7 Best Weed Killers for Flower Beds – Effective Choices

Many people leave weeds to grow uncontrolled because they add a bit of green to their floral arrangements or because they don’t want to manually remove them each season.

In truth, by using one of the best weed killers for flower beds you can save yourself time, money, and the pain of losing the appeal of your flowers.

Best Weed Killers for Flower Beds – 7 Top Choices

Check out some of my favorite natural and chemical solutions to all your weed problems and pick the one that speaks to your particular situation.

Vinegar-based weed killers are among the safest options out there. Green Gobbler offers its natural weed killer formula in 1gallon, 5gallon, 55 gallon, and 275 gallon containers so that you can use it regardless of the size of the area you’re trying to treat.

This formula can be used to kill dandelions, moss, crabgrass, clover weeds, and much more, all while containing no toxic chemicals. The fact that it’s also certified for organic use is a big plus in my book.

What’s also important to note is how powerful the formula is. Compared to those derived from regular vinegar, the Green Gobbler formula contains 20% acetic acid, making it around four times more effective than most similar natural weed killers.

It can take care of most weeds in less than 24 hours, with more resistant strains succumbing to desiccation not much longer after that. It’s also cool that you can mix this formula with some other everyday use products to increase its efficiency, such as dish soap or orange oil extract.

  • Available in small to very large containers
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    Four times more aggressive than regular vinegar formulas
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    Organic weed killer
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    Narrow dispersal pattern pump sprayer
  • It won’t reach the roots easily

Although the Ortho Lands B-Gon Grass Killer may require some extra documentation on how to use it, it’s one of the best selective systematic weed killers you can use on landscaping projects and particularly around flower beds.

It has a glyphosate-free formula which shouldn’t be as dangerous to use around ornamental plants as other common main ingredients found in herbicides. The B-Gon herbicide has been formulated to target weedy grasses such as foxtail, crabgrass, goosegrass, tall fescue, orchardgrass, dallisgrass, and others.

It’s also recommended to apply the formula at least twice seven days apart. The Ortho B-Gon can easily reach the weed roots as long as it’s applied during a sunny period. However, cool weather and rainfall will slow down the process.

Another nice feature is the narrow dispersal pattern of the nozzle. This allows for a much more controlled application, even in the hands of someone with little experience.

  • Also available in packs
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    Selective systematic weed killer
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    Easy application
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    Kills a wide range of weedy grasses
  • Can’t be used during rain or when cold

If you’re looking for something that can kill off a wide range of weeds quickly, then the Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer2 formula may be just the thing. It works really fast and it’s quite affordable too. The results should start showing in up to three hours which is nothing short of impressive.

What’s also cool is that the formula is rainproof for up to 15 minutes. This will give you some wiggle room when you’re caught by surprise. You can also get this weed killer in single 1 gallon containers or in four-packs, depending on how much you need.

The combination of a fast-acting formula and a budget-friendly price tag is a reason enough to recommend the Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer2. However, I should point out that this one can harm ornamental flowers and other vegetation it comes in contact, not just the weeds.

Take extra care when spraying it and avoid targeting the root system. It’s a non-selective formula that can be a savior or that can make things worse if the necessary precautions are not taken.

  • Very fast-acting formula
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    Rain resistant for up to 15 minutes
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    Arrives ready-to-use
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    Targets all weed
  • Dangerous in the wrong hands

If you’re looking for a more natural solution, one that doesn’t involve hormone-disrupting chemicals or glyphosate, then the Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer may be the formula for you. This formula comes in a variety of packages, ranging from 2oz to 5 gallon containers, as well as in packs of two.

Therefore, you can use this formula whether you have a small garden or a large property with multiple ornamental flower arrangements. It’s also ready to use right out of the box and requires no additional diluting or wasting time.

I also like that the formula is made up of natural ingredients, meaning that this is a pet-safe and kid-safe herbicide. However, don’t assume that it won’t cause some adverse reactions if ingested. Another great benefit of using this formula over others is that the herbicide doesn’t transfer to nearby plants. That’s what makes it efficient to use on flower beds, when sprayed with care of course.

  • Vinegar and ocean water formula
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    No translocation
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    Free of chemicals
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    Safer for pets and kids
  • Some weed strains will require multiple applications

You can use the Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer in pretty much any garden, regardless of its size. It’s available in 5lbs and 13lbs containers, both with built-in applicators. One of the trademarks of this formula is its long-term residual effect that can keep a reliable weed barrier for up to six months.

This is one of the few selective herbicides that have been proven to offer such long residual control after application. You can use the Roundup formula around flower beds, lawns, foundations, mulch beds, patios, and even in vegetable gardens.

