weeds with purple flowers

What are the Weeds with Purple Flowers Called?

I don’t know about you but weeds truly are the bane of my life when it comes to gardening. Just when I think I’ve eradicated them, I turn around and there are more. The thing is, some weeds don’t look all that bad with their pretty purple flowers but that doesn’t mean they won’t take over your garden. For this reason, we want them gone!

If you’ve noticed weeds with purple flowers in your garden then you’ve likely wondered what they are. There are several different types of purple weeds and in this guide, I’ll introduce you to some of the most common.

There are tons of weeds that spour purple flowers but when it comes to domestic gardens, you’ll usually find the same culprits worming their way around your plant beds, lawn and other places. By being able to identify the offending weeds, you’ll be able to understand how they grow and how best to get rid of them. Here are four of the most annoying weeds with purple flowers:

  • Henbit
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Purple Deadnettle
  • Wild Violet.

Let’s take a look at each one so you can identify the purple flower weed in your lawn or garden.

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

henbit weed

Henbit is part of the same family of plants as mint. You may find yourself confusing this with the purple dead nettle which I’ll discuss later in this guide. The reason that a lot of people get the two weeds mixed up is largely because they grow in very similar conditions. Henbit thrives in areas with sunlight and it likes moist soil. Owing to this, you’ll usually find it around water features such as a garden pond.

If you’re trying to tell henbit apart from other weeds then take a look at the stem as this has a distinct square shape. As the title of this article might suggest, henbit blooms small purple flowers that pop up alongside the scalloped leaves. These flowers are usually slighter darker in color than something like the purple dead nettle.

You’ll be able to tell it apart from others as it’s quite a droopy looking weed and it mainly grows close to the ground.

The problem in removing henbit is that you are taking away an important food source for pollinators. That said, you won’t want to leave it too long as this is a weed that will quickly take over and use up precious nutrients that your other plants need.

Where does It commonly grow?

As I have already mentioned, henbit like moist areas so it will often pop up around ponds but it’s also very common at the edges of your garden. In wild areas, it can be found growing in fields and it’s not uncommon around buildings in urban areas.

While there are a lot of weeds that will grow in your lawn, henbit isn’t typically one of them.

How do you get rid of it?

Henbit can be a very stubborn weed and it can take quite a bit of work to get rid of it. But the best way to control it is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide right at the beginning of spring. This will take care of most of the problem but you’ll still get some henbit blooms coming through and if you want to be sure to tackle the issue, you’ll need to manually remove these.

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

creeping charlie weed

Creeping Charlie is another weed that comes from the mint family. You will sometimes hear people calling it ground ivy but they’re one of the same things. The main issue with creeping Charlie is that it is a hugely aggressive type of weed that will quickly take over.

What’s worse is that it is not fussy about the soil conditions and will thrive in soils where other weeds would recoil in horror. This is, as its name suggests, a ground cover weed so it doesn’t usually grow any higher than about an inch. But it will quickly cover an area with a carpet of leaves and stems and let’s not forget those purple flowers.

You can identify ground ivy’s flowers by their tubular shape. The flowers are brightly colored and sit alongside scalloped leaves. As with henbit, creeping charlie is an excellent source of food for pollinators but it does threaten your other plants so it’s worth getting rid of it.

Where does It commonly grow?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many places that creeping Charlie doesn’t dare to venture. This weed remains hardy in zones 2 to 12. What’s more, it will do well in a variety of tough conditions. That said, creeping Charlie will take over most quickly in moist, fertile soil that sits in partial sun.

If you know anything about weeds, you will know that they are more of a problem when the lawn is not healthy. This is very fitting where ground ivy is concerned so if your lawn isn’t well maintained, then you might expect problems with this weed. If the lawn is well maintained then the ground ivy simply doesn’t have room to grow.

How do you get rid of it?

If you leave creeping Charlie alone then you will find that it spreads amazingly fast and it’s also highly resistant. The main problem is that it takes over the resources of native plants so they don’t receive the right nutrients or water.

The best way to deal with this weed is to make sure that you correctly fertilize and mulch your lawn. This should be done in the spring but you should keep an eye out for any weeds that do sprout and pull these out by hand as soon as you notice them.

Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)

deadnettle weed

And we have yet another member of the mint family; it’s not earning a good reputation today, is it? The purple deadnettle, as I mentioned earlier on, is similar in appearance to henbit and so the two are often confused. To identify it, take a look at the square shaped stem that will be covered in triangular shaped leaves with a furry texture.

Unlike henbit, whose leaves are green, purple deadnettle leaves have a slightly reddish tinge. The flowers are slightly lighter in color compared to henbit and have a slight pink hue to their tubular shape.

