Broadleaf weeds are notoriously difficult to get rid of. They’re generally very hardy and spread easily.
To treat them, it’s important to know the type of weed you’re dealing with to get the best broadleaf weed killer available.
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Broadleaf Weed Identification
Once you know what to look for, broadleaf weeds are pretty easy to identify. Most have nodes with small clusters of wide, flat leaves with netlike veins. Some have bright, showy flowers. They’re usually easy to spot because they don’t look anything like the grass in your lawn.
Not all broadleaf weeds are the same. To properly get rid of them, you have to identify the specific weed you’re dealing with.
Some broadleaf weeds are annuals. They grow from seed, flower, produce more seeds, and die every year. Broadleaf weeds are further classified by season. Some sprout in the fall, germinate in the winter and die before summer. Others sprout in the spring, thrive through the summer, and are dead before the winter cold moves in.
Perennial weeds live longer than two years. Most of them don’t grow from seeds but rather tubers, bulbs, stolons, or rhizomes. These weeks are the most difficult to control. They’re difficult to kill and tend to spread quickly.
Dandelions are probably the most recognizable broadleaf weed. They’re summer perennials which means they sprout in the spring as the yellow flowers we’re all familiar with. The flowers turn into the puffy white parachute-like seeds that are spread around by the wind.
If you look at the leaves of a dandelion, you’ll see a circular cluster radiating from the stem of the plant. These are classic broadleaf leaves. They’re flat with net-like veins and are easy to spot in the surrounding grass.
The 10 Best Broadleaf Weed Killers For Lawns & Grass Safe
Because some broadleaf weeds are particularly hard to destroy, it’s important to use the best broadleaf weed killer available for your lawn. To help you out, we found 10 of the best products out there.
|Pictures||Broadleaf Weed Killers||Visible Results||Links|
|Southern Ag Amine 24-D Weed Killer||2 weeks|
|Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns||2-3 days|
|Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns||24 hours|
|Spectracide Weed & Feed||3 weeks|
|Tenacity Turf Herbicide||2-3 weeks|
|Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action Weed Killer & Preventer||1-2 weeks|
|Gordon’s SpeedZone Lawn Weed Killer||24 hours|
|Bonide 061 Weed Killer Concentrate||3 days|
|VPG Fertilome 803064 Weed-Free Zone||1-2 days|
|Compare-N-Save 2-4-D Amine Broadleaf Weed Killer||1-2 weeks|
Broadleaf Weed Killer Reviewed
1. Southern Ag Amine 24-D Weed Killer
This selective broadleaf weed control formula from Southern Ag can be used just about anywhere. It’s safe for your home lawn as well as cemeteries, parks, pastures, golf courses, and rangeland.
You can use this weed killer on a variety of different broadleaf plants without worrying about damaging the grass. It’s effective against everything from chicory to nettles to ragweed. A full list is available on the label.
There are two sizes available, 32 ounces and 128 ounces, so you can choose the right amount depending on the ground you have to cover. You only need to use one to four pints per acre so a single bottle should last you a really long time.
For best results, use a low-pressure sprayer with a fan-type nozzle for application, and be patient! It may take as long as two weeks or so to see results.
2. Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns
Ortho Nutsedge is a great choice for your lawn. It kills over 50 tough broadleaf leaves, including dandelions, nutsedge, and redroot, and it’s safe to use on northern and southern turfgrasses.
One of the things we like about this one is that it’s ready to use – you don’t need to worry about pre-mixing or even getting a container for spraying. Just hook it up to your garden hose, put on your protective gear, and get started spraying.
For best results, apply to the weed during a period of active growth but before they reach three inches high. This formula is rainproof in two hours. For stubborn, hard-to-kill weeds, an additional application may be required throughout the season.
A single 32-ounce bottle covers about 4,000 to 5,000 square feet which is a pretty decent-sized area. Results can be seen in as little as two days but may take a week or more.
3. Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns
Ortho Weed B Gon kills clover, dandelions, and over 250 other broadleaf weeds. When used correctly, it’s guaranteed not to harm your grass and can be used on many northern and southern lawns.
Unlike some other weed killers that can take weeks to see results, this product delivers results in hours, depending on the weed. Dandelions, for example, are gone within a few hours though some weeds may require an additional application. Plus, it kills weeds to the root which means they’re unlikely to return.
This 32-ounce bottle covers up to 16,000 square feet. It’s perfect for spot treatments, too. Spray what you want, when you want, and save the rest for later. For best results, attach the sprayer directly to your garden hose and apply during periods of active growth. It’s rainproof after one hour.
