Henbit is that purple flowering weed growing along the edges of the driveway and sidewalk, the middle of the yard, inditches, and sometimes entire fields.
Henbit is in the mint family, so it has square stems, dark green scalloped leaves that emerge opposite to each other, along the stem. Flowers form just above the leaf pairs, they are tubular and upon close inspection are quite beautiful.
Henbit is a winter annual weed, (sometimes biennial). This means it germinates in the fall or early winter, grows a little bit and goes dormant during cold periods. As the weather warms up in late winter or early spring, it is well established and ready to go! As
spring warms up, it quickly blooms and starts producing seeds, then it will soon die.
Henbit is often confused with Ground Ivy, also known as Creeping Charlie . Henbit is an annual and dies every year, it also blooms in the early spring. Creeping Charlie is a perennial and blooms later in the year, also the leaves appear on small stems, not right on the stem like Henbit.
Prevention is the best choice for Henbit. Since it germinates in the fall, an application of Hi-Yield Turf and Ornamental or FL For All Seasons in late August or early September, should prevent next years crop. Apply and water in.
Post-emergent applications should be applied early, early, early. Since Henbit grows when it is cold, the only really good choice, is to use FL Weed Free Zone. In the fall, one application should be enough if you can hit a warm day. In the spring, two applications may be needed and maybe add 2 teaspoons of Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker to the mix, to increase the absorption due to the leaves not being very receptive to chemicals due to freezing. Once the weed has flowered the temperature is warmer, but the plant will soon die, again, FL Weed Free Zone is the only chemical that works fast enough to have an effect on them.