Dandelions are some of the most difficult weeds to remove. They’re extremely efficient at draining away nutrients from grass and other plants, with root systems that can extend up to more than a foot below the soil. Tenacious and troublesome, they can regrow themselves from a small taproot that you can easily overlook.
But like all weeds, they’re susceptible to herbicides; you just need to find the right one. Since they’re stubborn growers, you need to be looking for the best dandelion killer that can kill the growth to the root.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve collected the best dandelion killers on the market. This guide will feature a detailed comparison of these dandelion killers, advice on how to use them for maximum effect, and things to keep in mind when buying one.
If you’re looking for an effective herbicide to get rid of this persistent plant, this is the article for you.
- The 7 Best Dandelion Killer Brands
- Ortho Weed B Gon
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed And Grass Killer
- Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
- Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed
- Scotts Liquid Plus 2 Weed Control
- Natria 706170A Ready-to-Use Grass & Weed Killer
- Bonide Products 894 109405 Weed Killer
- What To Keep In Mind When Choosing The Best Dandelion Killer For Lawns
The 7 Best Dandelion Killer Brands
These products are effective at getting rid of dandelions, but each has its own mechanism of action that gives you a lot of options on how to attack the growths in your garden or lawn.
Ortho Weed B Gon is a broadleaf weed killer that targets clovers, thistles, chickweeds, and dandelions. It’s especially effective for blanket spraying on sizable areas since it won’t harm smaller plants or turf, which makes it ideal for big lawns.
There are two ways you can apply Ortho: either by spot-spraying with a wand or sprayer on particularly large clusters of dandelions or by blanket-spraying the entire area until it’s fully covered. Avoid spraying on areas with large blooms as the formula can stunt their growth.
Weed B Gon is perfect when used on dandelions because it’s a post-emergent herbicide. It works better on already growing weeds since the solution can penetrate the plant right down to the root, removing it’s access to the nutrients.
One of the active ingredients of Weed B Gon is Dimethylamine Salt, or otherwise known as 2,4-D. It has a fast mode of action by causing the tissues in the plant that carry water and other nutrients to divide and grow without stopping, eventually killing the plant.
It also has a relatively short half-life of 1-14 days, so you don’t have to worry about soil contamination after you’ve finished applying Weed B Gon. It’s naturally broken down by the bacteria in the soil, and it’s non-toxic to small insects such as honeybees, which makes it ideal for application on areas like bee farms.
Weed B Gon settles into dandelions once sprayed, reaching into their root system within hours. It eventually causes the plant to dry up and die, allowing you to remove them by hand or mix them into the mulch of the soil. You can expect visible results within 24 to 48 hours, but complete removal may take two to three weeks.
This product is best suited to spot-spraying on growths on your lawn, but it also works in areas like pavements, fences, brick or concrete pathways, and large gardens. It’s better to spot-spray areas rather than blanket-spraying them since the formula won’t affect germinating dandelions.
As a post-germinating herbicide, you may need to reapply Weed B Gon several times to make sure that all dandelions are thoroughly saturated with the formula. Sometimes, it’s advised that you let the dandelions grow a little bit so they develop enough surface areas for this broadleaf killer to target them effectively.
With a reliable method of removing dandelions while ensuring that they won’t regrow, Weed B Gon is the best weed killer for dandelions that any homeowner can use.
Green Gobbler is an organic herbicide that targets any kind of weed but excels at targeting broadleaf growths like dandelions. Since the active ingredient is derived from a natural component, you can safely use it in most commercial and residential areas without worrying about harming the flora and fauna.
The best way to apply Green Gobbler is via spot-spraying since the formula doesn’t discriminate between plants and weeds. You can use blanket spraying in areas that are dense or don’t have other greenery that you want to keep. Avoid applying during wet weather since this herbicide needs time to settle inside the dandelion before it works.
This herbicide is ideal for dandelions since they often grow in areas like home lawns or gardens, which see a lot of foot traffic or contain delicate growths. The organic active ingredients ensure that the weeds die harming no people or animals crossing the area after application and avoids affecting the microorganisms in the soil.
The active ingredient in Green Gobbler is a highly acidic concentrate of vinegar and corn, which makes it a great product to use on home gardens, farms, and other small-to-medium-sized plots and areas. Four times stronger than your average table vinegar, you can also dilute the concentrate if you want to avoid over-saturating your formula.
