After putting in all the work to get that dark green lawn that is the talk of the neighborhood, the last thing you want is broadleaf weeds growing and thriving in your turf. These pesky weeds can stick out like a sore thumb and steal sun, water, and nutrients from your lawn. Broadleaf weeds will continue to invade and overtake your turf if you don’t manage to eradicate them quickly.
While the best prevention and control against broadleaf weeds is to apply pre emergent every spring and early summer – and also establishing a thick, green and healthy lawn, broad spectrum weed killers are needed to completely eradicate the weeds down to the taproot.
What makes broadleaf weeds even more challenging for DIY homeowners is the type of weed and their different life cycles of each undesirable plant. Knowing what weed you’re dealing with will determine which post emergent herbicide to use. Because we want to kill the weeds, not kill the grass.
Broadleaf Weed Types
- Perennial broadleaf weeds come back every year. They regrow every season from the same established root systems and live for more than two years. Some examples: broadleaf plantain, chicory, dandelion, ground ivy, and creeping oxalis.
- Biennial broadleaf weeds which live for two years and propagate via seeds. Examples are: wild carrot and yellow rocket.
- Annual broadleaf weeds live for one year, drop seeds, and germinate new plants every year. Examples are: black medic, common chickweed, hairy bittercress, plantain, and purslane.
The main ingredients/chemicals to look for to kill broadleaf weeds will include 2,4-D, MCPP-P, and Dicamba, and sometimes dimethylamine salt and Carfentrazone. Combinations will be referred to as 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way herbicides. These weed killers are selective herbicides, which means they will not kill your good grass (always read the labels and instructions). Some weed killers below also contain quinclorac which can also kill crabgrass and other grassy weeds.
Below are our best weed killers for broadleaf weeds. Keep a bottle of these post emergent herbicides on your shelf at all times for optimum weed control. Spot spray as needed to make sure your lawn stays broadleaf weed free, and healthy and green.
The Best Selective Weed Killers For Lawns
EndRun, by Helena, is one of the more popular 3-way type selective herbicide used by professionals, and provides excellent control of broadleaf weeds. EndRun is ready to use as it has its own built-in surfactant, so no need of buying and mixing any separate nonionic surfactants, methylated seed oils, or adjuvants!
EndRun provides equally as good results on weeds as similar products containing 2,4-D, Dicamba, MCPP, but at a lower cost and using less active ingredient. EndRun with Trimec is labeled for over 80 weeds!
Mix 1.1 – 1.5 fluid oz. per 0.5 – 5 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft. and spot spray weeds with the solution in a hand pump or backpack sprayer, or broadcast sprayer. At high rates this gallon will yield approximately 2 total acres. Highly recommended by myself and some of the industry’s best to kill weeds.
- Covers over 80 weeds
- Has built-in surfactant
- Less than $1.00 per application
- Only available in 128 oz. jugs
If you’re looking for one of the more environmentally safe post emergent herbicides, QuickSilver T&O is the one. QuickSilver weed killer will not harm birds, will not affect earthworms, and is unlikely to harm pollinators such as honeybees.
This herbicide’s main chemical is Carfentrazone-ethyl and shows visible effects in as little as 24 hours. QuickSilver is labeled for control on over 50 broadleaf weeds, and can also be tank mixed with other herbicides to more effectively and quickly kill a broad spectrum of weeds. On top of it all, it can be applied to newly planted sod and turf after one week.
QuickSilver comes with a hefty price tag up front, but don’t be turned off right right away. The application rates are extremely low – between 0.021 – 0.154 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq ft of area, making this a very affordable (and incredibly effective) cost per application. The total yield in this 8 oz. bottle covers a large areas… approximately 3 acres at maximum rates.
This stuff is truly an all-in-one weed killer concentrate.
- Covers over 50 weeds
- Eco-friendly. Safe for birds, worms, and unlikely to harm honeybees
- Uses very small doses
- Can add/mix other herbicides according to the label
- Approx. $0.13 cents per app
- Expensive upfront cost
SpeedZone by GBI Gordon is one of the most popular selective herbicides for controlling and killing broadleaf weeds. No matter your target pest, SpeedZone is surely to cover as it’s labeled for control of over 100 weeds. The combination of ingredients (2,4-D, 2-ethylhexyl ester, Dicamba, Mecoprop-P) is designed to provide exceptional post-emergent control. The SpeedZone technology, when applied according to the label, is taken up through leaf tissue and roots for amazingly-quick results. Visible signs of effect can be seen as early as 24 hours post application and makes a great option for use on cool season turf.
