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 is found throughout the United States and southern Canada except for areas in the north-central states.
Four quick ways to control weeds
- Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
- Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
- Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
- Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.
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