How Do I Choose the Best Dandelion Killers?

Sonal Panse

The simplest way to kill dandelions is, of course, by uprooting them by hand. This, however, may not be feasible if you have an extensive area to clear. In this case, you might want to look at the many dandelion killers that are available in the market. It is advisable to choose one that is extremely effective in both dandelion removal and dandelion control, is environmentally friendly, and is non-toxic to both humans, pets and other garden plants. Depending on the type of dandelion killers selected and the area to be sprayed, it can take anywhere from a few days to few weeks to get rid of the weeds.

The taste of dandelion leaves is similar to that of spinach.
The taste of dandelion leaves is similar to that of spinach.

Apart from uprooting the dandelions before they flower and form seeds, some gardeners have found it effective to pour boiling hot water over the plants. The hot water will scorch the plants and they will die in a couple of days. Two other dandelion killers from the kitchen are vinegar and liquid soap. These two can be combined together or added to the boiling water and poured over the dandelions. This method of dandelion removal is best for clearing up a small area.

Uprooting dandelions is the simplest way to remove them.
Uprooting dandelions is the simplest way to remove them.

A large plastic sheet or large sheets of cardboard can also be effective as dandelion killers, particularly in the case of large areas covered with dandelions. The plastic sheets or the cardboard sheets are spread over the plants, blocking air and sunlight and thus preventing photosynthesis from taking place; the plants will soon die. This method is known as mulching, and, while it can take a some time to clear up the weeds, it can be pretty effective. Regular mulching and fertilizing of the soil can also prove to be useful in dandelion control. Dandelions prefer acidic soil and will not generally flourish in a soil that is regularly improved with compost and fertilizers.

It might also help to know that dandelions, when not clogging up an area in excess, can be quite useful plants. The plant root can be used to brew an herbal beverage, to prepare a herbal medicine to treat diabetes, and to produce latex for making rubber. The leaves of the plant, which are rich in minerals and vitamins, can be eaten as a leafy vegetable which tastes somewhat similar to spinach. Given the presence of minerals and vitamins, the uprooted plants are excellent for making nutrient-rich compost. Dandelions can also make a nutritious feed for chickens, goats and rabbits.

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Discussion Comments


@fify-- Please us an eco-friendly, organic weed killer because weed killers mix into soil and water sources. Organic killers work just fine against dandelion weeds.


@fify-- I haven't tried any organic weed killers. I just use a regular weed killer for the dandelions in my lawn. But I don't apply it everywhere, I just spot spray and it kills the dandelions in a few days. Since you're just spraying it on the dandelion, it won't kill any other plants or grass. But make sure to do this when it isn't about to rain or it won't work.

A weed digger is good too, but only when there are a few dandelions. I don't have the time or energy to dig out a whole lawn-full of them.


I would try the boiling hot water method but I don't want bald patches in my garden. I think the hot water will kill the grass around the dandelions.

What are some other cheap, easy solutions that will give as little harm as possible to a garden?

Does anyone have experience with organic dandelion killers? Do they work well?

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