Weed Killer Classification: Organic and Inorganic herbicides

Weed Killer Classification The Organic vs. Inorganic

Besides pests and other factors that affect plants’ development, weed is one of the most dangerous enemies in your lawn. They grow fast, take away nutrition, and alter living habitat in the soil, causing all kind of difficulties for the plants to grow. In addition, some weeds have seed traits that are very good host for pests and pathogens, causing harmful to everything you grow. There are many ways to control and minimize the growth of weeds in your lawn and garden, such as pulling by hand, using shovels, plowed,… In particular, the use of herbicides to kill weeds is the most effective way to save money while it can be applied quickly many times without difficulty as other weeding measures.

Weed killer classification

According to the nature of herbicide chemistry

  • Inorganic herbicides
  • Organic herbicides

Classification of herbicides due to their impact characteristics

  • Selective herbicides
  • Non-selective herbicides
  • Exposure Herbicide
  • Internal appeal Herbicide
  • Herbicides on un-cultivated land
  • Pre-germination herbicides
  • Herbicide post-germinate

In this post, we will take a closer look at the organic and inorganic herbicides:

Defines of organic and inorganic herbicides

Organic herbicides:

Organic Lawn Care

This group is made from naturally occurring chemicals such as dinitrophenols, chlorophenoxy compounds, carbamates, bipyridyl compounds and amide herbicides. Even though organic herbicides increase the safety of users, it does not mean they are safe. If you misuse them, of course, they still cause danger to you, your family, your garden and your lawn, as well as the environment, too. On the contrary, if use it in the proper way, they will bring into play the best effective way to control weed, in addition to ensure safety.

Inorganic herbicides:

Most herbicides are inorganic salts. For instants, arsenite solution was very commonly used as herbicides from the 1960s until this chemical was banned for ecological toxicity. Iron sulphates, copper sulphates and ammonium sulphamate are also foliar spray herbicides. Sulfuric acid is used as a pre-germination herbicide on grain. Inorganic herbicides can burn plant leaves with plasmolysis and make cells dry. Borate salts can be found most of non-selective herbicides which usually get absorbed through plant roots. Sodium chlorate can be used as non-selective herbicides in high doses or foliar herbicides at lower doses.

The differences between organic and inorganic herbicides


Organic herbicides

Inorganic herbicides

Origin Originate from naturally occurring chemicalsSynthetically produced in labs
How do they kill weeds?They work by burning off the waxy cuticles that protect plant cells from losing water.The chemicals target to burn plant leaves using plasmolysis or plant roots using borates salts and make plant cells dry off.


Ingredients dinitrophenols, chlorophenoxy compounds, carbamates, bipyridyl compounds and amide herbicidescopper sulfate, sodium arsenite and sodium chlorate
Pros– Much safer for users and the environment.

– Easy to wash off when spray on veggies.

– Not harmful to soil and other plants in your garden.


– Work on many different kinds of weed.

– Work quickly and effectively at low cost.

– High effectiveness without repeating applications.

Cons– Expensive, not affordable for commercial crop production.

– Not very effective in killing mature weeds.

– The effectiveness is only based on how good it covers the weed. High concentration at low spray volume still ends up being less effective.

– Chemical in weed killers can settle on plants, causing them dangerous to ingest.

– Inorganic solutions cannot be clear absolutely with water no matter how many times you rinse your veggies.

– Inorganic herbicides seep into the soil and affect all plants in the bed or the garden.


Price ExpensiveCheaper
User preferences– Suit for those users who have better awareness of the safety of themselves and the environment.

– Whoever wants to kill just a few weeds in the garden.

– Suit for those who are in tight budget and need to kill many kinds of weeds at the same time.
EffectivenessLess effectiveMore effective

In reality, when compare organic and inorganic herbicides, because organic herbicides are much more expensive than the inorganic ones, many farmers and gardeners choose to make organic herbicides right at home to save cost using vinegar, citrus oil, clove oil or soap. However, this method is considered as non – selective, meaning they could cause harm to the vegetables just like how they do on the unwanted weeds.

I hope that this article provides useful information and wish you have a good time controlling weeds in the most effective and safest way.

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