Tackle self-heal in your borders and lawn, with help from our expert guide.
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Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a tenacious perennial weed that loves lawns and will stick close to the ground in order to survive even the closest mowing - it will even flower on 3cm-high flower spikes to ensure survival of its species. It spreads by seeds from its flowers (June to November) which are loved by butterflies and bees. However, it is an aggressive weed in lawns and will quickly establish itself and compete with the grass.
Self-heal is also, when controlled, a fantastic choice in alternative lawn mixes. Find out how to grow self-heal.
Plant spreads by seed in late summer/autumn, restricting growth of other plants, particularly grass in lawns.
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The most effective organic approach is to weaken the plant by hoeing it wherever it appears in beds or borders, or to dig it out using a fork or trowel. If it establishes itself in the lawn you will have to lift and replace the affected turf in order to deal with it effectively.
In lawns, use a weedkiller such as a 2, 4-D-based herbicide to remove self-heal. Apply in cool, moist, calm conditions when there is least risk of accidentally damaging nearby garden plants.