Best Dandelion Killers For Lawns And Gardens

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Many homeowners keep their yard dandelion-free by using quick and convenient dandelion killers, like the ones I review in this guide.

By sticking around to the end, you’ll have the insider knowledge you need to eradicate those pesky weeds fast before they ruin the look of your lawn and garden!

Top Things We Look For:

ApplicationDoesn’t Require Extra Equipment
EradicationSafe to use around other plants
TimeMinimal applications per month
SafetyAvoids use of dangerous chemicals for children and pets

Detailed List Of The Best Dandelion Killers

1. Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns

The Bottom Line

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns is our top pick because it provides one of the easiest application methods that allow the dandelion killer to reach and kill roots fast. This brand is ideal for homeowners with more lawn than planter beds, who want to keep dandelions at bay with less effort.

The Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Concentrate makes quick work of dandelions by just attaching to container to your hose and spraying. The no mixing and no fuss formula soaks into your lawn for weed-free expanses your neighbors will envy.

What We Like

  • The concentrate mixes automatically with the hose water for fuss-free application
  • Formula kills the root of the weed, which eliminates tiresome regrowth
  • Rainproof in six hours, which helps control waste from washouts
  • Works safely to eradicate dandelions on many grass varieties without burning
  • Watch weeds wither overnight, so you can rid your yard of dandelions fast

What We Don’t Like

  • Must mow the lawn before application for best results
  • Can not be applied on certain varieties of grass without damage
  • Tough dandelion issues may need a direct application to the weed only

I like the multi-pack, so you always have the product on hand when you need it to control over 200 weeds, including dandelions. I also appreciate seeing the dandelions fading away by the next day and that it only takes six hours for the weed killer liquid to remain effective against rain.

On the downside, this product is for spraying over lawns and not gardens to control dandelions. The ingredients could pose an issue if it lands on vegetables and other desirable plants.

2. EcoSMART Weed And Grass Killer

The Bottom Line

The EcoSMART Weed and Grass Killer is our runner up pick because it’s an effective and eco-friendly way to eradicate dandelions. This brand is best for homeowners who only need to spot treat small areas of driveway, sidewalk, or patio to keep weeds under control.

The EcoSMART Weed and Grass Killer is another 100-percent organic choice to stop dandelions and grass from ruining the look of your landscaping along driveways, planter beds, and patios.

What We Like

  • Kills dandelions and grass growing in cracks or edges so you can keep them looking neat
  • Toxin-free formulation is safe to use around children and pets
  • Made of safe organic plant oils, so you never have to worry about harmful chemical runoff
  • Formula does not discolor cement or paver stones which protects your home’s value
  • Effective weed killing even on hot days, which allows for more application flexibility

What We Don’t Like

  • The finger-pump sprayer is hard to use over extended periods without fatigue
  • Need to spray the same weeds several days in a row for best results

I like that the formula delivers results in under a day, and is safe for children, the environment, and pets so that you can feel good about its use. The plant oils that form the non-toxic weed killer also smell natural and fresh, unlike chemical-based products.

On the downside, this product is not meant for use to kill dandelions in the lawn, as it will also destroy the surrounding grass, leaving you with unsightly brown spots.

3. Preen Plant Food Garden Weed Preventer

The Bottom Line

The Preen Natural Weed Preventer makes our top picks for its easy-to-spread shaker cap and stress-free monthly application. This brand is best for organic or environmentally-conscious gardening homeowners who want to reduce weeding chores over the course of the growing season.

The Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer is a chemical-free alternative to harsher dandelion-killing products.

What We Like

  • Made of 100-percent natural Corn Gluten Meal for worry-free dandelion control
  • Pets and children can safely enter application areas immediately, which avoids downtime
  • Monthly treatments mean less time spent on weed-control upkeep
  • Cap doubles as a shaker/feeder so you can spread the granules quickly and evenly before watering them in
  • Safe weed-control for around vegetable plants, since the formula leaves no harmful trace chemicals behind

What We Don’t Like

  • Granules must not touch actively growing root systems of desirable plants during garden transplants
  • Will not kill established weeds, only inhibits new growth

I like the product’s ability to control dandelions as well as other tough weeds without harming the growing plants in your vegetable garden or flower beds or children and pets. The shaker cap is a very convenient and hands-free way to spread the granules evenly.