4. Spectracide Weed & Feed
The best thing about this 20 percent nitrogen formula from Spectracide is that it kills most broadleaf weeds while feeding your lawn at the same time. Control dandelion, clover, knotweed, and more while helping your grass grow greener and healthier.
This formula comes in a 32-ounce bottle complete with sprayer. Just attach it to your hose, flip the sprayer to open, and you’re ready to apply. One bottle covers up to 7,500 square feet and multipacks of six are available for anyone who likes to order in bulk.
For best results, apply during an active growing period. It’s a good idea to make sure your lawn is thoroughly watered one or two days before but dry for at least 24 hours the day of application. Wait three weeks to give it a chance to work. Then, spot treat anything that survived the initial application.
5. Tenacity Turf Herbicide
This product from Tenacity is a little different than typical spray-on weed killers. It can be applied as either a pre or post-emergent treatment for more than 46 types of broadleaf weed and grasses. This gives you a lot of control over the weeds in your yard.
The active ingredient in this weed killer is mesotrione. Mesotrione is based on a chemical in bottlebrush plants that works by inhibiting photosynthesis. Whether you apply it before or after the weeds come through the soil, it gets absorbed through the roots and makes its way through the whole plant.
Note that the date printed on the bottle is not the expiration date but rather the manufacturing date. This is important to know because this product has a shelf life of between five and eight years so it may be the last weed killer you ever need to buy. Just keep it out of extreme temperatures and direct sunlight and you’re good to go.
6. Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action Weed Killer & Preventer
Scott’s is a well-known brand when it comes to lawn care and this Triple Action Weed Killer and Preventer is a great example of why. It doesn’t just kill and prevent weeds, it also helps to feed the grass, leaving you with a great-looking lawn.
This product prevents and kills a variety of invaders, including clover and dandelions. It prevents crabgrass for up to four months when used as directed. It’s formulated for use on northern lawns like Fine Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass.
Apply these granules using a Scotts spreader. The back of the bag tells you the setting to use depending on whether you have a broadcast, drop, or Wizz model. If you need help figuring out how much to apply, use the My Lawn app on your smartphone to get the right answer fast.
7. Gordon’s SpeedZone Lawn Weed Killer
If you’re looking for a broadleaf weed killer that gives you visible results in hours, take a look at this formula from Gordon. It’s so effective that your weeds will be gone and your lawn will be ready to reseed in only two weeks.
Use a sprayer to apply this to your lawn, roughly every six to eight weeks during the spring and summer. It won’t harm your grass and can be used in a variety of different places, like cemeteries, recreation areas, golf courses, athletic fields, and more.
One 20-ounce bottle covers between 14,000 and 18,000 square feet so this is a good choice for someone with a lot of land to cover. Note that some weeds take a little longer to get results, between seven and 14 days.
8. Bonide 061 Weed Killer Concentrate
This weed killer from Bonide works against clover, wild violet, oxalis, dandelions, Creeping Charlie, and more than 100 other tough-to-kill weeds but doesn’t damage your grass when used as directed.
One of the best things about this weed killer is that it gets results fast. It begins working overnight and you don’t have to worry about bad weather – it’s rainproof in only a few hours. For best results, the manufacturer recommends not mowing your lawn for one or two days after application.
This formula comes in a concentrate that you mix with water and then apply using a sprayer. Be sure to pay close attention to the details mixing instructions on the label. The 16-ounce bottle should last quite a while and covers up to 5,000 square feet in all.
9. VPG Fertilome 803064 Weed-Free Zone
This weed killer from VPG Fertilome is effective against a variety of weeds, including ground ivy, chickweed, clover, thistle, and more. It provides proven cool weather performance and should only be used when temperatures are below 85 degrees F.
One of the best things about this product is that you start to see results in a matter of hours with death occurring within seven to 10 days. For best results, apply when the weeds are young and actively growing. Full application instructions are included on the label.
This is a great choice if you have a lot of ground to cover. The 32-ounce bottle of concentrated weed killer covers anywhere from 16,000 to 43,000 square feet depending on whether you’re doing spot treatment or treating an entire lawn.
10. Compare-N-Save 2-4-D Amine Broadleaf Weed Killer
This affordable weed killer is made for controlling broadleaf weeds and brush in small grain pastures and rangelands. You can use it in non-crop areas, too, like ornamental grass, ditches, banks, golf courses, and along fences.
Use this formula to control hard-to-kill weeds like thistle, wild garlic, and wild onions. For best results, broadcast spray during warm weather when weeds are actively growing.
The environment should be a bit moist, too. Application during a drought is not likely to deliver good results. Detailed application instructions are included on the bottle. You can also use this formula to kill problem trees but it has to be injected.
