Quinclorac vs Tenacity

Quinclorac vs. Tenacity – What’s the difference?

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Written By: Mark Marino, a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder
and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

No AI pledge. Authored and reviewed by Mark, not robots. Learn more.

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While identifying grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds can be a challenge in itself, so can be selecting the right herbicide for the job. There’s a slew of different products and chemicals on the market today that can become a bit confusing.

In this post, we’ll quickly discuss the difference between Drive XLR8 (Quinclorac) vs. Tenacity (Mesotrione) in simple terms that the average homeowner can understand.

Drive XLR8 (Quinclorac) vs. Tenacity (Mesotrione)

Quinclorac is a water-based selective post-emergence herbicide that is classified as a quinolone carboxylic acid . Quinclorac is most commonly used as a crabgrass killer., but will target many other grassy and broadleaf weeds. “Selective” means that it is selective in what it kills – versus a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate. One of the most popular and effective Quinclorac products is Drive XLR8.

Tenacity herbicide is a very popular brand name herbicide that uses the active ingredient, Mesotrione. This is also a selective weed killer and crabgrass killer, but is also a safe pre-emergent herbicide when seeding and overseeding with new grass seed. Tenacity is like applying sunblock to plants, as it prevents photosynthesis from occurring. The effects of Tenacity will begin to turn the plant white, preventing the weeds to grow, and ultimately dying off.

Which herbicide is better?

In terms of a crabgrass killer, Quinclorac is the better of the two. Quinclorac has better all-around crabgrass control, as it will eradicate mature stages of crabgrass of up to four tillers or more. Tenacity is best used on younger crabgrass, up to the 4-tiller stage. Tenacity is also a great choice for killing creeping bentgrass.

Quinclorac mix rates

  • Mix 1.5 liquid ounces of Drive XLR8 in one gallon of water per 1,000 square feet
  • Use
  • Mix and agitate before, and during,
  • Wait 24 hours before irrigating
  • Do not mow 2-3 days before or after applying quinclorac
  • Not below 55 degrees or above 85 degrees

Tenacity mix rates

  • 1/2 teaspoon per gallon per 1,000 square feet
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Non Ionic Surfactant (NIS)
  • Tenacity is rainproof in 4 hours
  • Do not mow 2-3 days before or after applying quinclorac
  • Not below 55 degrees or above 85 degrees

Mesotrione products

Quinclorac products

Quinclorac vs. Mesotrione FAQs

What’s the difference between Quinclorac and Tenacity?

Quinclorac is an active ingredient used as a post-emergent herbicide – a popular and effective crabgrass killer. Tenacity is a herbicide with the active ingredient, Mesotrione. Tenacity can be used as a post-emergent herbicide, too, but can also be used as a pre-emergent.

Can you mix quinclorac with Tenacity (mesotrione)?

Tenacity mixes best with Speedzone and a Non-Ionic Surfactant (NIS) – and Quinclorac (Drive XLR8) pairs well with TZone and a Methylated Seed Oil (MSO) to kill lawn weeds.

How long does it take Quinclorac to work?

Under ideal conditions, you can see visible weed control effects of Quinclorac within the first week of application.

Is Quinclorac good for crabgrass?

Quinclorac is Lawn Phix’s top choice for killing and controlling crabgrass and other lawn weeds. Drive XLR8 with MSO will work quickly on crabgrass and many other weeds.

What is similar to Tenacity herbicide?

Meso 4SC Select by Prime Source contains Mesotrione – the same active ingredient Tenacity Herbicide. For a granular fertilizer that also contains Mesotrione, try Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built For Seeding.

What weeds will Quinclorac kill?

Quinclorac is a weed control herbicide that is labeled for many broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds including Crabgrass, Clover, Dandelion, Black Medic, Torpedograss, Violet, and many more.

More questions? Check out our huge Tenacity herbicide FAQ guide.

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on

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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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