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How Can I Kill Weeds in My Flower Bed Without Killing Plants?

By Cleveland Van Cecil ; Updated September 21, 2017
Weeds in a flower bed quickly kill off flowers.
Rose Rose image by Jan Wowra, Frankfurt from Fotolia.com

Flower beds are a lot of hard work. Along with the constant pruning and fertilization required for general maintenance, there are weeds to worry about. Weeds compete with flowers for precious resources in the soil. Control of weeds in a flower garden can prove difficult, as some chemical herbicides will damage the delicate flower petals if mismanaged. Weed control using cultivation practices and selective herbicides will prevent this issue.

Till the flower garden using a rototiller before planting your flower bulbs, seeds or plants, to break up the root systems of existing weeds and prevent the germination of seeds.

Apply a selective pre-emergent herbicide to the soil of the garden to prevent the germination and growth of any seed that are present in the soil. According to Cornell University, trifluralin and corn gluten are both organic pre-emergent herbicides known to work in flower gardens without damaging flower seed.

Pull any weeds that grow from the garden using your hands and a small hand trowel to dig up the roots. A small section of root left in the soil will grow a new weed in some cases. Wear safety gloves to prevent cuts or pricks from thorns.

Spray any weeds that spring up in the garden with a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts water on the foliage. Spray using a hand held spray bottle on a calm day with little breeze. Bleach causes the weed to wilt and die, reducing its ability to absorb sunlight and water.


Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Work gloves
  • Spray bottle
  • Bleach
  • Water