Common Plants That Are Weeds

Learn which plants are weeds and are invading your outdoor space!

Weeds are considered nuisance plants, which can easily invade lawns and gardens. They can cause ecological damage and health problems for humans or animals. While weeds look undesirable in the lawn, most of them might actually be good.

Your lawn can have two types of weeds: troublesome and noxious weeds. Troublesome weeds are known to compete with vegetables and fruits, but they have beneficial properties as well. In contrast, noxious weeds are declared harmful to public health.

Here’s a list of weeds commonly found on the lawn. Scroll down to check whether your garden has any of these weeds or not.

Troublesome Weeds

These are troublesome weeds that can grow on their own in the garden. If not removed, they can grow uncontrollably on the lawn.

#1 Crabgrass


Crabgrass is a common weed that easily spreads from the rootings of nodes and seeds. If left undisturbed, it can grow up to 2 feet tall.

The weed usually grows from mid-spring to summer when the ground is warm because it flourishes best under dry conditions. The crabgrass dies and produces new seeds every season.

How to Control Crabgrass

If you have crabgrass in your lawn, you must control it because the seeds can survive in the soil.

You can regularly mow your garden to stop crabgrass from flowering and producing seeds. Keep your lawn to a height of 2 to 4 inches.

Try choosing the best grass for your lawn, which can easily adapt to the location. A poorly-maintained lawn is ideal for crabgrass growth because it is not very competitive.

Is Crabgrass Edible?

Yes, you can eat crabgrass but avoid consuming it because it doesn’t taste good. But you can use crabgrass as a forage crop for livestock.

#2 Purslane


Despite having high vitamins and being grown as a crop in some countries, purslane is considered harmful in the U.S. Why? Because this plan can produce more than lakhs of seeds per plant.

The thin black seed and stem fragments of the purslane plant help it reproduce. In fact, you can vegetatively grow it through its leaves.

How to Control Purslane

You can manage this summer weed in your garden by hand-weeding. If you see this weed on your lawn, destroy it immediately. If not done, it can live in the soil for years.

Besides hand-weeding, mulching also helps in removing this stubborn weed. For better results, the organic mulches should be 3 inches thick.

Is Purslane Edible?

Yes, purslane is edible in its younger days when it’s tender. This weed is considered a powerhouse of nutrients and can be added to salad or stir-fry.

#3 Lambsquarters


Lamdsquarters is another edible weed that grows very fast during summer. You can steam it and add it to your salads or juice. It is very nutritious and delicious.

But the tender baby lambsquarters can easily get huge and become troublesome. Farms with vegetable crops, pulse crops, and sugar beets have the risk of lambsquarters’ growth.

As this weed is small and lightweight, wind can blow it away. But most of the time, lambsquarters seeds can survive for decades. If this weed gets favorable growing conditions, it can spread profusely.

How to Control Lambsquarters

As lambsquarters grow rapidly, you must remove them from the roots. Or you can cultivate it using a sharp hoe.

Is Lambsquarters Edible?

Yes, you can eat lambsquarters because its leaves are loaded with nutrients. In the younger days, when the weed is still tender, you can consume its shoots and leaves raw or saute them like spinach.

#4 Pigweed


Pigweed makes a tough competitor for broadleaf crops like soybeans and cotton. Pigweed has a new red taproot, appearing in late spring or early summer.

How to Control Pigweed

If you want to control pigweed growth, you must pull it out before it flowers. This weed needs sufficient light germination. So, you can also consider covering your garden pot with a winter mulch.

Is Pigweed Edible?

Yes, pigweed is edible, but only in its tender form. Young pigweed leaves are high in nutrients and vitamins. You can cook the leaves like spinach or use its black seed for baking.

#5 Dandelion


The bright yellow-headed dandelion growing during springtime is a weed. Bees find dandelions very helpful, but it’s not their preferred food.

Dandelions can reproduce through wind-borne seeds or vegetatively. Also, they can take over any habitat.

