Weed ID

Asked October 13, 2020, 7:21 AM EDT

Can you identify this weed? It grows prolifically throughout my flower and vegetable garden in the sun and probably got its hold because it looked so much like bee balm to m e.

Charles County Maryland

1 Response

This appears to be Perilla (a.k.a. Beefsteak Plant, Chinese Basil, Shiso; Perilla frutescens), an invasive weed that is becoming common in yards and disturbed wild areas (such as along trails or park paths). It is in the mint family and an annual which will die over the winter. However, to prevent seedlings from germinating next spring, you may need to refresh the garden's mulch layer and/or consider using a pre-emergent herbicide for the flower bed unless you can hand-pull any that appear early next year. Manual removal and mulching (or using another weed barrier) are the safest approaches for the vegetable plot. (Seeds remain viable in the soil for several years. Pulling-up or cutting-down all plants you can find now will at least reduce how many seeds are added to that seed bank for the future.)