Green Gobbler is also certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for home and agricultural use. It has a short half-life and doesn’t affect the chemical or physical composition of other plants when applied correctly. The flexibility provided by diluting the concentrate also makes this product compatible with almost all gardens.
After spraying this product on weeds (ideally on a sunny day), the formula travels through their root and nutrient systems. The acetic acid in the vinegar concentrate then dissolves the plant from the inside, causing it to wilt and die within three to seven days. You can expect to see visible results within 12 to 24 hours.
Green Gobbler is a post-emergent herbicide, so you need to apply it to the already growing or fully grown dandelions. Applying it on germinating weeds will have no effect and possibly kill your other plants.
If you want a safer alternative to chemical-based herbicides, Green Gobbler is your best pick. Not only is it an effective post-emergent herbicide for stubborn weeds like dandelions, but it gets rid of them without compromising the safety of everyone who passes by or makes use of the area after application.
Espoma is a pre-emergent herbicide that prevents weeds from taking root in the soil before they can fully grow. It’s granulated for easy handling and application and works well in dry or wet conditions.
Use Espoma on lawns that have been prepared for planting. Apply a generous layer of the solution on lawns and gardens and a light layer on vegetable or ornamental plots. Make sure the soil is dry during application and use a broadcast or drop spreader to help prevent striping. For best results, lightly water the top layer to make sure the formula sinks into the soil.
As a pre-emergent herbicide, Espoma can easily kill any germinating weeds such as dandelions on prepared ground. This is useful if you suspect that a neighboring plot (or your neighbor’s plot) has blown dandelion seeds into your area since they take root quickly.
Espoma’s active ingredient is corn gluten meal, a by-product of corn milling. It’s a popular agricultural herbicide used by many farmers since it also contains nitrogen, which helps improve soil quality and plant growth. Since it’s easy to produce, it’s also one of the cheapest organic herbicides you can buy.
Corn gluten removes a weed’s ability to create a root network, cutting off its access to nutrients in the soil. Without nutrient access, weeds won’t be able to grow at all. This works especially well in hot weather where the soil is dry since the weeds can’t gain access to water to grow.
Unlike liquid herbicides, the granulated form of Espoma allows it to stick around the soil for longer periods. After application, give the plot three days to one week for the formula to settle or allow rainwater to saturate the soil after 24 hours. The additional nitrogen will feed the microbes that enrich the soil, helping future plant growth.
For a pre-emptive strategy to getting rid of dandelions before they grow, Espoma is the best product that you can try. It’s an efficient and environmentally friendly method of dandelion control, with the added benefit of helping fertilize the soil for any future plants that you want to grow.
A herbicide and fertilizer in one, Scotts Turf Builder is a post-emergent product that can kill most grassy weeds and broadleaf growths like dandelions. Unlike most weed killers, it’s used on damp or wet areas, which are perfect for locations that see a lot of rain.
Scotts Turf Builder is best used on wet areas that have been sprayed or rained on in the last 20 minutes. It’s generally advised that you apply it liberally through an entire area instead of spot application since the fertilizer content can cause uneven growth. But if your area is relatively lush, spot application to get rid of weed patches works fine.
This herbicide works well for dandelion control because it can kill the growth right down to the roots AND replenish the nutrients that it sucked up while it grew. It’s a powerful one-two combination that can quickly take down new infestations and thicken your lawn.
The active ingredient in Scotts Turf is also 2,4-D. This puts it on par with the best herbicides on the market as it’s a fast-acting and effective agent that can reliably kill most weeds. It also doesn’t linger after application, which decreases the risk towards other flora and fauna in the area.
However, a good part of this product comprises fertilizer. It works by enriching the existing root systems of your grass, which leaves less room for any future weeds to grow. By thickening your lawn, it makes sure that the only plants that are getting any nutrients are the ones that you’ve planted yourself.
It’s important to keep in mind that applying this product to wet areas is necessary! The granulated product must stick to the leaves. If you use this on dry areas, the product will just sink into the soil instead of being absorbed into the plants. It’ll still work, but there’s a very noticeable dip in performance.
