The 12 Best Weed Killers of 2022

Our top pick is the Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate

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The 6 Best Weed Killers of 2022

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Weed killers help keep your landscape looking its best year-round, without invasive weeds, crabgrass, dandelions, or sedges. We researched numerous weed killers and evaluated each on several key features, including how easy they are to use, the length of protection they offer, and the value for the price point.

Our top choice was Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate

Here are our top picks for the best weed killers.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate

4
Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer

 Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Built-in sprayer (pre-mixed formula)

  • Kills weeds and grasses

  • Rainproof after 15 minutes

  • Use on hardscapes

What We Don't Like
  • Pump sprayer recommended (concentrate formula)

  • Can kill unprotected grass

Spectracide is a popular choice for areas where quality results count, such as golf courses, sports stadiums, and turf grass. You can apply it to flower beds, around trees, and even hardscapes, such as walkways and patios. You can expect results the same day it’s applied, and it is weatherproof within 15 minutes.

Coming in a 64-ounce container, you must dilute it first and then apply it with a tank sprayer. Alternatively, the same formula comes in a pre-mixed ready-to-use spray format. To achieve the best success and reduce spray drift, apply it during warm, sunny days with minimal wind.

Price at time of publish: $43

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Broad-leaf weeds︱Rain Resistance Time: 15 minutes︱Volume: 16 ounces, 32 ounces, 40 ounces, 64 ounces, 1 gallon

What is meant by rain resistance?

According to Iowa State Extension, rain resistance is the time a herbicide needs to remain on its target before rain falls on it since water can dilute effectiveness. Product packaging should contain this information.

Best for Lawns: Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D

Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D

Amazon

What We Like
  • Effective against many hard-to-get-rid-of weeds

  • Works on all grass types

  • Does not burn grass

What We Don't Like
  • Toxic, requires avoiding treated areas for a period of time

  • Not rainproof

Southern Ag 2,4-D kills weeds that ruin the look of your hard-earned beautiful lawn. This concentrated formula targets broadleaf weeds such as clover, dandelions, and even crabgrass. It is an excellent value for the money, as all you need is one tablespoon per gallon of water.

Once diluted and sprayed, it kills weeds fully within three days, with visible results apparent within 30 minutes. It should be noted that 2,4-D is toxic to people and pets, so it is recommended that you avoid the sprayed area for 24 hours.

Price at time of publish: $19

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Broadleaf weeds︱Rain Resistance: None︱Volume: 32 ounces

Best Indoor: Ortho Weed B Gon Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer for Lawns, 16oz.

Ortho Weed B Gon Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer for Lawns

Amazon

What We Like
  • Targets tough weeds such as dandelions

  • Rainproof within an hour

  • Easy to use

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Advised not to use around pets

Selective herbicides, such as Ortho Weed B Gon, target weeds without harming the grass. From dandelions to clover, Ortho kills over 200 weeds at a great price point. Coming in multiple sizes, a single gallon should cover 64,000 square feet, nearly the size of a soccer field.

Since this product kills weeds at the roots, you should see results the same day; noticeable weed demise within 30 minutes has been reported. Perfect for northern and southern grass types, the formula is rainproof within an hour.

Price at time of publish: $11

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Broadleaf grasses like dandelions and clover︱Rain Resistance Time: 1 hour︱Volume: 16 ounces, 32 ounces

Best Along Fences: Gordon’s SpeedZone Lawn Weed Killer, 20 Oz.

Gordon’s SpeedZone Lawn Weed Killer, 20 Ounces

Amazon

Gordon’s Speed Zone effectively keeps weeds from growing under fence lines or creeping into lawns. A combination of 2,4-D, dicamba acid, and carfentrazone-ethyl creates a dynamic weed killer capable of eliminating over 200 species.

Gordon’s works best when you mow grass two days before or after applying the product and when rain is absent in the forecast. Unfortunately, this product is not rainproof, so it might not be as effective for locations with significant rainfall. Pets and children must avoid sprayed areas.