On the downside, the formula only stops weeds from germinating and will do nothing to kill the ones already growing in your planters. Preen is better to use very early in the growing season and regularly throughout to avoid dandelion growth.

4. Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III

The Bottom Line

I give the Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed and Grass Killer III a place in the top five because it works fast to kill dandelions to the root, and one bottle goes a long way. This brand is best for homeowners with lots of walkways and patios that need to stay clear of weeds.

The Roundup Weed and Grass Killer III starts to eliminate bothersome dandelions in only a few hours, so your lawn, walkways, driveways, and patios look better quickly.

What We Like

  • Power sprayer handle reduces hand and arm strain and the shield pinpoints dandelions to control overspray
  • Rainproof in only 10 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about washing away your work
  • Safe for use in garden and vegetable beds when used as directed
  • It kills the plant and root, which eliminates annoying regrowth
  • Plants start to wilt and dry out in a matter of hours, so you can quickly clear unsightly weeds

What We Don’t Like

  • If you shake the weed killer liquid it can foam up and not spray correctly
  • Some issues with poor seals at the container or hose connection can cause loss of prime

I like the shield that you place over weeds for direct dandelion-killing contact while keeping the spray from damaging nearby vegetables, bushes, flowers, and other favorite plantings. The formula kills both the top foliage and roots of the plant for complete removal that won’t grow back.

On the downside, the formula doesn’t discriminate between pesky weeds and grass or flower and vegetable plants. You must make sure the liquid soaks only the weed, or you can see ugly brown spots on adjacent foliage.

5. Scotts Turf Builder Weed And Feed

The Bottom Line

The Scotts Turf Builder Granule Weed and Feed 3 is the final pick for its weeding and feeding combination that makes it a cost-effective gardening product. This brand is best for homeowners with lawns that need nutritional root support while also killing spotty dandelion growth.

This Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 brings twice the dandelion control than the previous formula, yet also feeds your lawn for beautiful results.

What We Like

  • Kills weeds while effectively fertilizing grass so that it can crowd out new weed growth for a thick, healthy lawn
  • Weedgrip Technology grips the weeds you see—and the ones you don’t
  • Works efficiently on seven different lawn grass varieties, so it’s flexible for homeowners with grass-blend lawns
  • Easy to spread granules cover smaller lawns with just one bag, which saves time and money
  • Included fertilizer encourages deep, thick root growth for a stronger, more vibrant turf

What We Don’t Like

  • This product must be put down on damp grass and not watered again for 24 hours after application which can create problems with unexpected rain or sprinklers on a timer
  • The new formula seems to work better with the feeding portion and is slightly less effective with the weed kill aspect

I like the Weedgrip Technology that works on both visible and hidden weeds, so it can eliminate them while allowing grass to fill in so your lawn looks lush. I also like that the formulation is safe for use on seven common varieties of grass so that you can kill the dandelions and not your grass.

On the downside, the lawn needs watering before the application. Afterward, it then needs 24 hours of no water or rain to work, which can be annoying for some homeowners, especially those with automatic sprinkler systems.

Do You Really Need Dandelion Killers?

Dandelions are the bane of conscientious homeowners who strive to keep their property looking well-groomed. The problem with trying to control dandelions is that they are a stubborn perennial plant that can spread quickly if not killed at the root.

You need a dandelion killer to effectively destroy the plant to the root, so the weed cannot regrow. Whether in a liquid or granule formulation, the weed killer soaks into the foliage and ground where the dandelion leaves and roots soak it up and begin to die off.

Pulling the random dandelion by hand is a way to keep your lawn looking nice, but most gardeners leave a portion of the long taproot behind. Even a tiny section will regrow in short order, and the cycle starts again. Using a highly-rated dandelion killer is the simple way to combat this problem without all the sweat of pulling them manually.

What To Watch Out For When Buying Dandelion Killer

dandelions in the garden

Let’s look at the things you need to consider before making a final decision on which dandelion killer is best for your needs.

