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How to Save Plants From Weed Killer

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017

Weed killers can be effective in removing weeds in your lawns and garden beds. But they also can kill off desired plants, too. The key to keeping your desired plants alive is to keep the weed killer spray off of them. Spraying weed killer in windy conditions is the ultimate recipe for disaster. If by accident you do spray weed killer onto your plants, it is possible to save them by following a few steps.

Spray the affected plants with water from a garden hose. This works best if you do it before the weed killer has a chance to dry on the leaves or flowers. The plants absorb the weed killer and transport it to their roots, which then die. Washing the weed killer off will prevent it from being absorbed.

Water the soil thoroughly around the plant. This will dilute the weed killer so that it can't be absorbed by the plant's roots.

Watch the plants over the next few days for signs of damage. If damage appears, prune off the damaged portion of the plant. Unless most of the plant is severely damaged, it should recover over time.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Water source
  • Pruning shears


  • If the weed killer was allowed to fully dry on the plant and the whole plant starts showing signs of damage, it might be too late to save the plant. Once absorbed by the plant, there isn't anything to reverse the effects of weed killers on plants.