Henbit Organic Weed Control

Henbit weed

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Henbit is a broad-leafed plant that grows as an annual but also as a biennial and short-lived perennial. It is also known as dead nettle, bee nettle, and Lamium.

Botanical name: Lamium amplexicaule

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Henbit description and life cycle

  • Henbit grows 4 to 12 inches tall.
  • Four-sided stems similar to mints often drape along the ground.
  • Stems will root where lower nodes contact the soil.
  • Leaves are paired opposite one another on stems; leaves are hairy, circular, and palmately veined.
  • Leaf margins have rounded teeth.
  • Small flowers grow in whorls in axils of upper leaves with pink or purple tubular two-lipped corolla.
  • Blooms mid-to-late spring and at the end of summer.
  • Annual plant that reproduces by seed and stolons; sometimes a biennial or short-lived perennial.

Henbit root system

Henbit has a fibrous root system. Henbit can root from nodes along stolons–creeping horizontal stem runners.

Henbit organic controls

  • Pull by hand and hoe; remove the roots.
  • Remove plants before they flower and drop seeds.
  • Remove all roots and stolons from the garden to prevent re-rooting.
  • Suppress the plant with a 3-inch layer of mulch.

Henbit range

Henbit is found throughout the United States and southern Canada except for areas in the north-central states.

Four quick ways to control weeds

  1. Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
  2. Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
  3. Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
  4. Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.

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Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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