Price at time of publish: $41

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Broad-spectrum weeds︱Rain Resistance Time: None︱Volume: 20 ounces

Best Preventative: Preen Garden Weed Preventer + Plant Food

Preen 2164174 Garden Weed Preventer + Plant Food

Amazon

What We Like
  • Can use around edibles

  • Easy to apply

  • Contains plant food

  • Prevents 25+ kinds of broadleaf weeds

What We Don't Like
  • Does not control weeds already present

  • Not rainproof

Preen Garden Weed Preventer is designed to prevent weeds from popping up in your flower beds, around the base of trees, or even in the vegetable garden. As a pre-emergent, its patented blend includes a plant fertilizer that helps keep your flowers blooming and vegetables growing—all while keeping weeds from sprouting. Offering protection from nearly 30 broadleaf weeds, its granular format makes it less likely to blow onto your lawn.

The standout feature is how easily the product spreads. The bottle is designed with a convenient shaker cap: Just shake it over the intended area, add water, and you are done. Also, you needn’t worry about timing, as you can apply Preen at any point during the year. It is also safe to use around vegetables, bulbs, and over 200 other flowering plants.

Price at time of publish: $36

Application Type: Granular︱Targeted Plants: Preventive against 25 broadleaf species︱Rain Resistance: None︱Volume: 7 pounds

Best Enabler: Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker

Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker

Amazon

What We Like
  • Use on all plants

  • Increases herbicide absorption

  • Easy to use

  • Works with insecticides, fungicides, and miticides

What We Don't Like
  • Does not control weeds on its own

Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker is a chemical enhancer, formulated to improve the performance of the herbicide you are using. By increasing the herbicide’s ability to make its way into the plant tissue, it shortens the time needed to see results and increases the likelihood of success. This product is registered for use on most crops, grasses, trees, and shrubs.

You can use it as more than just a herbicide: Combine it with miticides, pesticides, and fungicides, offering the same increased absorption power. Coming in at under $20 for a 16-ounce concentrate, you can get dozens of (doses?) applications out of a single container.

Price at time of publish: $19

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: None︱Rain Resistance: 1 hour︱Volume: 16 ounces

Best for Hot, Humid Weather: Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer

Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Intended for hot climates

  • Rainproof

  • 200+ weeds controlled

What We Don't Like
  • Not recommended for northern grasses

Many herbicides are not meant to be applied in hot or humid weather often prevalent in the southern U.S. Ortho designed a special version of their popular Weed Clear line for the South. It is specially crafted and tested to ensure it removes weeds but doesn't damage major grass types grown in the region.

Nor is rain a concern since Ortho Weed Clear is rainproof and ready to go in under an hour. It takes care of more than 200 broadleaf species, including tough-to-kill dandelions and crabgrass. The formula includes 2,4-D, so use caution in areas with heavy foot traffic.

Price at time of publish: $23

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Broadleaf weeds including dandelions︱Rain Resistance Time: 1 hour︱Volume: 1 gallon

Best for Flower Beds: Fertilome Over The Top Grass Killer

Fertilome Over The Top Grass Killer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Targeted weed control

  • 200 + weeds controlled

What We Don't Like
  • Not rainproof

  • Proper application is essential

Keep your flower beds looking picture-perfect with the Fertilome Over the Top Grass Killer II, which comes in a 16-ounce concentrate with a convenient hose attachment. Attach it to your hose, spray, and go. This herbicide kills tough weeds and grasses to the root, and its selective nature allows you to easily target annoying weeds without harming your flowers.

You can use this formula in and around vegetable gardens, flower beds, tree rings, and mulched beds, as well as on cracks in driveways, walkways, and patios. It is not rainproof, so it is best applied on days rain is not in the forecast. Mowing beforehand is also recommended.

Price at time of publish: $30

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Broadleaf weeds, including dandelions, Bermuda grass, and crabgrass︱Rain Resistance Time: None︱Volume: 16 ounces

Best Natural: Green Gobbler Organic 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

3.6
green-gobler

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Contains no harsh chemicals

  • Can be used in various places

  • No dilution needed

What We Don't Like
  • No smaller sizes available

Many weed killers contain harsh chemicals; however, Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed and Grass Killer is glyphosate-free and made without synthetic ingredients. Derived from corn, it can take care of unwanted crabgrass, dandelions, clover weeds, white clover, mold, and more.