How to Control Dandelions

The roots of mature dandelions are difficult to hand-pulled because they develop a deep root system. So, as soon as you see young dandelions on your lawn, remove them from their base. While removing this weed, if any piece is left, it will grow back.

Are Dandelions Edible

Yes, the leaves of young dandelions are edible. You can add them to your green salads. Likewise, you can consume the flowers of dandelions, either raw or fried.

Noxious Weed

Noxious weeds are considered more problematic. Thus, you must immediately remove them. Here’s a list of common noxious weeds:

#1 Quackgrass


Quackgrass is a common weed that reproduces by soil. This weed’s long and joined rhizomes form a heavy mat in the soil from where new shoots can appear.

How to Control Quackgrass

As soon as you see quackgrass in your lawn, dig it out from the roots so it doesn’t spread. Dispose of the plant in a waste bin so it doesn’t continue to grow.

Is Quackgrass Edible

No, quackgrass is not edible.

#2 Canada Thistle

Canada Thistle

Canada thistle is an aggressive flowering plant that can infest crops, pastures, and non-crop areas. It can also reduce forage consumption in pastures because cattle would not graze near the infestation.

Canada thistle can be reproduced through seed and whitish. The plant grows new shoots of about 12 inches. This weed mostly grows in colonies by wind-blown seeds or from rhizomatous roots.

How to Control Canada Thistle

As the roots of Canada’s thistle goes deep into the soil, they can be difficult to control. Its horizontal and vertical roots can grow up to 15 feet.

You must immediately destroy the first plant by pulling or healing it, so it does not secure its roots in the ground. Don’t forget to check for this weed during early spring. In case the plant gets rooted, you must stress it, so it uses its stored root nutrients.

Is Canada Thistle Edible

It might come as a surprise, but Canada thistle is edible. After removing the spines, you can use the leaves as spinach. You can also use stems after peeling them. Remember to wear gloves during the process.

#3 Bindweed


Field bindweed is a hardy vine that has many names. This noxious weed sprouts in late spring and quickly becomes a problem due to its ruthless spreading nature.

The fast-growing roots of this weed can grow through other plants’ roots to depths of 14 feet. During the growing season, bindweed can rapidly spread to 10 feet.

How to Control Bindweed

Controlling bindweed is difficult because its short verticals can form a new plant. You can try to stop the spread through early intervention.

Always remove the seeding of bindweed from the soil before they grow into plants. Once perennial buds are formed, removing bindweed from the root is difficult.

Is Bindweed Edible?

No, bindweed is not edible. All of its parts are poisonous.

#4 Nutsedge


Nutsedge is a noxious weed. While it looks like grass, it is thicker and stiffer. The leaves of this weed are arranged in a set of three from the base.

These are one of the most problematic weeds because they can significantly reduce harvest yields. Purple nutsedge has a reddish tinge, and the seeds are black or dark brown. In contrast, yellow nudge has light brown flowers and seeds.

How to Control Nutsedge

The presence of nutsedge in a lawn indicates that the soil drainage is poor. Unfortunately, once this weed starts growing, it’s difficult to control.

Removing this weed as soon as you notice it on the lawn is advised. Carefully remove all the nutsedge before they form tubers. Once you limit the growth of tubers, controlling nutsedge becomes easier.

Try eliminating the wet condition, which is important for nutsedge’s growth. You can use mulches in the landscape beds.

Is Nutsedge Edible?

Yes, the tubers of yellow nutsedge are edible. They have a sweet and nutty flavor. Purple nutsedge tubers are also edible, but they have a bitter taste.


Maintaining a garden or lawn requires so much effort. You need to regularly water the plants, fertilize them, check for infestation, and remove weeds. Often, the beautiful plants that we assume to increase the beauty of our garden are weeds.

You can check the list of common weeds mentioned in this post and must immediately remove them if you notice them in your lawn.

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