2,4-D is effective at killing clover in lawns. Because it is a selective herbicide, 2,4-D kills clover without harming most species of turfgrass. It can show initial results within 48 hours, with complete results in 14 days. It is effective against both white clover and red clover.
Do not use 2,4-D to kill clover if your yard is planted with St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Centipede Grass. 2,4-D can harm these grasses. Instead, use an Atrazine-based weed killer when combatting clover in these lawns.
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Best 2,4-D Product for Clover Control
2,4-D alone can kill clover, but purchasing pure 2,4-D for home use is not the most effective strategy. To get the most out of 2,4-D, it is commonly combined with other herbicides, such as Dicamba, to more effectively kill broadleaf weeds without harming the grass. One high-quality 2,4-D product for clover control is Ortho Weed B Gon.
- 2,4-D performs best when mixed with other herbicides and surfactants.
- Many commercial weed killers contain a mix of active ingredients to boost 2,4-D effectiveness.
- Ortho Weed B Gon provides clover control with 2,4-D and additional ingredients.
Commercial weed killers also contain surfactants that cause the herbicide to stick to plants, increasing effectiveness. Pure 2,4-D is more likely to wash off. To kill clover effectively, search for a product that contains 2,4-D, Dicamba, and a surfactant.
Best Time to Apply 2,4-D to Kill Clover
Spray the clover in your lawn with 2,4-D in spring through early summer, when temperatures are 60–85℉ (15–30℃). This is the perfect time to attack both red clover and white clover before they are firmly established and have seeded. These are also optimal temperatures for 2,4-D performance:
- Spring–Summer with temps 60–85℉ (15–30℃).
- When grass is damp or dry, not wet.
- Choose a low-wind or no-wind day.
- Apply to lawn according to manufacturer instructions for volume per square foot.
- Applying too much 2,4-D can harm lawn grass.
Always carefully review manufacturer instructions when applying a 2,4-D herbicide to your yard. Used correctly, 2,4-D leaves most grasses unharmed. If too much is applied, it can cause yellowing, browning, and even grass death.
How Long Does 2,4-D Take to Kill Clover?
You can expect to see the clover in your lawn begin to show signs of wilting and yellowing in as little as 48 hours after spraying with 2,4-D. However, 2,4-D is a slow-acting selective herbicide that does not show full results killing clover for up to 14 days. Remain patient as the leaves and flowers of the clover in your yard gradually die.
- 48 hours for initial results.
- 14 days for full weed killing results.
- Do not apply 2,4-D more than once per 30 days.
Because 2,4-D takes a while to deliver its full impact, you may be tempted to make a second application if you don’t see initial results. Refrain from doing this. Applying 2,4-D more than once within 30 days can cause harm to your grass.
How to Prevent Clover Reinfestation
Once you have killed the clover in your yard using a 2,4-D-based herbicide, it’s essential to take steps to make sure the clover does not invade your yard again. To prevent clover’s return, do the following:
- Fertilize your lawn with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Clover grows best in low-nitrogen soil.
- Aerate your lawn to promote good grass root growth.
- Use a pre-emergent herbicide in spring to prevent clover from sprouting.
White clover is prone to returning to yards where it has previously been eradicated. This is because clover spreads from nearby yards by creepers and by seeds carried by the wind. By enriching your soil’s nitrogen levels, you reduce the chance of clover thriving in your yard. Use a pre-emergent herbicide in spring to stop clover seeds from sprouting.
Will 2,4-D Kill Grass Around Clover?
2,4-D is safe to use on most species of turfgrass, but it may damage some particular species. As with any selective herbicide, review the label of your 2,4-D product to make sure it is safe to use with your grass type.
If too much 2,4-D is applied to grass it can harm almost any lawn. Keep your grass safe by mixing it correctly, and applying 2,4-D at the recommended volume per square foot, only once per 30 days.
Grass Types Safe for 2,4-D Use
The following grass species are not harmed by 2,4-D. If you have one or more of these grasses growing in your yard, it’s safe to use 2,4-D.
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Bermuda Grass
- Buffalo Grass
It’s important to note that all the common species of cool-season grass are safe for 2,4-D application. If you live in the northern United States or Canada it’s a safe bet that you can use 2,4-D on your lawn.
Grass Types Harmed by 2,4-D
Below are the grasses that can be damaged or killed by a 2,4-D application. If you’re trying to kill clover, and your yard contains any of the following grasses, do not use 2,4-D-based products.
- St. Augustine
- Centipede Grass
If you are trying to kill clover in a yard with one of these grass types, use an Atrazine-based weed killer to wipe out clover and protect your lawn.
Does 2,4-D Control Clover in Grass?
Clover can be effectively killed and controlled by spraying it with 2,4-D. For home use, we recommend spraying your yard with a weed killer that combines 2,4-D with other ingredients. This will help the 2,4-D stick to the clover leaves and kill it completely.
- 2,4-D is effective at killing both red and white clover.
- 2,4-D is more effective at clover control when combined with Dicamba and other ingredients.
- Use your 2,4-D product on clover in spring, when temperatures are 60–85℉.
- Follow product guidelines and verify your grass is safe for 2,4-D application.
2,4-D is safe to use on cool-season grasses but may cause harm to some warm-season grass species, such as St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Centipede Grass. Use a different herbicide to kill clover in these yards.