What is Nonselect Herbicide?

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 16, 2022)


There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of different types of herbicides available on the market. Chances are you have come across several different brands and kinds of herbicides when looking around your local nursery. However, what most people don't realize is that all of these different brands and kinds of herbicides basically boil down to two types of herbicides: selective and nonselective. What is nonselect herbicide? The answers to this, and other questions, are listed below.

  • What it is. Simply put, a nonselect herbicide is one that will affect just about any plant with which it comes into contact. This basically means that any and all plants that it is applied to will be killed off. In comparison, selective herbicides are designed and made to be effective only against certain types of plants. Another term that is commonly used for nonselective herbicides is a broad-spectrum herbicide.
  • Types of nonselect herbicides. There are all kinds of broad-spectrum and nonselective herbicides that you can choose from. In fact, many of the more commonly known or recognized weed killers are actually nonselective herbicides. These are known by such names as Roundup, or Ortho Weed-Be-Gone to name a couple. A commonly used organic nonselective herbicide is vinegar. Basically anything that says that it will kill off multiple types of plants can be used as a nonselective herbicide.
  • The effects of a nonselective herbicide. Non-selective herbicides need to be used with great care since they can kill off any and all plants that they come into contact with. Usually you should only use these types of herbicides when you don't care what plants you kill off. Ideally, you will use this on an area that you have already prepared as much as possible, such as a garden before planting. This means that you should take extreme care when you use it, and when it stored. If you accidentally spill some of this type of herbicide it will kill off anything that it comes into contact with.
  • Applying nonselective herbicides. When you decide to use a nonselective herbicide in an area that has more than one kind of vegetation great care needs to be taken. The easiest way to do this is if you are using a liquid style herbicide, and put it into a spray bottle. Take this spray bottle and directly spray the area of the plant you want gone. Do not spread the herbicide around too much, but try to get it onto the plant that you want removed as much as possible.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Deck Flower Boxes

Whether you live in the city and only have a small balcony, or live in the suburbs and have an even larger deck, you ...

Discover More

Removing Permanent Marker from Leather

Leather is a wonderfully versatile material that can be used in clothing, furniture, or even as an accessory. However, ...

Discover More

Neutralizing Plastic Container Odors

While plastic containers are wonderful items to use around the kitchen, there are generally a couple of problems with ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

When to Use Non-select Herbicide

Nonselective herbicides are a very powerful, and potentially dangerous, gardening tool that you easily use incorrectly ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 3?

2012-07-31 04:54:58


Enjoyed your explanation and cautions. In the future, I would like to hear more about organic solutions (like vinegar).


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)