettle is most likely not going to attack your grass lawn, rather the edges and small sections here and there on your property where conditions are favorable.

Creeping Charlie, also known as Ground Ivy, is a broadleaf weed from the mint family. This branching weed grows about one inch high and quickly becomes a low-growing mat of stems and leaves scattered around your yard.

Henbit has the same type of square stem that divides into two sections. However, it has more rounded leaves with deep lobes. Unlike Purple Deadnettle, the leaves on the upper stem do not have petioles. Instead, they are directly attached to the main stem.

Let’s take them one at a time so you can identify the purple flower weed in your lawn or garden, but first a word about eliminating these weeds.

Hand-pulling is the best organic method for eliminating most weeds, and spraying with a vinegar solution can also work as an organic method.

Purple Deadnettle prefers a quite unsavory habitat. It can thrive in moist areas such as drainage ditches, fallow fields, waste areas, and weedy edges of woodlands.

Wild violet also spreads by rhizomes under the ground. People who battle this weed will tell you it mostly ends up in places it is not welcome. Worse yet, wild violet is quite resilient. Amazingly, it adapts to mowing by growing shorter so it can dodge the blade and give itself ample time to develop seeds.

The square-shaped stem has a lower and upper section. The lower section is entirely devoid of foliage, yet the upper part bears purplish colored leaves with triangular tips. These leaves have petioles, or stems, that connect them to the main stem.

Prevention is vital with Purple Deadnettle. This weed is a winter annual, meaning if you can stop seed production in the spring, your problem is solved. Herbicide application is an effective elimination method if applied in the early spring before Purple Deadnettle begins to bloom.

Part of this weed’s resilience lies in the fact that it is not vulnerable to pests and diseases. So just hoping it will go away will result in a quickly spreading predator capable of choking the life out of your lawn.

What is it?

While Ground Ivy is an undesirable weed, its delicate purple flowers have one redeeming quality. In the proper conditions, these blooms attract Honey bees, Bumblebees, and Mason bees. Supporting pollinators is great, but let’s be honest … there are better ways to do it.

Who doesn’t like pretty purple flowers? In their proper place, purple flowers and the plants that produce them are lovely. However, when they start to over-run your lawn or crowd out the plants in your garden, these purple flowering plants become weeds. To complicate the issue, a number of weeds have purple flowers, so identifying what you’re dealing with in your lawn or garden can be tricky. If you’re asking “What are the weeds with purple flowers called?” I’ve got you. Today I’ll introduce you to the 4 most common weeds with purple-colored flowers and help you understand how to control and eliminate them from your lawn and landscape.

Because Henbit spreads through seed production, preventing those seeds from forming will greatly assist in controlling this weed.

Henbit also has the signature purple flowers these other weeds possess. At first glance, it could be confused with Purple Deadnettle, but there are some telltale differences.

This pest will rear its ugly head in places like your garden plot or around your yard’s perimeter. In these areas, organic tillage or even solarization is ideal.

Most of the weeds with purple flowers you’ll encounter fall under the “broadleaf weed” category. As such, Dicamba will work to kill most of these plants. I use and recommend this product from Southern Ag. It’s my go-to herbicide for most broadleaf weeds. But you can find effective options locally at hardware and box stores as well. Look for something marked for broadleaf weed control.

Because wild violets have both seeds and rhizomes, be extra careful to dispose of the pulled waste properly, so regrowth does not occur.

How do I get rid of it?

Chances are this fast-spreading weed is the culprit responsible for those purple blooms scattered throughout your yard. Many people battle it in their lawns.

Looking out over your yard or garden, you want to be sure the pretty purple flowers you see are intentional, and growing where you want them.

This variety of weed has vining rhizomes underground that are especially troublesome to kill. Unfortunately, the best way to eradicate this pest from your yard is to use a pro-level herbicide like Dicamba.

Herbicides are the most effective method if you’re open to using them. Be sure to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) and follow all safety recommendations from the manufacturer.

The unattractive aspect of wild violet is that it spreads prolifically two ways. First, it can propagate from seeds that form in low bearing flowers that do not open. These seeds can end up nearly anywhere by way of rainfall and wind.

It is not generally a weed that will take hold of your actual lawn, so if you have purple flowering weeds in your grass, Henbit probably isn’t what you’re dealing with.

The following four weeds with purple flowers are probably the most notorious culprits responsible for invading your landscape:

At first glance, Creeping Charlie’s delicately scalloped leaves and blue-violet spring flowers appear to be quite tolerable, but don’t be fooled. Creeping Charlie is a resilient and adaptive vine that can quickly overtake a lawn and kill the turf-grass around it.