Killing Weeds in Flower Beds

Category Weeds
It can be a challenge to destroy the weeds while maintaining the flowers in your garden. This page is about killing weeds in flower beds.


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August 17, 2013

I would like a recipe for a homemade weed killer for my flower garden.

By Jaci


June 8, 20173 found this helpful
Best Answer

I gallon of vinegar
2 cups of Epson Salt
1/4 c of dawn dish soap
Natural Safe and plant friendly

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November 26, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't think that any herbicide will work in a flower bed, it would damage the flower plants as well. I always pull them by hand when they are small and I plant lots of perennials to crowd out the unwanted weeds. Covering your garden beds in the spring will prevent weeds from starting too.

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March 26, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vinegar kills what it comes in contact along with salt. And salt can most definitely make the soil bad for anything to grow especially used repeatly.


Also consider your ph levels as vinegar may change this negatively. Salts are tough on plants whether regular salt or fertilizer salts.

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June 15, 2011

What weed killer can I use that won't kill my flowers? They are beginning flowers that have not budded yet, they are cock's combs. Please help. There are so many weeds mixed in with them and I'm afraid to pull them because I am pulling the roots of the flowers up too.

By sumdawn


June 16, 20114 found this helpful

Here are some good choices, also remember that you can put down plastic and just plant in the holes, the flowers will come up but the weeds will not, also remember t hat you can use newspaper, etc to discourage weeds. Here are some great products to use in the flowerbeds and links to learn more about the details and the pro's of each one.


I like this one because it has a fertilizer in it.
I like this one because it has non harmful chemicals for the soil.

Hope these help! These are safe to use around flower beds. Have fun in the garden! Also, you could cut the weeds off at the top of the soil and cover them with paper and then put rocks over them.

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June 17, 20111 found this helpful

Use layers of newspapers to cover up the weeds (you can place some dirt on top to help hold them down, etc). This will prevent the weeds from getting light and it's easy and inexpensive. :)

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August 23, 20151 found this helpful

I use roofing shingles, I purchased at Lowes. After using for 2 years, still no weeds. I mean 1 or 2 weeds pop out from the outer edge of the flower beds, but its better than 1000"s.. Try it.



Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 31, 20160 found this helpful

Exactly what I was thinking also using tarps with grey side up has worked as an experiment. May be cheaper than roofing but not last as 25 years rated by shingle manuf.

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April 25, 20171 found this helpful

How can I kill weeds around my annual flowers?

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May 6, 2019

What can I use to kill the weeds in a bed of ivy?


May 6, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Chemicals are so dangerous and can be harmful to more than the weeds, so avoid those.

How big is the bed? If it is small enough, don a good pair of gloves and pull by hand. Hopefully if you get them from the root, you can eliminate them.


If it is huge, you may want to try something like this recipe for vinegar, salt and dish soap. Use it with a spray that can target the weed roots:

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May 7, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

It would be best to pull by hand but if it is too much then you may have to resort to using a weed killer. Either way, it will be difficult to kill all of the weeds but if your ivy is healthy it may overpower the weeds and fill in some of the spots.

You can use a home-made solution like Pghgirl sited but be very careful as it will kill the ivy very quickly.

I have used a turkey baster with weed killer and place a few drops on the top of the weed so it flows down the stem.


It is best to pull/lay the ivy as far away as possible from where you are weeding.
This is usually best done in the hottest part of the day.

In the future, you may be able to curb some of the weeds by laying paper/landscape fabric/mulch before planting your ivy.
Small holes for ivy in landscape fabric will work as the ivy will usually trail/grow on top of the mulch.

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May 24, 2011

How do I kill weeds in my flower and shrub beds with no harm to my plants?

By Harold P


May 28, 20110 found this helpful

Generally, the only specific herbicides you can get are going to get them all; with the exception of the ones you can put on grass that will only kill broad-leaf weeds.

Hand pulling is the best; but if you must use an herbicide, you can be a little more selective in where it goes by applying it with a paintbrush. Take a stool out with you after a rain, and start yanking. It is not fun, but is the best way to get rid of the bad stuff without harming the good stuff.

