Call it another sign of global warming if you like, but I’ve never seen the annual weed Henbit out by mid-February in Oklahoma, seeing it out last week on Valentine’s Day. This plant is a common winter annual weed that germinates in fall, but is very small until the warmth of spring causes it to grow and produce those bright purple flowers. Henbit can be so plentiful that untreated lawns can be taken over by purple flowers in March…..not February though. This is a pic of Henbit out already in a lawn in Tulsa…..but not a LawnAmerica lawn!
Our Late Fall Weed-Control Application does a great job of control winter annual weeds like Henbit, Chickweed, and Annual Bluegrass to name a few. There may be some breakthrough in places, but typically we don’t see much of this on our lawns in February and March. Not so on untreated or thin lawns, as these weeds can take over in spring. And this spring appears to be coming on strong, so expect to see more weeds sooner as we get into the season. And spring does not even officially start until March 20th!
Once Henbit goes to flower, it’s very difficult to control. We spray it with a post-emergent herbicide, but it can take weeks for it to completely die. It really helps to mow down the dying weeds about 5 days after we spray, as this stimulates the plant to grow back, which helps the herbicide in the plant to work faster. And removing the dying vegetation helps the lawn look better. Contrary to some popular opinion, the weeds don’t just magically disappear! They do have to decompose, and that can take many weeks.