What is Henbit and How Do I Control It?

Henbit is a common annual weed that can be found in most areas of the U.S.

Henbit is a common annual weed that can be found in most areas of the U.S. Unfortunately, once it gets into your lawn, it can be a real challenge to remove. Not only does henbit take advantage of moist areas where your lawn may be a wee bit thin, but each plant can produce a whopping 2,000 seeds that can easily take root and make your life miserable if you don't do something about it. Don't worry, though – we can tell you just what you need to do to control henbit.

Spotting Henbit

Here's a bit of trivia for you: Henbit got its name because chickens like to eat it. Often confused with both dead nettle and ground ivy (a.k.a. creeping Charlie), henbit boasts stems that are square and either green or purplish, and grows to between 5 and 11 inches tall. The leaves are either heart-shaped or round, and have scalloped edges or rounded "teeth" with prominent veins on their undersides. Come springtime, the weed begins producing small lavender flowers. Henbit happily invades thin, weak lawns and can be tough to remove once it takes hold, since it does just fine in a wide range of soils and growing conditions. You can often spy it making inroads under trees and shrubs in the yard, where grass has a hard time growing.

Take Back Your Lawn from Henbit

  1. Find Henbit Early

    It's crucial to kill henbit before it flowers, to prevent it from producing and releasing seeds. If you wait until after it blooms to make your move, you may be dealing with this particular weed for several years to come.

  2. Grab Roundup® For Lawns

    Once you've identified henbit in your lawn, take control by applying Roundup® for Lawns, which is specially formulated to kill weeds (like henbit) without harming your lawn when used as directed. For the occasional henbit plant, reach for a ready-to-use product, but for henbit infestations, choose a ready-to-spray or concentrate product instead.

  3. Maintain a Thick Lawn

    A good defense against future problems with henbit is to grow a thick lawn that won't leave any room for the weed to grow. To do that, be sure to mow your lawn at a height right for your grass type and regularly feed it (4 times a year) with lawn food.