Scotts Turf Builder is an excellent herbicide to use on lawns or gardens that need to be watered thoroughly, such as bluegrass or ornamental plants. It gets rid of any existing weeds like dandelions, and it helps guard the area against future growths.
An effective spot-spray herbicide, Scotts Liquid Turf Builder is the budget-friendly option for the previous product. If you have a smaller area that needs dandelion control, this is the product for you.
Use Scott Liquid Turf on any isolated patches of dandelions, or small-to-medium-sized growths of weed. It’s a post-emergent herbicide, so it’s best to spray it on any fully grown dandelions. Since it can target broadleaf growths as well, be careful when spraying it around plants like sunflowers.
It’s great to use against dandelions because it’s an inexpensive and effective way to get rid of them without having to cover your entire lawn. While you can still blanket spray a small area, the best use of this product is to saturate the dandelion or the patch thoroughly. You can then pull them out by hand once they dry, or mix them into the mulch of the soil.
Like most Scotts herbicides, this product uses 2,4-D as its active ingredient. While it’s one of the most effective herbicides, you should also be careful when applying it to areas where people or pets pass by. It’s toxic in concentrated amounts but fortunately doesn’t stay on long after application.
Scotts Liquid Turf also includes some nitrogen in the solution. Nitrogen is an essential compound that helps improve soil quality, which can positively affect the growth of your plants. Not only does this ensure that the rest of the area you sprayed gets healthier, but it also replaces the lost nutrients that the dandelion used up while it was growing.
As a post-emergent herbicide, you may need several reapplications of this product to ensure that all weeds get affected. It’s best to wait until most of them have grown before application because applying it before that point will yield poorer results.
If you’re looking for a quick solution to some small dandelions on your lawn, then choose Scotts Liquid Turf Builder. It’s a cost-effective solution for many small households that need dandelion control, acting as both a weed killer and plant fertilizer at the same time.
Natria works a little differently than other products on this list, as you can use it as both a pre and post-emergent herbicide. It’s equally effective when spot or blanket sprayed, with a natural base compound that avoids staining.
Just use the ready-to-spray formula on any patches of dandelions or weeds, soaking the growths thoroughly. Since you can apply it any time of the year, you can use this product on any weeds as soon as you notice them growing. You can also blanket spray prepared plots to reduce the likelihood of any weeds taking root in them.
Natria works well against dandelions since the herbicides in the product strip away the weed’s ability to absorb nutrients and protect itself from outside elements. This causes the weed to shrivel up and die when fully grown, or stop the further root formations if it’s still germinating.
The active ingredients of Natria are all derived from natural components, which lessens that chance that you’ll experience side effects like allergic reactions while using it. Keep in mind that the active ingredients are still quite strong, so you should keep other people and pets away for an hour after application.
Combined with the ready-to-use spray bottle, this makes Natria a great pick for small vegetable patches, mulched beds, or medium-sized lawns. Since you can choose between spot spraying or blanket spraying the areas, this gives you a lot of leeway on how you go about your dandelion control.
While you can use Natria in almost any kind of weather, you can get the best results by using it on a sunny day. This ensures that the weeds will absorb the formula faster so you see results sooner. You may need extra applications on more stubborn weeds like zoysia grass, but you can generally expect to see visible results within 12 to 24 hours.
For a simple and effective way to spot-spray your dandelions, Natria is an excellent choice. It’s a relatively inexpensive solution that can work well in almost any kind of garden or lawn and acts quickly and efficiently to get rid of most dandelions or weeds.
A powerful blanket post-emergent herbicide, Bonide Weed Beater is specially formulated to work in areas that experience long wet seasons. Waterproof after a few hours, it can get rid of dandelions, broadleaf weeds, and other unwanted greenery without harming your turf.
Just mix the amount you need via the instructions on the container, then use either a wand, hose, or spot sprayer to apply to the desired area. For best results, spray during dry and hot conditions. The formula is rainproof by the time it completely dries, so you can expect to see results quickly.
Bonide is effective against dandelions since it’s applied during the sweet spot after dandelions grow but before they get the chance to release their seed pods. In dry and hot weather, dandelions are most likely to go for any source of moisture they can use, which is where applying Bonide comes in.
The active ingredients in Bonide are a mixture of 2,4-D and it’s variants. These compounds make for a powerful “Trimec” formula that can quickly get rid of most broadleaf weeds from turf, and other vegetation from patios and walkways.
