Selfheal [Prunella vulgaris]


General Information: Selfheal which is a member of the mint family is a common weed on all types of lawn throughout the UK. This perennial weed spreads by creeping runners known as rhizomes, which root at intervals. It can quite happily grow in closely mown areas of turf.

Leaf: Selfheal leaves are bourn in pairs, oval in shape, have slightly scalloped edges and can have a smooth or slightly hairy surface. In areas where the turf is closely mown the leaves can have a purple tinge to them.

Flower: Selfheal flowers from June to October. The purple flowers have a pair of leaves underneath them. See pictures to the left.

Preferred habitat: Selfheal can be found in all types of turf and will tolerate both dry and moist soils

Control: Hand weed if there are only a few individual plants. Regular mowing will help suppress seed head production. Selfheal, like most weeds can also be prevented by implementing good lawn care practices that encourage strong healthy grass cover. See more on our weed prevention page.

For a widespread problem with selfheal a selective herbicide will have to be used. Selfheal is often an easy weed to control and there are a variety of chemicals that will kill it (see below). One application is usually enough, but apply another 6 weeks later if necessary. For more information on chemical application to lawns, please go to our weed control section.

More Selfheal images (click to enlarge)

Recommended selective weed killers for amateur gardeners for the control of Selfheal in lawns and turf.

  • Verdone Extra (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & MCPA).
  • Westland lawn weed killer (2,4-D, mecoprop-p & dichlorprop-p).
  • Westland lawn feed, weed & moss killer (2,4-D & mecoprop-p) includes a fertiliser.
  • Westland Resolva lawn weed killer (MCPA, mecoprop-p & dicamba).
  • Vitax green up lawn weed & feed (2,4-D & dicamba) includes a fertiliser.
  • Vitax green up lawn weed & feed + moss killer (2,4-D & mecoprop-p) includes a fertiliser.
  • Vitax lawn clear (fluroxypyr & mecoprop-p)
  • Doff lawn spot weeder (2,4-D, mecoprop-p& dichlorprop-p).
  • Evergreen Complete (MCPA, mecoprop-p).
  • Evergreen feed + weed liquid (MCPA, mecoprop-p & dicamba) includes a fertiliser.

Recommended selective weed killers for lawn and turf care professionals for the control of Selfheal in lawns and turf.

  • Scotts Praxys (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & florasulam).
  • Scotts Intrepid 2 (dicamba, dichlorprop-p & MCPA).
  • Scotts Re-act (MCPA, mecoprop-p & dicamba).
  • Barclay Holster (fluroxypyr, 2,4-D and dicamba).
  • Headland Relay (mecoprop-p, MCPA & dicamba).
  • Headland Cabadex (florasulam & fluroxypyr).
  • Mascot Crossbar (fluroxypyr, 2,4-D & dicamba).
  • Mascot Greenor (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & MCPA).
  • Mascot Junction (florasulam and 2,4-D).
  • Mascot Super Selective (mecoprop-p, MCPA & dicamba).
  • Vitax Esteem (2-4,D, MCPA and clopyralid).

When applying chemicals to lawns always follow the manufacturers application recommendations and the health and safety guidelines for the best results.

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