Easy Guide To Common Weeds (Pink/Purple flower)

Pink/Purple Flowering Weeds

DOVES FOOT CRANEBILL Geranium molle

Type: Annual Broadleaf

Height: Up to 30 cm  (Up to 12 in)

Flowering: April to September

What’s it like?

Very common in UK lawn. Pinkish/Purple flowers 8 – 12 mm (1/2 inch) in diameter with jagged petals. Although found in many soil types, it prefers to grow in free draining soil, dry environment and a soil that is under-nourished. This weed has basal leaves that are round in shape, looking like a rosette, slightly hairy and consist of approximately 5 – 7 leaf points. The flowers are mainly pollinated by insects. This weed is generally found in lawns that have poor soil conditions and that are sparse in grass plants. A well cared for lawn should not have problems with this weed.

Why is it a problem for your lawn?

This weed is an invasive plant that thrives in poor soil conditions and can be difficult to remove with over the counter Weed killers. A widespread infestation will cause your lawn to be uneven.

Control

If your lawn only has a few of these weed plants, you may be successful with simple hand weeding. However, for a larger infestation, a selective herbicide will be necessary. Control with over the counter weed killers may prove to be difficult as it is resistant to most chemicals. Spot treat the area where the weeds are present. Repeat applications about 5 – 6 weeks later will be needed to effectively control this weed. This weed thrives in soil conditions with poor nutrient levels. To prevent this weed invading your lawn, a good lawn care programme that feeds and nourishes your lawn’s soil should be carried out. By maintaining your lawn you will help promote a dense sward which in turn will prevent weeds invading.


SELFHEAL Prunella vulgaris

Type: Perennial Broadleaf

Height: 30cm (11 – 12 in)

Flowering: June to November

What’s it like?

Selfheal is a member of the mint family and very common weed found in all types of lawns and conditions throughout the UK. This weed spreads by creeping runners (rhizomes) which root at intervals. It thrives in closely mown areas of grass and in these conditions the leaves will have a purple tinge to them. The leaves are oval in shape and have slightly scalloped edges and can have either smooth or slightly hairy surfaces. Found in most lawns throughout the UK. Grown by creeping runners (rhizomes) The flowers are purple in colour and have a pair of leaves underneath them.

Why is it a problem for your lawn?

Selfheal loves grow in garden lawns, it is low covering and will survive close mowing. It will restrict the growth of your lawn’s grasses. Quite often if it establishes itself well into your lawn you will need to lift and replace the affected lawn turf.

Control

If you see only a few plants you should be able to remove them by hand. Regular mowing will help to suppress the production of the seeds. Like most weeds, the infestation of Selfheal can be prevented by carrying out a good lawn care programme, which results in a strong healthy grass and root system. If your lawn has a widespread problem with Selfheal then a selective herbicide will need to be used. There are a variety of chemicals (herbicides) that will kill it. One application is usually enough, but apply another 6 weeks later if necessary.


SPEAR THISTLE (Cirsium vulgare)  

Type: Biannual Broadleaf

Height: 30 cm – 1 m (1ft – 3 ft)

Flowering: July onwards


What’s it like?

A common and robust weed generally found on a waste ground or unmanaged grass lawns, where seeds are able to germinate and establish without too much competition. Once the plant has produced its seed it will then die. The roots of this weed form a branched taproot, which enables it to get strong anchorage into the ground.

The leaves of the Spear Thistle are dark green, prickly and hairy on the upper surface of the leaf. It’s flowering stems emerge from rosettes when the basal leaves get to about 20 – 40 cm in length. Stems will grow to 30 – 100cm in height. It will produce large purple flower heads from July onwards and will die back after producing seeds.

Why is it a problem for your lawn?

It easily regenerates from broken pieces. Individual plants can form large clumps and will anchor themselves well in the ground. They should be controlled if you wish to grow a good quality lawn since they compete for light, water and food with your grass plants.  They can also be unpleasant if stepped on.

Control

Mowing prior to flowering to reduce the number of seeds spreading. If you have small areas of Spear Thistle in your lawn you can remove by hand hoeing by removing the growing point and tap root.
Persistent and larger areas of this weed will need an application of selective broadleaf herbicide when the plant growth is active. The best time to apply weed killer is when the plant is growing vigorously before flowering.  Several applications may be necessary to fully kill this invasive weed.


Need Help With a Weedy Lawn

If you would like further advice on lawn weed control, just click the orange Help Please button below and we’ll contact you.

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