Type Of Weed Killer

Weedkiller herbicides come in two forms, pre-emergent and post-emergent. Knowing the difference is key to buying the right product to treat your dandelion issue.

Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weeds from germinating or growing from the seed stage.

Post-emergent herbicides can kill mature or existing weed growth but will do nothing to stop seeds from dandelions from germinating.

Most homeowners use a mix of the two types of dandelion killers, one for more steady control and the other for spot treatments.

Style Of Applicator

The way you apply your dandelion killer will determine how easy the product is to use. Here are the main ways to apply herbicides:

  • Hose attachment – a concentrate bottle screws onto a hose, and you water the area as usual
  • Shaker bottles – the lid opens to reveal channels that help evenly spread the granules
  • Trigger-pull bottles – manual finger-pulling action squirts out the liquid, which can get tiring
  • Power-spray bottles – batteries power the spraying action for continual application with no effort
  • Broadcast spreader – granules dump into a hand-held or walkable broadcaster for quick coverage of large areas

Think about the size of your lawn or areas that need dandelion control before selecting the most advantageous application method.

Ingredients

Dandelions are very stubborn, so finding the strongest yet safest product to use is crucial.

Just because a product is “natural” or organic doesn’t always mean it won’t cause issues in your yard. Some can make the soil less acidic over time, and most dissipate faster than synthetic versions, which means more applications (and cost).

The best part of using a natural dandelion killer is that you can feel confident the formula will not harm your children or pets. The ingredients should also not cause harm to the environment if the material runs into waterways.

Formulations that use inorganic compounds work exceptionally well, but many aren’t as safe. Pets and children need to refrain from the treated areas for several hours, if not days.

Synthetic formulations can also inhibit the vitality of local insects like bees, and you should never use chemical dandelion killers on or near edible garden plants.

Lastly, chemical compounds found in this type of weed killer can pollute groundwater and even the soil in high doses, which can impact the ecosystem negatively.

Selective Or Non-Selective

Dandelion killer labels may state the words “selective” or “non-selective.”

Selective formulas kill only the weed and leave grass or other nearby plants alive. Some selective herbicides can still damage certain varieties of lawn grasses, so read labels carefully.

Non-selective weed killer will destroy any plant it touches. This type of herbicide should never be used on lawns or in veggie gardens but is best for use on dandelions growing in rocks or cracks.

Best Dandelion Killer FAQs

What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Dandelions?

The fastest way to kill dandelions at the root is to apply a liquid broadleaf herbicide to kill the entire plant quickly. You should see results in only a few hours, with complete browning and crumbling of the dandelion within a few days.

For super-quick removal, you can use a small torch and burn them out one by one, or cut the tops off at the soil surface with a sharp knife. These methods won’t get the entire root, which means regrowth in three or so days, but it does work in a pinch to make your yard look tidy for a special event.

What Kills Dandelions Naturally?

Corn gluten meal and the much stronger 20% acidic horticultural vinegar are both natural dandelion killers.

Household vinegar can also work but is only 5% acidic, so many people like to add in lemon juice to boost effectiveness.

What Kills Dandelions But Not Grass?

To keep your grass healthy but kill off dandelions, you need to use a selective herbicide.

You must be very careful when spraying a non-selective dandelion killer so the grass doesn’t incur damage from overspray.

What Kills Dandelions Permanently?

The only way to kill dandelions permanently is to remove the root. You can do this by spraying a potent herbicide that will soak into the entire plant, or you can manually dig up the whole root system.

In Summary

Killing dandelions as you spot them is the most effective way to stop them from spreading and ruining the look of your landscaping.

If you’re in a hurry and unsure which dandelion killer to purchase, I suggest the Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns. The selective formula does wonders to eradicate dandelions, and it’s as easy to apply as watering your lawn. You can also use it as a weed spot treatment in other locations.

If you want a more eco-friendly dandelion killer for patio or walkway areas, I recommend going with the EcoSMART Weed and Grass Killer for the convenient spray bottle and natural plant oils formula. Improve your home’s curb appeal by having a dandelion-free yard, and using any of these best dandelions killer products is sure to do the trick!