How long this bottle lasts depends on how you’re using it. Per the instructions, you only need to use about three tablespoons to mix the concentrate for general application. For very stubborn weeds, you may need to use as much as 4.5 tablespoons.
When is the Best Time to Apply Broadleaf Weed Killer?
When to apply broadleaf weed killers depends on the type of weed you’re dealing with and whether you’re treating them pre or post-emergently.
Treating the weeds post-emergently means that they’re already sprouted and are visible above ground.
In this case, the best time to apply a weed killer is when the weeds are actively growing. That’s why it’s important to identify what type of weed you’re dealing with before you develop a strategy for getting rid of them.
As we mentioned, it’s important to choose the right kind of broadleaf weed killer. This ensures that the treatment is not only powerful enough to kill the invading plants but will also not hurt the rest of your lawn.
The best time of year to apply broadleaf weed killer is in the early spring and fall, depending on when the weed is most active. Again, you need to know the type of weed you’re dealing with to know for sure.
All that said, there’s one more thing to keep in mind. It’s important not to apply post-emergent weed killers in weather that’s too hot or dry. In drought conditions, the grass will be too dry and the herbicide could cause damage that wouldn’t occur in more favorable conditions.
Another strategy is to try to prevent the leaves before they appear. In this case, you should use a pre-emergence weed killer. Again, you have to know the type of weed you’re dealing with so you know when it’s due to emerge.
Pre-emergent weed killers are most effective on annual weeds. One reason for this is because you probably already know what’s going to be popping up on your lawn every year so you can figure out the best way to deal with it ahead of time.
It’s important to apply pre-emergent weed killers before the weeds begin to germinate. For perennials, it’s important to know the growing pattern of the weed so you know when to apply the weed killer.
For example, crabgrass is considered a summer annual which means it germinates in the spring and winter. So, weed killers should be applied in early spring. Annuals like chickweed sprout in the fall so pre-emergent treatment should be applied in late summer.
It’s important to note that pre-emergent weed killers will not work once you can already see the weeds. At that point, it’s too late and you’ll need to switch to a post-emergent weed killer.
How to Apply Broadleaf Weed Killer?
Application depends on whether you’re using a granular or liquid weed killer.
Granular weed killers are best for when you need a broad application, like if you want to cover your whole lawn or an entire pasture. When using granular weed killers, it’s important to have the right equipment.
At a minimum, you will need a spreader. There is a variety of them available. For smaller areas, hand-held ones are fine. If you’re covering a big area, it’s probably better to use one with wheels to make sure you’re spreading the granules evenly.
Once the granules are applied, you have to water them to release the weed killer into the ground for it to be effective. You can use a hose or sprinkler system but rain is just as effective if the timing is right.
Liquid weed killers can be a little tricky. Generally, there are two kinds to choose from.
The first option is a liquid concentrate. These kinds of products have to be mixed with water and then applied using a sprayer. In most cases, the manufacturer includes a specific ratio for how much of the concentrate you have to use depending on the weed and where you’re applying it.
Another option that is a little more convenient is a ready-to-use spray. Typically, these come in a bottle that had a nozzle for a garden hose attached. All you have to do is screw in the hose, turn on the water, and you’re ready to go.
Which of these is better for you depends on where you’re applying the weed killer. You can only use a ready-to-use spray in an area that you can reach with your garden hose so, if you have a particularly large area to cover, you might want to consider using concentrate and a portable sprayer.
Concentrated weed killers are also a good choice if you have weeds that are particularly difficult to get rid of. If you’ve tried other things and they haven’t worked, a concentrate may be the way to go.
Why? Because manufacturers often give you an option to mix a stronger weed killer if you’re dealing with something that’s particularly stubborn. While this might not always be necessary, it is a nice option to have.
Finally, concentrates are often a better value. A lot of these products are available in large 32-ounce bottles. Since you’re only using a few tablespoons at a time, these can last quite a while.
All that said, please remember that every product is different. It’s very important to follow the directions that are included with the product that you choose.
Safety is also really important when it comes to applying weed killers, particularly liquids and sprays because there’s always a chance they can come in contact with your face or skin.
Every product should have safety instructions located on the label. Most of the time, you’ll be asked to wear gloves, eye protection, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
While all of the products that we’ve chosen are effective and come highly recommended, our pick for the best broadleaf weed killer is Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns.
We like that this one starts working within hours and that it’s effective on more than 250 different types of broadleaf weeds. It’s a safe bet that it’ll take care of whatever invading plant you’re dealing with.
Although liquid concentrates have a lot of benefits, Ortho Weed B Gon is really easy to apply. All you have to do is attach your garden hose and you’re ready to go.
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