Broadleaf weeds are identified by distinctive features of the seed leaves, as well as by the arrangement of the leaves. Seed leaves in a broadleaf weeds come in pairs and are thicker and fleshier than later leaves. Some have a distinctive odor that helps differentiate the weeds. The arrangement of later leaves varies with the species, with some alternating and others facing opposite each other or in a spiral pattern.
Broadleaf weeds are considered undesirable in most lawns. The ideal way to prevent the occurrence of broadleaf weeds is to maintain a healthy lawn, leaving no space for the weeds to grow.
Classification of broadleaf weeds bases on their life cycle. Annual weeds, winter and summer annuals have a life cycle of 12 months. Perennial and biennial weeds have a life cycle of more than 12 months. The common broadleaf weeds include henbit, purslane, and common chickweed.
If broadleaf weeds do appear, application of an herbicide can kill them. Some herbicides are designed to kill the weeds after they emerge from the soil, while others prevent seeds from growing. It is recommended that a homeowner use both types of herbicide to completely eradicate the weeds.
Early spring and late fall are the best times for application. A homeowner can purchase the herbicides in liquid or granular form. The weed killers need to stay on the plant for at least 24 hours before it rains or before the plants are watered. Nearby shrubs or plants should be protected from overspray. More than one application may be necessary to completely eradicate broadleaf weeds.