We tested this natural weed killer and successfully used it on driveways, sidewalks, concrete, mulch, and flower beds. You can expect to see visible results in less than 24 hours, and the manufacturer offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Because it is vinegar based, it is not weed-specific and can harm all grass and plants. Make sure you use it only in areas where weeds are present, not plants you want to keep.

Price at time of publish: $30

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: Crabgrass, dandelions, and other listed weeds︱Rain Resistance Time: Not listed︱Volume: 1 gallon

What Testers Say

"Once I used the weed treatment, I did not see the weeds return to my mulch beds even weeks after application. The same was true growing in the cracks on my driveway. I did pull the weeds after the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer killed the plants themselves. This was an important step to make sure that they didn’t come back."—Katie Begley, Product Tester 

Green Gobbler Organic 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

The Spruce / Katie Begley 

Best for Gravel: Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer

Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Highly concentrated

  • Can use in various places

  • Prevents weeds from growing back

  • Rainproof in an hour

What We Don't Like
  • Harms grass and desirable plants

Weeds popping up along walkways, the patio, or the driveway present their own challenges. You can eradicate them quickly with Ortho Ground Clear Weed Control. Unlike many formulas intended for hardscapes, it contains no harmful glyphosate. This concentrated formula comes in a 1-gallon container that makes up to 21 gallons of spray and treats more than 20,000 square feet (larger than a hockey rink). This product is ideal for locations where you want no vegetation, such as gravel paths, driveways, parking areas, fencerows, patios, and around buildings.

In addition to killing growing vegetation, it also prevents new weeds for up to a year. The formula is rainfast in one hour. You can buy it in assorted sizes, including one with a handy wand applicator, best suited for targeting hard-to-reach cracks and crevices.

Price at time of publish: $28

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: All weeds, grasses, vines, brush, and trees︱Rain Resistance Time: 1 hour︱Volume: 1 gallon

Best for Large Areas: BioAdvanced Weed Killer for Lawns

BioAdvanced 704170 Weed Killer for Lawns

Amazon

What We Like
  • Highly concentrated

  • Can use in various places

  • Prevents weeds from growing back

  • Rainproof in 2 hours

What We Don't Like
  • Not for certain plants and grass types

When you have a large area that needs to be treated for weeds, a concentrated solution can be more effective than a ready-to-use solution. Our pick for this option is BioAdvanced Weed Killer for Lawns. Covering 20,000 square feet (larger than a hockey rink), this spray features a handy hose attachment, making it easy to dilute and go.

You can use this herbicide on walkways, driveways, and beside buildings and fences to kill weeds, grasses, vines, and brush. The formula contains no glyphosate. It is rainproof two hours after application—though the manufacturer recommends applying it on a warm, sunny day, with no rainfall anticipated for 24 hours. You should see results in 2 to 4 days, as it kills the weeds down to the roots. Make sure your grass and nearby plants are on the safe list provided in the label instructions. Not for use on St. Augustine grass.

Price at time of publish: $13

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: All weeds, grasses, vines, brush, and trees︱Rain Resistance Time: 2 hours︱Volume: 1 gallon

Best Professional: Roundup Pro Concentrate

roundup-pro

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Highly concentrated

  • Great for large areas

  • Prevents weeds from growing back

What We Don't Like
  • Contains glyphosate

  • Needs specialized equipment to spread

If you have a large area to treat or tough weeds that resist other herbicides, consider a professional-grade product such as Roundup Pro Concentrate. This weed killer is used in industrial vegetation management and agricultural farming, and it contains 50.2 percent glyphosate for fast and powerful results.

Roundup Pro comes in 2.5-gallon jugs, and its mix rate is 1 to 10.5 ounces per gallon of water, depending on the type of weed you are treating. You should use it only in clean stainless steel or plastic sprayers and wear protective clothing while applying the powerful solution. Note that glyphosate needs extreme care when handling and should not be used in areas regularly visited by pets and children.

Price at time of publish: $374

Application Type: Spray︱Targeted Plants: All weeds, grasses, vines, brush, and trees︱Rain Resistance time: 30 minutes︱Volume: 2.5 gallons

Final Verdict

Our top choice for eliminating weeds is Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate. You can use it in many areas, such as flower beds, sidewalks, and even around shrubs, and it delivers visible results in just a few hours. For a preventive product, the Preen Weed Control gets down to the roots and stops weeds from sprouting for up to a year.

