What Are the Different Types of Weeds?

How can you identify common types of weeds in your garden? We'll run through the common culprits. Learn how to spot and get rid of them.

Types of Weeds: What Kinds Are the Most Common?

I came across a very apt definition of weeds. It simply described a weed as "a plant in the wrong place." Although weeds are very famous for being undesirable, some of them might actually be useful. The bad thing about weeds is that they’re competitive and fight desirable plants for water, nutrients, and space.

Weeds are a very common occurrence in everyone’s lawns and gardens. Some are pretty to look at and can be used for certain purposes, the others are just a plain nuisance. Not many people are aware of the different types of weed but are eager to know more. Read on as we list some of the most common weeds that may be present in your backyard or landscape.

What are the Most Common Types of Weeds in Home Landscaping?


This type of weed has a deep taproot and a puffball seed head. The seed head disperses seeds on every breeze. They are usually 12 inches tall and 6 to 16 inches wide, and can be found growing in lawns and gardens. They are categorized under broadleaf perennial that germinates all year round. The best way to get rid of dandelions is to either spray weed killers on them or to dig at least 2 inches of the taproot.


Crabgrass is an annual summer grass that is around 18 inches tall and 20 inches wide. It is a very common type of weeds that germinate throughout the season and can grow when the stem makes contact with soil. The growth of crabgrass can be controlled by using a spot treatment with non-selective postemergence herbicide or pre-emergent herbicide. Then there’s also the traditional method of pulling it directly by hand.


Nutsedge is a grassy perennial weed. It is commonly found growing in lawns or gardens and is 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide. It has crossed, grassy leaves and nut-like tubers on their roots. You can pull out the weeds by hand or spray them with a post-emergence herbicide containing MSMA chemical.


This type of weed has heart-shaped leaflets, hairy, erect stems, with cup-shaped yellow flowers. Oxalis is quite pretty to look at. They are one of the most common broadleaf perennial varieties that can grow up to 20 inches tall. You can control oxalis growth by using post-emergent herbicide during spring or fall.


Thistles are broadleaf weeds with annual and perennial variations. This weed has a thorny exterior that can grow from seeds or sprout from roots. Mature plants can even go to 5 to 8 feet tall. If you decide to dig it, you have to be careful. Try to cut through the horizontal root of thistles. It is advisable to use herbicides instead.


This is an annual broadleaf type of weed that can grow up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has a velvet-like exterior and heart-shaped leaves with a flat surface. Velvetleaf is very common in fertile gardens or lawns. You can use either a post-emergent or pre-emergent herbicide keeping in mind the weather.


Plantains are very easy to recognize. They have broad leaves from the base of which five prominent veins emerge. It has erect flower spikes and can spread through its seeds. It is a broadleaf perennial with a winged stalk and shallow, hairy roots. This weed can be eradicated using weed killers.


They are commonly found growing in gardens or landscapes where the weather is sunny and dry. They are about 6 inches tall and 2 feet wide and are an annual type of broadleaf. They have thick succulent-like leaves with branching stems. You can find small yellow flowers on them too. They usually spread by its seeds and stem pieces. Spot-treatment by using non-selective, post-emergent herbicide works best to remove purslane.

White Leaf Clover

White Leaf Clover is about 9 inches tall and 12 inches wide and can be found growing in landscapes. These weeds are aptly named as they have three-lobed leaves with circular white flowers growing in a cluster. They are a broadleaf perennial and can be controlled by directly spraying post-emergent herbicide on the weed. You can also pull them by hand.


This is the vilest kind of weed. Bindweed spread by seeds or roots, depending on the type. Field bindweed can even grow 30 feet deep making it really tough to control them. These plants have a look similar to the morning glory but if there’s support. like a tree, nearby then they can grow on it by twisting just like vines. Pull bindweed out as soon as you see them. For quicker eradication, apply an herbicide aiming at their roots.

Resources— Better Homes & GardensPennington