Selfheal is a low growing perennial weed that is part of the mint family and is easily recognisable with its distinct purple flowers.
It spreads by rhizomes (underground runners) rooting at intervals and it forms large, dense patches that smother the grass.
It is found in all types of turf and with withstand regular, close mowing, which makes it particularly troublesome in managed lawns.
The leaves are oval or oblong in shape and pale green in colour. In close mown turf the leaves often take on a darker green appearance.
Selfheal produces clusters of light to dark purple flowers from May to October
Selfheal prefers dry to moist soil conditions. It is often found on poor undernourished soils.
- Selfheal can be removed by hand, taking care to remove the whole plant.
- Encourage a thick sward of grass with good lawn care practices to prevent this and other weeds invading
- Mow the lawn frequently to prevent seed head formation and stop the weed from spreading.
Selfheal can be controlled using a selective herbicide. A single application is usually enough.
Recommended herbicides for the control of selfheal
Professional products (All operators must be trained and certificated in using and applying any Ministry Approved professional product)
- ICL Enforcer (2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p, MCPA)
- ICL Praxys (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, Florasulam)
- ICL Esteron (2,4-D, Furosulam)
- Barclay Holster (Fluroxypyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
- Headland Quickfire (Mecoprop-p, Dicamaba)
- Headland Cabadex (Flurosulam, Fluroxypyr)
- Hysward-P (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Bayer Longbow (MCPA, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Mascot Junction Turf (Flurosulam, 2,4-D)
- Mascot Greenor (Fluroxpyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Mascot Crossbar (Fluroxpyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores and do not require any training or certification for use and application.)
- Weedol Concentrate (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Vitax lawn Clear (Clopyralid, 2,4-D, MCPA)
- Resolva Lawn Weed Killer (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba)
Tips for successful weed control using selective herbicides
- Treat weeds when growth is strong, this is usually in May and June.
- Don’t mow the lawn 3 days prior and 3 days after the treatment, to allow for maximum uptake of the chemical.
- Spray when the leaf/foliage is dry, as this reduces runoff and allows the chemical to stick to the weed.