One area where it won’t be effective is around Poison Ivy and woody brushes. While the visible results should show in up to three hours, you should know that the formula is only rainproof for up 10 minutes. So, do your best to spray it on a sunny day to maintain its effectiveness and speed up the process.

  • Fast-acting formula
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    Available in small and large packages
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    Somewhat rainproof
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    Long residual control effect
  • Not the best built-in applicator

If you’re having a hard time manually removing weeds or using vinegar-based natural herbicides, you may need something more aggressive. Consider something like the Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Extended Control herbicide.

This formula is a non-selective herbicide that targets just about anything that needs killing around flower beds, fences, and other areas. It’s best applied when there’s no wind and the weather is warm, so that it doesn’t transfer to your ornamental plants.

Visible results will show in up to three hours which is nothing short of impressive. But what I like even more is the 15 minute rain resistance. However, because this formula is non-selective it also has a few drawbacks.

You may require professional supervision or at the very least you should refrain from planting anything in the treated area for a few months.

  • Targets any type of weed
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    Very fast-acting formula
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    Decent weather resistance
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    Good residual control
  • Can’t plant in treated areas for up to 3 months

The Natural Armor Weed & Grass Killer is a natural herbicide that uses a vinegar-based formula which works on over 250 types of weeds. It’s biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment.

You can find this in a wide range of containers, some of which don’t feature built-in applicators. However, this weed killer is not as dangerous to use on flower beds as others.

The results should be visible in a matter of hours, although this will also depend on the type of weed you’ve sprayed the formula on. Some will die off slower than others, especially if there’s high humidity or cold outside, both of which can slow down the process.

That being said, this is one of the more affordable natural herbicides you can get for residential and agricultural application. In my opinion, it’s also one of the best if you’re worried about contaminating any nearby water sources.

  • Made from natural ingredients
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    Targets over 250 types of weeds
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    Fast-acting formula
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    Environmentally safe
  • Some strains require multiple applications

Different Types of Weed Killers

There are two main types of weed killers – selective and non-selective weed killers. The former are used only when specific weed types are targeted. These are considered very safe to use since they can be sprayed over wide areas for a much faster treatment application.

The latter, non-selective weed killers, target pretty much any type of plant. This means that while very effective, they can also kill your ornamental or edible plants if you’re not careful when you spray the herbicide.

There are also some subtypes of weed killers such as residual weed killers. But, these aren’t recommended for regular gardening and are mostly used for landscaping and clearing paths due to their long-term residual control effect.

Systematic weed killers are also somewhat common. Their distinctive property is that they can spread throughout the whole plant after being absorbed. This type of weed killer is guaranteed to reach the weeds root system.

Chemical vs Natural Weed Killers

Natural weed killers are almost always vinegar-based herbicides. Some are more concentrated than others but, regardless of their potency, very few manage to make it to the root system. They’re also selective weed killers since they have less of an impact on most edible and ornamental plants.

Chemical or synthetic herbicides are obviously the most popular. Some of them can be quite toxic, but if you want maximum efficiency this is always the way to go. Chemical herbicides can come in any form, depending on how they were formulated. They can be systematic, selective, non-selective, and residual.

Of course, they’re always going to be differentiated by their main active ingredients. Anything containing borax, boric acid, corn gluten meal, or clopyralid is considered relatively safe and easy to use.

You should be aware that herbicides that contain diuron are very potent and are not recommended for use by inexperienced people. You should pay special attention to glyphosate-based herbicides too. Although very common, they’re dangerous to other plants, not just the weeds they’re targeting.

Best Time to Spray Your Weeds

It is best to spray your weeds when it’s warm and sunny outside. This helps speed up the absorption process of the herbicide. Using weed killers during rain is ill advised since it can dilute the formula and render it ineffective.

The same thing goes for spraying weeds if it’s very cold outside. Most, if not all types of weeds, respond better to treatment when sprayed during their growth period.

Know Your Weeds

Although many weed herbicide manufacturers claim that their products target wide ranges of weeds, it doesn’t hurt to know exactly what type of weeds is affecting your property. This is very important if you plan on using a selective herbicide, because that way you can make sure that it will affect the particular weeds in your garden.

The best way to differentiate weeds is by learning about the common types of broadleaf weeds - which are annual, which are perennial, and which ones like moist environments. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t always list all types of weeds affected by their herbicides.

And, because of this, many people prefer natural herbicides, despite the slower removal process. On the other hand, many also use the most common types of chemical herbicides, even though they’re less safe to use.

I Recommend Caution No Matter What You End up Using

There’s no shortage of organic or super fast-acting synthetic weed killers these days. If you want to have beautiful and healthy flower arrangements on your property, getting rid of weeds has never been easier.

But, unlike when you’re picking other types of garden maintenance products, your decision to buy a weed killer should be given more thought. Some of them are only as safe as your method of application.