How to Prevent Common Landscape Weeds

We’ve got the 411 on these annoying landscape interlopers—and the key to keeping them out.

Nothing spoils a gorgeous landscape like weeds. Boldly growing exactly where you don’t want them to, they ruin an otherwise beautifully planted flower bed.

Even though common landscape weeds make up just a teeny-tiny fraction of the thousands and thousands of plant varieties, they can quickly become a big nuisance. See, common weeds are survivors and thrivers. They grow anywhere and everywhere—left on their own, they can dominate the landscape, leaving it looking sloppy and unkempt, and crowding out plants you may actually want to grow!

Check out this guide to some common landscape weeds you may spy in your yard.

Clover

WHAT CLOVER LOOKS LIKE:

Green, low-growing plant with 3-part leaves and round white or pink flowers

WHERE CLOVER LIKES TO GROW:

Moist and undernourished places

CLOVER'S GROWING STYLE:

Coming back year after year

CLOVER'S SUPERPOWER:

Feeding itself by producing its own nitrogen

CLOVER'S ENEMIES:

  • Healthy soil
  • Barrier cloth, landscape fabric, mulch

HOW TO GET RID OF CLOVER

  • Maintain a thick lawn—feed it fertilizer 4 times a year.
  • Raise your mowing height.
  • Reapply Roundup® For Lawns1 Ready-to-Use each year to your lawn (clover can stay dormant in the soil for years).

Foxtail

WHAT FOXTAIL LOOKS LIKE:

Grassy with tapered blades and bristly, spike-like tails

WHERE FOXTAIL LIKES TO GROW::

Sunny spots

FOXTAIL'S GROWING STYLE:

Growing fast and throwing (literal) shade on small landscape plants

FOXTAIL'S SUPERPOWER:

Producing A chemical at its roots that can reduce nearby plant competition

FOXTAIL'S ENEMIES:

  • Shade
  • Proper growing conditions

HOW TO GET RID OF FOXTAIL

  • Maintain a thick, lush lawn (feed it 4 times per year) and mow your grass at the right height for your grass type.
  • Apply Roundup® For Lawns1 Ready-to-Use, following all label directions.

Goosegrass

WHAT GOOSEGRASS LOOKS LIKE:

Smooth, flattened leaves with silver- or white-centered rosettes

WHERE GOOSEGRASS LIKES TO GROW:

Any area with compacted soil

GOOSEGRASS’ GROWING STYLE:

Full sun and poor drainage

GOOSEGRASS’ SUPERPOWER:

Ability to grow up to 2’ high and spread up to 2’ wide

GOOSEGRASS’ ENEMIES:

  • Hard frost
  • A thick layer of mulch

HOW TO GET RID OF GOOSEGRASS:

  • Feed your lawn 4 times per year, mow at the right height for your grass type, and water your lawn deeply but infrequently (an inch of water per week).
  • Apply Roundup® Landscape Weed Preventer twice a year, following all label directions.

Henbit

WHAT HENBIT LOOKS LIKE:

Square stems with rounded, scalloped-edge leaves, blue-purple spring flowers, and seeds that germinate in the fall

WHERE HENBIT LIKES TO GROW:

Under trees and shrubs where other plants can’t take hold



HENBIT’S GROWING STYLE:

Moist soil and in the shade

HENBIT'S SUPERPOWER:

Self-pollination, allowing it to produce seeds on its own and spread them (aggressively)

HENBIT’S ENEMIES:

  • Hot summer temps
  • A generous mulch layer

HOW TO GET RID OF HENBIT:

  • Get to it before it has a chance to flower, as it’s harder to remove it once it blooms.
  • Use Roundup® For Lawns Products while henbit is young and actively growing—it kills weeds without harming your lawn when used as directed.
  • Maintain a lawn in tip-top shape.

Lambsquarter

WHAT LAMBSQUARTER LOOKS LIKE:

Young plants have alternate, oval-triangular leaves that are bluish-green on top and purplish-red underneath; older plants have green leaf tops and grayish-white under-leaves

WHERE LAMBSQUARTER LIKES TO GROW:

Thrives almost everywhere, with seeds surviving in the soil 20, 30, even 40 years if left alone

LAMBSQUARTER’S GROWING STYLE:

Productive—up to 100,000 seeds on a single plant

LAMBSQUARTER’S SUPERPOWER:

Edible when young

LAMBSQUARTER’S ENEMIES:

  • Tilling and uprooting
  • Extreme heat

HOW TO GET RID OF LAMBSQUARTER

  • Keep your lawn strong by feeding it regularly and mowing at the right height.
  • Spray Roundup® For Lawns Products products on problem areas when weeds are young and actively growing (use as directed).

Purslane

WHAT PURSLANE LOOKS LIKE:

Fast-growing, edible annual with thick, light green- to maroon-colored, succulent stems and 5-petal green leaves.

WHERE PURSLANE LIKES TO GROW:

Anywhere there’s full sun

PURSLANE’S GROWING STYLE:

Heat and humidity

PURSLANE’S SUPERPOWER:

Stores water in its leaves and re-roots from stem pieces

PURSLANE’S ENEMIES:

  • Frost
  • Pests like sawfly and leafminer weevil

WAYS TO STOP PURSLANE

  • Crowd it out of the lawn by maintaining thick, lush grass.
  • Spray control on your lawn in summer, while it’s actively growing. Use Roundup® For Lawns3 Ready-To-Spray on Northern grasses and Roundup® For Lawns6 Ready-To-Spray on Southern grasses.
  • Do NOT pull on it. Hand removal doesn’t work on purslane, because even the tiniest piece left behind can form a new plant.

Common landscape weeds can take root in even the most inhospitable conditions and once they do, they hang on with all they’ve got. So, the very best way to deal with them is to prevent them from emerging in the first place.

By applying Roundup® Landscape Weed Preventer or other recommended controls (as directed) around your landscape (prior to mulching), you can stop all 6 of these weeds—plus many, many more—before they’ve even had a chance to grow. It creates a weed barrier when applied, so instead of sprouting, the underground roots and shoots of weeds die before you even see them.

Take that, common landscape weeds!

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