plants as weeds

What is a weed? Put simply, it's a plant that's not wanted. There's no formal definition of what counts as a weed - it's not like the RHS website has a handy list of which plants are weeds and which plants aren't. Some plants that are considered weeds in one environment may be considered desirable elsewhere.

Common characteristics of weeds include:

  • Aggressive growth and reproduction
  • Growing in a place other than its natural habitat
  • Ability to flourish despite inhospitable conditions
  • Seeds that can lay dormant in the soil for a long time

However, a plant may still be considered a weed in certain contexts even if it doesn't meet the above criteria. If you're looking at a particular plant and wondering whether or not it can technically be defined as weed, the question you should really be asking yourself is: Do I want this plant here?

That being said, there are plenty of plant species that pretty much everyone agrees are weeds.


What plants are considered weeds?

Examples include:

  • Dandelions
  • Nettles
  • Bittercress
  • Dock
  • Bindweed
  • Daisies
  • Chickweed
  • Groundsel

Again, whether these plants may truly be considered weeds does sometimes depend on the situation. But they tend to be unwanted in most cases.

More Common UK Weeds >>


What problems can weeds cause?

Some weeds are disliked simply because they're unattractive. An otherwise pristine lawn becomes a lot less aesthetically appealing when it's littered with unwanted weeds.

But weeds can cause plenty of other problems too. For example...

  • Weeds compete with other plants (including grass) for sunlight, moisture and nutrients

  • Aggressive weed growth can cause structural damage to buildings - Japanese knotweed is notorious for this

  • Some weeds, such as nettles and giant hogweed, can sting or irritate the skin

  • Weeds can be great hiding places for garden pests

Our Weed Control Service >>


Can weeds be beneficial?

Yes they can. Weeds may cause problems, but they do have their uses as well. Stinging nettles have a variety of uses (they are commonly used in soups and teas, for instance). Some weeds are used to repel pests. Even the aforementioned Japanese knotweed - an invasive species so aggressive that you can face legal action if you allow it to spread - is edible. Apparently it tastes a bit like rhubarb.

Still, if you do have a weed problem in your garden, it's best to get it under control ASAP. Call Lawn & Weed Expert on 0800 111 4958 today to arrange a FREE lawn survey.

Contact Lawn & Weed Expert >>

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