Green Gobbler Organic 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

The Spruce / Katie Begley 

What to Look For in a Weed Killer

Targeted Plants

Not all weed killers target the same plant species. If you need to kill weeds in your lawn, look for a selective formula that doesn’t kill grass along with the weeds. For a vegetable garden, make sure your chosen product is approved for use around edible plants. If you prefer to get rid of all vegetation, a non-selective formula is the best way to go.

Longevity

Do you want your weed killer to work once, or would you prefer a formula that keeps vegetation from growing back for up to a few months? Check product information carefully so you know which kind of formula you are getting, especially if you are using a non-selective formula and plan to introduce new plants into the area.

Green Gobbler Organic 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

Type of Substance

When choosing a weed killer, it's important to ensure that the type is appropriate for the area where ou wish to apply it and that the application method—concentrated, ready to use, or granule—is the best choice.. If you lack a backpack sprayer or pump sprayer, you may want to avoid a concentrate. If you just have a few spots to hit, a ready-to-use spray is the easiest to use. Granules are perfect for large lawns, especially if you have a spreader handy.

Toxicity

Herbicides vary in toxicity. Glyphosate is one of the best-known weed killers and has recently been linked as harmful to our waterways and health. Some chemicals, such as vinegar, are natural but still harmful! It’s important to remember that herbicides are meant to destroy plant tissue, so always use caution when applying near non-targeted plants.

Plants to Avoid

Most herbicides meant for use in the lawn are selective, meaning they kill only weeds but not your grass. But you can still overdo it and burn your grass, so make sure you follow the label instructions. Certain grass species, such as St. Augustine, tend to be more susceptible than other grasses to herbicides, and many lawn products are not recommended for them. While weed identification is tough, knowing what you have helps.

FAQ
  • How does a weed killer work?

    Herbicides kill weeds by inhibiting root and shoot development or affecting foliage. Usually, pre-emergent herbicides work on newly germinated weed seeds underground to stop the normal development of root systems or prevent the plant from sending up new shoots. Post-emergent herbicides attack existing weeds.

    Some herbicides are non-selective, which means they kill all plants they encounter. (Round-Up, a glyphosate-based herbicide, is a widely available type of non-selective weed killer.) Most gardeners prefer selective weed killers, which affect only the growth of targeted species. They are used mostly for broadleaf weed control.

  • Are pets OK around weed killers?

    Many chemical weed killers have long-lasting residual effects on the applied-to areas. Pet owners should use caution when applying such products to places where their pets are likely to walk or lounge since they could ingest the chemical directly or by licking their paws and fur.

    Organic weed killer may be a better option since its compounds tend to break down more rapidly and are absorbed by the ground. However, it is still important to read the directions for use and consider the warning label on any products you use since the potential effects can vary based on the active ingredients of each formula.

  • Are natural weed killers effective?

    Organic herbicides can succeed as weed killers. Formulas range from homemade solutions of distilled vinegar to ready-made products containing clove oil, citric acid, and other natural, active ingredients. Whether you use a homemade weed killer or purchase an organic herbicide, note that these products are non-selective. While some inorganic herbicides affect only specific invasive species, organic herbicides kill all plants within the application area.

  • How long can you expect a weed killer to remain effective?

    This varies by brand and concentration. Rainproof resistance is a key spec since you know a little rain shouldn’t wash away the herbicide. Using pre- and post-emergent treatments is the best way to get a handle on year-round weed control, as you prevent weeds from starting and taking care of those present, so their seeds don’t persist.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Amanda Rose Newton, a freelance writer and garden reviewer for The Spruce. As a certified horticulturist, she delighted in personally testing out the products to provide advice to those with different needs, yards, and values when it comes to weed control.

To make this list, Amanda Rose tested each over the course of a month on different spots in the yard. She also considered the difficulty in application, chemicals used, and tested rain resistance.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. ​​Label Recommendations for Rain Delays with Postemergence Herbicides. Iowa State Extension.

  2. 2,4-D. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  3. Questions and Answers on Glyphosate. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  4. Can weed killer kill dogs? Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists.

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