Able to get rid of over 200 different kinds of weeds, this formula is best suited for large lawns or big ornamental gardens. Since it can kill weeds without disrupting the soil quality or affecting planted grass, it’s an efficient way to keep a manicured lawn.
Keep in mind that the triple-dose of 2,4-D can be very dangerous to people and animals, so you should always wait for the product to dry before letting them pass through. It doesn’t have a long half-life, so the area is relatively safe 12 hours after application. For more stubborn grasses like oxalis, you might need multiple applications to get rid of them completely.
Since you can dilute the formula, this herbicide works well either spot sprayed or blanket sprayed. A blanket application may take longer to dry, but it ensures that your lawn remains dandelion free for longer. Spot applications are more precise, which can help stretch out your supply of Bonide.
What To Keep In Mind When Choosing The Best Dandelion Killer For Lawns
The best dandelion killer can still fail if you’re careless about how you apply it or if you pick the wrong product. To get the most out of your herbicide, here are some ways you can use it more effectively.
Post-Emergent Brands vs Pre-Emergent Brands
Dandelion killers (or any herbicides) come in two forms: post-emergent and pre-emergent. Each one has its own advantages and works better than the other in very specific situations.
Post-emergent herbicides are best used when the dandelions have already grown. While you can manually remove them, some of their root systems can still survive and regrow the weed after you have pulled it.
Pre-emergent herbicides are best when you’re dealing with a plot that you haven’t seeded or sodded yet, but you suspect may contain dandelion seeds. Since these products also contain nitrogen or fertilizers, you not only prevent unwanted weeds but kick-start the growth of the greenery that you want to plant.
Spot-Spraying vs Blanket Application
Some products can be spot-sprayed over a specific dandelion or patch of weeds, while others work best when applied over the entire area. Here are a few questions that can help you decide which one to use can include:
How many dandelions have already grown?
How large is the area that you need to weed out?
Are there any sensitive plants that you need to weed around?
Is the area of application an ornamental plot or a vegetable garden?
How much herbicide do you have to work with?
Keeping these questions in mind can help you decide which method of application is the most effective for your area.
Herbicides use two kinds of active ingredients, which can drastically affect the health of your lawn.
Synthetics: chemical mixes like 2,4-D and other industrial herbicides
Organics: natural byproducts or extracts
While the specific benefits can vary from product to product, the general differences between them are their side effects to the user or environment, and the speed at which they work.
Synthetic formulas act quickly, but they can be toxic to animals and people even in negligible quantities. You’re less likely to suffer side effects from using organics, but they take longer to work.
Weather During Application
Some dandelion killers work better in cold or wet conditions since they’re waterproof or have a different method of action to kill weeds. Others work best in hot and dry conditions when dandelions absorb moisture faster. Checking what weather is compatible with your product is one of the major factors that will affect how well it will perform.
Liquid dandelion killers work better in hot weather, since they get absorbed by the weed quickly. Granulated dandelion killers are better in wetter conditions since they need the moisture to stick to broadleaves.
How Much Foot Traffic Is There In The Area
Most herbicides are toxic upon skin contact or when you inhale the fumes or moisture. It’s generally advised that you leave any area that you spray with dandelion killers alone for a few hours, or at least until the solution completely dries. But for areas that see a lot of foot traffic, this might be a little difficult.
If you are applying your dandelion killer on a well-traveled area, always put up warnings or signs that you’re applying herbicide to it. This reduces the likelihood that any children or pets can stray there accidentally and suffer from toxin exposure.
Dandelions are some of the most troublesome weeds any gardener can come across. If you don’t deal with them immediately, they can be a colossal headache to remove.
For the best blanket-sprayed dandelion killer that you can use, we recommend Ortho Weed B Gon. If you’re looking for a natural formula that can get rid of stubborn growths, few can do it better than Green Gobbler. And if you want to get rid of dandelions before they even grow, choose Espoma Weed Preventer.
Even with the best dandelion killer, you should always strive to be vigilant and thorough in making sure that dandelions don’t take root in your lawn. Thankfully, if you combine effective and consistent product application, proper lawn maintenance, and close monitoring of your plants, you can expect a dandelion-free area for seasons to come.