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June 9, 20110 found this helpful

Jilson is absolutely correct-there is no herbicide that will be selective enough to save the wanted plants and kill off the unwanted. Sorry, but hand-weeding is the only way.

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June 9, 20110 found this helpful

Pull all the weeds that are up, then spreed a product called Preen this will keep weed seeds from germinating but doesn't harm the plants that are already up and growing

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April 11, 20170 found this helpful

kill weeds w hot water. Can pour vinegar on weed. Corn gluten. pull by hand. And my goats and chickens do a good job of ridding weeds and everything else!

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April 14, 20172 found this helpful

Preen was a joke for us. Live in North Carolina near the ocean on the border of South Carolina. Preen did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Followed directions exactly. Waste of $$

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September 14, 2017

How can I get rid of birch weeds in my rose garden without harming the roses? I keep pulling and pulling, but I can not seem to keep up with them at all. They are taking over and I don't want to harm my other plants.

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July 6, 2019

I have hydrangeas and spireas along with weeds in my flower garden that are constantly appearing, in abundance! How do I kill the shoots without killing the plants?

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March 17, 2014

How do you kill grasses in peony bushes?

By Bev


March 25, 20141 found this helpful

Carefully pull the grass out by the roots and mulch well to eliminate future problems. It may be easiest, if you live in a cold area, to do this when the peony is dormant so the plant won't be disturbed. You can also dig the peony out if necessary, clean the weeds from the soil, then replant the peony. It's a lot of work, but you'll be left with a really nice flower bed next year.

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June 28, 2013

I am looking for a way to quickly kill weeds in my flowerbeds. I am thinking of using Quick Kill. Is that safe and does it work? I need help. Thanks.

By Theo


June 29, 20130 found this helpful

Pesticides and herbicides are being linked to so many health issues.

This is my favorite. Step on and squash/break weeds, cover with mulch. That's it.

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March 9, 2012

What is a homemade weed killer you can spray in your garden that won't kill the bushes and flowers?

By Laura K.


March 10, 20120 found this helpful

Check the extension website (find it in your telephone white pages or by Googling) for loads of good information on controlling pests and plant diseases specific to your area.

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May 29, 2014

I put periwinkles in some old good dirt, but I see with different kinds of weed peeping up. How can I kill the weeds without killing the flowers?

By V from Hephzibah, GA

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April 22, 2013

What can we use to kill weeds in an iris bed without harming the irises?

By Barbara from Paducah, KY

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May 5, 2012

I have weeds that have come up. I pull them, but there are some that I can't get a hold of even after it has rained. So I wanted to know what kind of weed killer I can use that won't harm my flowers that are beginning to grow.


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April 2, 2010

Is there a weed and grass killer that is not harmful to flowers, so that it can be used in flower beds?

By DeeDee from Amarillo, TX

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 2, 2010

Can I use a weed killer in my flower bed?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Dave from Kansas City


Weed Killer for Flower Beds

I wouldn't. Our neighbor sprayed weed killer in his flower bed and nothing would grow for 3 years even after digging out the soil and replacing it.

By Leslee

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

There is a natural product out that actually stops weeds from sprouting. It is based on a byproduct of the corn industry. I purchase mine from an online company called Gardens Alive, but have seen the same product for sale at Lowe's with the organic fertilizers. I know it works to cut way back on annual weeds and it breaks down to a natural fertilizer. (10/28/2007)

By Viki

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

To every action there is a reaction. This is just as true in your garden. Chemicals such as Preen will kill weeds while also limiting the performance of other plants. The best weed killer is elbow grease. Once you have removed your weeds use an organic mulch such as newspaper or grass clippings to slow future weed growth. Good luck. (08/23/2008)

By Mike - Live Nursery Specialist

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Put shingles down, and then cover with mulch. (08/30/2008)

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Mulch does look nice in any garden and helps keep roots stay cooler while saving water uses. As much as it helps make a flower bed look very appealing it also hides weed roots allowing the weed root to grow deeper and stronger. Organic control with the use of Preen will slow down a weed problem as well flowering plant growth, but bottom line is if you get the whole root you kill the weed.

