Pre-Emergent Dandelion Control

Although dandelions can be decorative by adding a vivid color to your lawn, they can also be as stubborn as any other weed since they have deep tap roots.

But don’t worry, pre-emergents can easily solve this problem. Pre-emergents can literally stop dandelions as well as other types of lawn weeds. They are very effective in the control of dandelions.

Here you will find all the necessary information on how to use pre-emergents to get rid of every form of a dandelion from your lawn. Let’s go…

Pre-Emergent Dandelion Control

How do pre-emergents deal with dandelions?

Let’s get familiar with how pre-emergents work in order to know the best time and procedure for applying them to your lawn.

1. Pre-emergent is recommended for ungerminated weeds

The name says it all, you are dealing with herbicides intended for weeds that are yet to appear on the surface of the soil. According to this, they are ineffective on existing or already germinated weeds. Pre-emergents work in a way that forms a barrier against further growth of the weeds so it prevents them from taking further roots into the soil.

2. Careful - Fresh turf may be killed

Pre-emergents can affect your turfs because they are not immune to pre-emergents. Pre-emergents can treat your turf like a weed. Many homeowners have complained about their lawns being dormant after pre-emergent application. So, don’t seed while applying pre-emergents.

Seed your lawn for about six weeks before you apply the pre-emergents or alternatively, you can seed three months after application.

3. Apply correctly

Don’t expect your pre-emergents to be 100% effective if they are not applied correctly. Cover as much surface area as possible otherwise, you will still have dandelions to deal with in the ignored areas.

Best Pre-emergent dandelion killers (that won’t kill your grass) + their cost

Product 1: Espoma Organic Weed Preventer (Granulated pre-emergent selective dandelion killer)

Product 2: Southern Ag – 12401- Surflan A.S. – Pre-emergent herbicide (Pre-emergent selective spray dandelion killer)

Product 3: Tenacity Herbicide (Liquid pre-emergent selective dandelion killer)

Product 4: Speedzone EW Broadleaf Herbicide (Liquid pre-emergent selective dandelion killer)

When to apply pre-emergent herbicides to dandelions?

Early spring or fall is the best time to apply for pre-emergents. During this time dandelions begin to sprout so the herbicides can kill them before they sprout.

You can apply pre-emergents in Spring when the temperature range is between 36 to 72 ℉, but the optimal temperature is 55 ℉. This should be around March/April or two weeks before the dandelion seeds germinate.


According to my research and experience with homeowners, the best choice of pre-emergent herbicides for dandelions are Prodiamine and Dithiopyr. Timing is also crucial here. Since dandelions are perennials, pre-emergents will prevent new dandelion seeds from emerging, but it will not prevent dandelions that have overwintered in your lawn from coming back.

Yes, Roundup will kill the dandelions, and other weeds as well, but it will also cause serious damage to your grass because of the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, which is a non-selective herbicide.

On the other hand, there is a relatively new product available, called Roundup For Lawns, that does not contain glyphosate. The active ingredients here are MCPA, quinclorac, dicamba, and sulfentrazone. These herbicides are pretty effective against dandelions and other lawn weeds that infest your lawn, and when used properly will not harm the desirable grass in the lawn.

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