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How to Kill Weeds in Flower Beds

By Jonathan McLelland
Killing flower bed weeds should be done by hand to prevent damage to surrounding flowers.
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Flower beds are a beautiful addition to a front or backyard; however, common weeds can infiltrate them. Killing weeds in flower beds differs from killing weeds in lawns as you must be careful not to damage the flower root systems in your attempt to get rid of these organic pests. By following several steps you can effectively remove weeds from your flower bed without damaging the integrity of the flowers.

Check the flower bed early in the growing season to spot freshly sprouting weeds. Dig around the weed with a trowel to pull it up from the roots. If your flowers are located within three-inches of the weed, do not dig into the ground, but rather grab hold of the weed as close to the dirt as possible and gently pull. Do not use excessive force as this could cause the weed to rip, leaving most of its root system in place and increasing the likelihood of spreading its seeds.

Use a fishhook tool to remove the root system after you have lifted as much as the weed out of the ground. This effectively removes the root system from the flower bed without potentially damaging surrounding flower root systems. Place the weeds and their root system in a trash bag immediately after uprooting them.

Spray a small amount of a weed killer with trifluralin directly where the weed root system was. North Carolina State University states trifluralin is a weaker weed control spray, yet it is safe to use on most herbaceous ornamentals.

Spread a layer of organic mulch directly onto the flower bed after ridding the bed of all visible weeds. Mulch discourages the growth of weeds and their seedlings.


Things You Will Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Trowel
  • Fishhook tool
  • Trash bag
  • Trifluralin weed killer
  • Organic mulch


  • Check for weed development at least once a week to remove the weeds as they are young.


  • Do not spray just any weed killer into a flower bed as this could cause injury to the flowers.

About the Author


Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.