If you’re going to have problems with the purple deadnettle then you will start to notice them in the early spring, normally around April. However, they will continue to bloom all the way through to summer, in most cases.

One of the main issues with purple deadnettle is how aggressive they are. They grow extremely quickly and are super resistant to a whole host of factors such as disease, pests and the elements. In moist conditions and lawns where there is a lot of sun, these weeds can be a real pain.

Much like many of the other weeds I have discussed in this guide, purple dead nettles attract pollinators. Since they bloom so early, they’re one of the first food sources for these critters. However, you don’t want to leave it too long before you treat the problem or the weeds will take over.

Where does It commonly grow?

The most common places you will find purple deadnettle are where there is moist soil. Areas like fallow fields, drainage ditches and along the edges of woodlands are all particularly problematic places. The real issue is that purple deadnettle isn’t fussy and can grow in some rather unfavorable conditions.

For most lawns, purple deadnettle won’t be a problem. However, if your harden is often moist or close to any of the areas I mentioned above then it’s possible for the weed to spread.

How do you get rid of it?

While it is unlikely that your lawn will be affected by purple deadnettle, if it is, the problem needs to be handled as quickly as possible. If it isn’t, this durable weed will soon take over.

The best way to control the spread of these weeds in your lawn is to tackle them before they even get a chance to come through. This can be done by using a pre-emergent herbicide. You’ll need to apply this during winter as these weeds do come out earlier than others.

In addition to this, it’s worth making sure that you take good care of your lawn. Regular mowing and proper fertilisation will both help with this and reduce the spread of purple deadnettle.

Wild Violet (Viola sororia)

wild violet weed

Here we have a weed that is a member of the violet family. What’s nasty about wild violets is they are notorious for being super difficult to control. If you’re going to have problems with wild violets then you’ll begin to notice them right at the start of spring. What’s worse is that these weeds just keep multiplying right through summer!

So, how can you tell if wild violets are the problem? The leaves have a heart-like appearance and, as with all the other weeds on this list, purple flowers. These weeds stay close to the ground and are actually rather attractive to look at. But looks can be deceiving as the wild violet will thrive in any condition and can even adapt to its surroundings meaning it’ll take over so rapidly; you only need to blink and you’ll miss it.

Where does It commonly grow?

As I have mentioned, wild violets will do well in almost any conditions. However, they will thrive best where it is moist and shady. That said, if there’s not a lot of moisture, these drought tolerant weeds will do just fine.

The problem with wild violets is that they will spread in two different ways. Much like other weeds, it will propagate from seeds which are transferred by the wind or by rain. But these weeds also have underground rhizomes causing it to pop up all over the place.

How do you get rid of it?

I’ve mentioned that wild violets will adapt to their surroundings but what’s most shocking is that they will even start to grow shorter if you mow your lawn shorter so they will essentially avoid the mower blades. I told you they were difficult to get rid of!

That said, continually maintaining your grass will eventually have an effect but in the meantime, you’ll probably have to remove the weeds by hand. Just make sure that you pull them up from the roots and dispose of them well away from your garden.

How do I Get Rid of the Weeds With Purple Flowers In My Lawn?

The single best way to get rid of weeds in your garden is to hand pull them. Yes, this is more time consuming and a lot of hard work but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that you fully remove all traces of the weeds. Be sure to pull the weeds when the ground is moist as this will help you remove as much of the root as possible.

If you don’t do this and anything is left behind, the weeds will soon thrive again and you’ll be back to square one. If pulling the weeds out by hand isn’t solving the issue, the roots may be a little deeper and using a spade or trowel to dig them out might be the best option.

That said, root pulling isn’t the only organic method, it is also possible to use a vinegar solution as a natural method of killing off unwanted plants.

If you don’t mind using chemicals in your garden then using herbicides is one of the most effective ways to get rid of purple weeds. Do be careful when using these as you don’t want to get them on your clothes so wearing PPE is a wise idea.

Whatever approach you take, you need to be prepared for a bit of a battle. Most purple weeds are pretty resilient so it could take several years before you really get on top of the issue.

Are Purple Weeds Poisonous?

The weeds I have mentioned in this guide are not poisonous. However, there are several other species of weeds with purple flowers that are toxic to humans and pets. One of the most common poisonous purple weeds is known as deadly nightshade although its real name is Atropa Belladonna and this can cause various symptoms including convulsions, dilated pupils, loss of balance and hallucinations. When dealing with weeds like this, you should always enlist the help of a professional.


Having a beautiful and well maintained garden can be a lot of work especially when there are weeds all over the place. Some weeds might look attractive with their delicate purple flowers but they’ll quickly take over your lawn and deplete nutrients required by other plants.

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Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

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