I start my weed elimination using the following steps from Spring to very late Fall for Zone 6

As soon as the Tulips show buds I use a weeding fork to loosen soils in six mid-sized area gardens. ( Note: I have to remove the past year's mulch. This will become the floor to a new compost pile for next year.) I then hand rake the lawn with both a rock rake and leaf rake, apply the grub killer with lawn fertilizer and then add Rose Food Organic Fertilizer (It's early March). As the Tulip flowers fall off I again hand fork all the flower beds and remove anything that has a leaf I don't recall planting from the prior year. Do not put these unknown leaves in to the compost pile nor leave them on the lawn.

The lawn then becomes the garden clock. Once a week from April to mid September I use a bagging mower to mow and dump the grass clippings on to the old mulch pile removed from beds. I then repeat with use of the hand fork of stirring up each area's flower beds removing any and all unknown shoots or weeds. If you just now noticed I still didn't add any mulch to any flower bed, that's because I also have a Maple tree that drops it's seedling pods from May to July. This means I have to rake my lawn to remove the seed pods before I mow and weed control after I mow. I only add Organic fertilizers to all flowering beds on the same time clock as a Climbing Rose calls for. This will continue one time weekly even though I could get away with a two week weed removal time frame. I can agree with hand removal as being the best way to kill weeds and not relying on mulch to hide the younger weed shoots which become very strong roots.

As the Fall season nears it's end and the leaves have started to fall I dig up all of any flowering plant that needs splitting up ( Day Lillies, Oriental Lillies, Iris, etc.). I dig a new home for them that measures at least four feet deep and perhaps 3 feet square and dispose of that dirt right on top of the weed pile from prior weedings and will use the well composted from two seasons ago to fill the holes.

When to use mulch.

If you grow an out of zone flowering plant, example:
A Zone 7 flowering plant grown in Zone 6 it's roots will need the added warmth through the Winter months that mulch can give by burying the plant or up to three feet high. I remove the dead stalks and or leaves in Spring when new growth on the "out of zone" flower shows new leaves.

As added color to flower beds:

However one needs to make sure the mulch they're about to add has "not" been dyed or colored. You should use mulch from an area garden shop vs a Home Depot or Lowe's Garden Department.

How to mulch for added color:

Thin layer. Did I mention thin yet? How thin is thin? You should be able to stick a finger into the mulch and see at least 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the first line of your index finger without sinking the finger in to the soft moist soil, but keep in mind the dreadful weed will be bigger before it shows its shoot and fertilizers will need added time for its effects on plants.

Flowering gardens are a busy place for those who have them. Our reward is the wonders of nature's colors. Trust me here. No one ever told me how nice my mulch looks, but then again I only use it for added warmth on certain flowering plants such as climbing Roses, Tea Roses, Miniature Roses, and some "out of zone" plants.


By Wesley Eldridge

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March 19, 2007
Q: Can I use the vinegar weed killer in a flower bed being careful not to spray the existing plants and if so how long before I can plant new plants or seeds?

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Darlene ORuairc from Clawson, MI

A: Darlene,

Vinegar shouldn't be used in any soil that you want to plant someday. It breaks down the soil's structure, leaving it unable to support growth. It's best just to hoe or hand pull the weeds and then mulch with an organic material to prevent weeds from re-emerging. Leaves, compost, cardboard, newspaper, grass clippings, straw, sawdust, pine needles and bark chips are some examples of effective mulching materials. Newspaper, straw, and grass clippings are my favorites, because they don't change the soil's pH and they contribute nutrients as they decompose. You might also consider planting a live mulch or groundcover to help control weeds. This trend is one that finally seems to be catching on. Most groundcovers have small, inconspicuous flowers and when used as a live mulch, provide gardeners with another way to add color and interest to the garden. Thyme is one example. It establishes quickly from seed, helps control insects, locks in moisture around plants and it smells nice. There are also several varieties with different colored foliage. Laurentia, WinterCreeper, Ivy, Trailing Periwinkle, Creeping Phlox and Sedum are examples of other great live mulch choices.

Good luck!

More Answers:

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Try to stop the weeds before they grow. In the Spring I use Preen on all of my flower beds. This product stops the weed seeds from sprouting and it works quite well. Then you won't have as many weeds grow. They also have one with fertilizer in it too. (05/06/2006)

By Anna

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July 25, 2004
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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