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Which weed killer that won’t kill grass is best?

Weeds in the yard are a major problem — they steal much-needed resources, such as nutrients in the soil and water from the grass. If you’re trying to get rid of weeds in your yard, you need a good weed killer that kills them without harming the grass. One of the best weed killers is Ortho Weed B Gon because it targets specific problem areas and easily kills weeds.

What to know before you buy weed killer that won’t kill grass

Types of weed killer

There are several types of weed killers, including those labeled as selective and nonselective.

Nonselective ones don’t differentiate between grass, weeds or other plants, so they end up killing anything they come into contact with. Although you can use a nonselective weed killer to target unwanted growth, you need to do so carefully to avoid accidental contact.

Selective weed killers are ones that only target specific types of plants or weeds. When looking for one that’s safe for the rest of your lawn, choose a selective variant.

Even selective weed killers are different from each other. Some target weeds before they start growing, while others get rid of those that are already showing above ground. Still others get absorbed into the dirt or roots of certain plants and kill them that way.

Before choosing any weed killer, determine what kinds of weeds you have. Otherwise, you could end up using something that doesn’t solve your problem.


Some weed killers, especially those that are highly concentrated, require you to add water to dilute them before use. If you don’t dilute the solution first, it could cause damage to grass or flowers.

Other weed killers are ready to use immediately and can be applied directly on an area. If you’re covering a large area, get a spreader. This device can distribute the weed killer more evenly and conveniently than if you were to do it by hand.


Generally, the best time to apply weed killer is when the temperature is between 40 and 90 degrees. In most regions, this means you can use it in spring, summer or fall. If you need to get rid of weeds in more extreme temperatures, look for a weed killer that doesn’t have heat restrictions.

You can also use a weed eater instead of weed killer. Weed eaters work well in smaller areas or when you’re concerned about sudden temperature changes.

What to look for in a quality weed killer that won’t kill grass


Weed killers that won’t kill grass come in organic and nonorganic formulas. Organic ones are formulated with natural ingredients and are usually nontoxic, making them safe for kids and pets. Common ingredients include clove oil, vinegar, salt and essential oils.

Nonorganic selective weed killers contain many different chemicals and phenoxy herbicides, including dicamba, clopyralid and mecoprop-P. These can be dangerous if ingested and should be used away from animals and children.

While both types of weed killer work, nonorganic ones are often fast-acting. Some are also more effective at getting rid of and preventing weeds, even before they show above ground.

Avoid getting any weed killer that features glyphosate as a key ingredient since this is mainly for nonselective ones and can kill grass and other plants.


Liquid: With a liquid option, you can either spray it throughout the yard or directly apply it to problem areas. While some need to be diluted, others come with a spray nozzle and are ready to use.

Granular: Granular or powder types are a little less common but still effective. These usually contain chemicals or other ingredients that let them stick to grass without hurting it. They’re often coated with herbicides but can also come in natural formulas.

Most granular weed killers come as part of weed and feed mixtures. These let you kill weeds and plant grass at the same time, so they’re ideal for yards with persistent weeds throughout.


Liquid weed killers that won’t kill grass come in different sizes, ranging from around 32 ounces to several gallons. For bigger yards, a gallon or so is recommended to provide maximum coverage. If you only need to get rid of weeds in a small area, choose a smaller size.

With granular or powder options, expect to find bags that weigh anywhere from 5-10 pounds to upward of 40 pounds. If you use a weed spreader to apply this type of weed killer, choose a larger bag.

How much you can expect to spend on weed killer that won’t kill grass

For a standard-size yard, expect to spend $12-$50. Larger containers or more specialty options go for $50-$80.

Weed killer that won’t kill grass FAQ

Can weed killers go bad?

A. When properly stored in a cool, dry place, weed killer should last for several years. However, its effectiveness will start to degrade over time.

How soon will my weed killer start to work?

A. This depends on the type you have. Many contact weed killers, including some granular options, start to work within a few hours. If yours needs to be absorbed by the roots of the weeds, it could take three to four days to see the effects. Some weed killers require multiple subsequent applications before they work, meaning it could take two to three weeks.

What’s the best weed killer that won’t kill grass to buy?

Top weed killer that won’t kill grass

Ortho Weed B Gon

Ortho Weed B Gon

What you need to know: This liquid weed killer is safe for most lawns and plants and is perfect for targeting specific areas.

What you’ll love: It can kill more than 250 weeds directly at the roots. It’s also resistant to water after the first hour, so you don’t need to worry about it losing its effectiveness. The container the weed killer comes in is 32 fluid ounces.

What you should consider: It doesn’t come with a spray nozzle; it will need to be purchased separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top weed killer that won’t kill grass for the money

Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine Weed Killer

Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine Weed Killer

What you need to know: Capable of covering over 1,000 square feet with only a few tablespoons, this weed killer targets actively growing weeds.

What you’ll love: This liquid weed killer lasts a long time since you dilute it with water before application. It’s best for pastures, lawns and ornamental turf, but it also works well on broad-leaved weeds and poison ivy.

What you should consider: It takes from a few days to weeks to take effect.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pennington UltraGreen Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer

Pennington UltraGreen Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer

What you need to know: This granular weed killer and fertilizer is specifically formulated to help southern and northern grass grow and kill over 250 broad-leaved weeds.

What you’ll love: It can cover up to 5,000 square feet and is packed with fast-acting nitrogen to encourage lush grass growth. 

What you should consider: It’s not as powerful as more dedicated weed killers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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