Note that original Speedzone is in high demand and often out of stock. It also may not be available to purchase online in your state without an application license (like my home state of Massachusetts). If this is the case, PBI Gordon has variations of the original Spredzone that will work as effectively.
- Small, convenient 20 oz. bottle for smaller lawns
- 4-way herbicide that provides quick results
- Controls over 100 weeds
- Use with high confidence for great results
- Not available (or restrictions) in many states
- Higher per-app costs (approximately $2.63 per app)
Triplet SF is a selective herbicide that does not need any nonionic surfactants, methylated seed oils, or adjuvants. This weed killer is is ready to use. Just mix 1.1 to 1.5 oz. with 0.5 to 5 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft. Triplet is an effective 3-way herbicides containing 2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, and Dicamba, and controls a wide range of weeds including tough to kill Black medic, Wild Carrot, Chicory, Chickweed, Dandelion, Ground ivy, Henbit, Plantain, Poison ivy, Purslane, Speedwell and more!
A convenient 32 oz. quart container which is ideal for the average DIY homeowner looking for measure easily, knock out weeds quickly, and not have to store large containers. Safe for most cool season grasses including bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass.
- No need to add a surfactant
- Effective 3-way weed killer
- Safe for cool season and warm season grasses
- Inexpensive: $1.78 per app for max rates
Last but certainly not least on our list of best broadleaf weed killers is Quincept, by Nufarm. This is a 2-way broadleaf herbicide containing 2,4-D and Dicamba, but also has Quinclorac which will also kill crabgrass. This is our choice for those who have a mix of broadleaf and grassy weeds, and don’t want to buy separate products and mix.
Controls the most common lawn weeds including black medic, chickweed, clover, dandelion, oxalis, plantain, thistle, and large and smooth crabgrass. Apply 2.6 – 2.9 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq. ft. and see visible results within 1-2 days.
- Kills and controls over 100 unwanted weeds
- Liquid includes quinclorac to kill crabgrass
- save time without mixing or adding other herbicides
- Mixing with other products may cause phytotoxicity
- Expensive: 32 oz. costs $4.47 per app
- Recommended use with methylated seed oil
Weed Killers on Amazon
Weed Killer FAQs
Like the name suggests, broadleaf weeds have broad, distinct leaves. There will be a single main vein running up the center of the leaf, with many smaller veins spreading off of that it. Some broadleaf weeds may also have colorful flowers sprouting from the top which can help identify the weed.
Generally in the spring through the early summer to catch newly germinated annual weeds, and early emergence of biennials and perennials. Also in the fall as the weeds begin to store energy and go dormant for the winter. Also, as a good practice, do not apply weed killers when outside temperates are over 80 degrees as this may potentially harm your good turf.
Prevent the growth of new germination by using a pre emergent in the spring and early summer months. Post emergently, the best weed killer without harming your grass is EndRun by Helena.
Depending on the type of weed and stage of development will dictate the weed killer. To be completely sure, use glyphosate or a non selective weed killer. However please note that these will also kill anything it comes in contact with like plants and your good grass. For selective herbicides, choose weed killers that contain 2,4-D, 2,4-D, MCPP-P, and Dicamba, dimethylamine salt and/or Carfentrazone.
The safest weed killer is Quicksilver T&O herbicide. The best natural grass killer and weed killers are vinegar based. And for organic grass and weed killers, we love Avenger.
This list only include selective weed killers. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Be careful and avoid contact to eyes and skin. Most products are safe for kids and pets to re-enter once the surface has dried. Always read the labels and search the instructions for proper application rates.
For major infestations of weeds in large area, a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate may be needed. If you’re looking for a natural weed killer for lawns, there are homemade vinegar weed killer recipes. However the best organic weed killer we have used is Avenger, but like glyphosate, it will also kill grass. We’ve seen the weeds begin to discolor within 15 minutes after application at a 3:1 ratio.
Lastly, if you are in a pinch, you can run straight to your local garden store or big box store for ready to use (RTU) weed killer sprays such as Ortho Weed B Gone.