The Difference Between Weeds And Plants


While understanding the difference between weeds and plants can have a big influence on the health of your garden, what exactly sets the two apart?

In Queensland alone, weeds cost us an estimated $600 million every year. Without even mentioning the many inconveniences and general irritation that they cause the average Australian gardener, weeds have an enormous impact on primary industries, natural ecosystems, and the health of both animals and humans. 

While no gardener will purposefully bring weeds into their yard or home if they can help it, the tricky part is often spotting them in the first place, many people get them confused with other native and even endangered plant species.

Although there are many government resources and identification charts available online, are there any shortcuts for understanding and identifying the difference between weeds and plants?

Comparing Weeds vs Plants In Your Garden

As a general rule, a weed is any plant that colonises and persists in an ecosystem in which it did not previously exist. They may affect the economy, the environment and even human health. Many plants introduced into Australia in the last two hundred years are now classified as weeds. Despite this, many gardeners now consciously grow them without realising their origins. 

Invasive weeds have a tendency to appear in habitats that already belong to other plants, growing so well and so quickly that they overtake or otherwise compromise the existing ecosystem. However, while unwanted plants may crop up in the lawn and garden from time to time, they are not necessarily weeds.

To tell the difference between weeds and plants, not everyone has the time, energy or resources to print out plant identification guides often found online. Instead, consider the following guidelines for a more generalised approach at spotting invaders in your garden. 

Look For Patterns – Chances are that if you spot one weed, there’s usually more. Not every plant will germinate perfectly, but it’s likely that most of them will germinate enough that you will start to see a pattern begin to emerge. If there’s a plant in your garden that you don’t recognise, start looking for growth patterns to see if they’re just popping up in one area. 

Observe Plant Health – Weeds may change the composition of the soil by feeding heavily on nutrients present in the ground, which will in turn affect other plants in the area. If some of the other plants that you’ve had in your garden for awhile suddenly take a turn for the worst – yet there’s new ones doing just fine – it may be a sign that the weeds are sucking the soil dry. 

Don’t Ignore Your Lawn – A well kept lawn is often the pride of many homeowners, particularly as a well maintained lawn is often a great deterrent for weeds, particularly those that are hard to distinguish from your turf species of choice. When hunting for weeds, keep an eye out for any turf discolouration or bare patches. 

In simple terms, the difference between weeds and plants is that a weed is essentially a plant growing where you don’t want it to. In fact, there are a number of plants that pretty much always fall into the category of weeds, either for their vigorous growth and ability to take over or the ability to keep regrowing.

Although healthy soil is one of the most effective ways to proactively fend off pests and diseases, tackling weeds is a whole other story. Using chemicals on veggie patches or homes with pets is a big no-no – so what’s the alternative?

Introducing A Safer Way To Spray

Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife. 

The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production. 

If you’re on the hunt for a weed killer that’s safe to use around pets or kids, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely – check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.