difference between weeds and plants

Difference between weeds and plants

What is the difference between a weed and a plant?

Plants which are intentionally grown in fields and gardens are called cultivated plants. All other plants which are not supposed to be there and grow unwanted, are called weeds. A weed is therefore a plant growing “in the wrong place”.

A plant which you might cultivate in your garden can become a weed if it escapes to a farmer’s field – don’t leave the flower-heads to set seed.

Some weeds cause harm:-

  • Some are parasitic on crops.
  • Some are poisonous to cattle and sheep.
  • Some are unpalatable or even cause taints in milk or meat.
  • Some can cause a problems to animals, e.g. by getting into sheep’s wool and be expensive to remove. Some thorns or spines can injure animals.
  • Some interfere with farm machinery, getting tangled in the works.
  • Some reduce the value of the crop (eg. deadly nightshade in peas, wild oats in cereals)
  • Some are a host for pests and diseases.
  • Some block drainage and irrigation channels.
  • Some grow on non-agricultural land like roadsides and embankments and need cutting down.


  • ? You could record garden “escapes” or oilseed rape plants along road verges,

What is the difference between a weed and a plant?

How do you tell the difference between plants and weeds?

Many people while gardening mistaken plants for weeds. Recently a neighbour of mine replanted a weed thinking it was mint.

How do you tell the difference between plants and weeds?

I love this question because it’s so true and I can’t wait to read the outcomes. I am a complete green thumb when it comes to any sort of gardening, but love to have a little greenery on my balcony and courtyard.

I’m sure I’m very guilty of culling plants thinking that they’re weeds.

I do try and search for information online – to see whether I can match pictures but to be absolutely honest, I’m completely guessing what is or isn’t a weed. Unless it’s something I’ve planted, everything else that grows gets pulled out.

I love growing (or more to the point trying to grow my own basil) and unfortunately have not been able to hit the jackpot for anything more successful than a 3-4 week time span.

I’ve come back from holidays and I actually now have something growing in my basil pot but it doesn’t really look like basil nor does it feel like basil. It has small buds and flowers but the leaves are furry (the picture is attached in the likelihood anyone has any feedback) !

So . in short, I generally pull everything out however, I’ve decided with this little fellow which has taken up residence in my basil pot, to keep it growing.

It really depends on what you consider to be a weed. It is usually defined as an invasive species that takes up nutrients and space from plants you would rather have there. However, what many consider a weed is really just a very adaptive and resilient plant, many of which have medicinal and culinary properties, dandelion being a prime example. So, it really depends on how you look at it, like so many things in life. 🙂