Is Lavender Oil The All-Natural Weed Killer You've Been Looking For?

We all want to live healthy lifestyles, and that includes limiting the amount of harmful chemicals we are exposed to. Weed killers are proven to have ingredients that are harmful to both humans and animals, which can make them unappealing for homeowners who have beloved pets running around the yard. However, untreated weeds can spiral and eventually take over your yard, ruin other plants, and ultimately become more difficult to remove in the long run. While there are many DIY weed killers out there, lavender essential oil is one of the most commonly used. Not only is it healthier, but incorporating lavender essential oil into your weed control routine can also add a pleasant aroma to your outdoor space, enhancing the overall ambiance of your yard. There are many benefits to using this oil; it's all-natural and it smells amazing, but how well does it really work?

Does lavender oil work as a weed killer?

The answer is yes, but with some stipulations. One study published by Inderscience states, "Essential oils could be useful as potential bioherbicides as an alternative strategy to the chemical remedy." The scientists from that study concluded that while essential oils could provide an effective and sustainable weed-killer solution, more field research is needed. Meanwhile, a Greek study from 2020 confirmed the finding with research on the phytotoxicity (toxicity to plants) of lavender and other essential oils on foxtails. They determined that the lavender oil helped to greatly reduce the germination and root growth of the foxtail weeds. However, it's important to note that using this essential oil probably won't eliminate the weeds 100%, especially upon the first application the way that store-bought herbicides are supposed to. But for some, the health and environmental benefits outweigh the increased effectiveness of regular weed killers. So, what can you do to increase the effectiveness of the lavender oil?

The most effective essential oils to eliminate weeds

The Greek study found that while lavender oil is effective, it's not the sole or best solution of its kind. By combining lavender with other essential oil components like oregano and clove, researchers saw even better results. While lavender works to eliminate weeds, it's not the most powerful essential oil in your arsenal. The Italian Journal of Agronomy found that cinnamon essential oil outperformed lavender and peppermint oil at inhibiting weed germination. While there are many uses for cinnamon oil, its efficacy and safety as a weed killer seems to be a gamechanger for organic gardening enthusiasts. Of course, it might not be as powerful on deep-rooted adult weeds when compared to a store-bought herbicide, but if you are willing to apply a few rounds of treatment and check your garden frequently to catch any sprouting weeds while they are still young, an essential oil approach should give you the results you're looking for. So, if you want to maintain a beautiful, toxin-free garden, grab your bottle of cinnamon or lavender oil, or maybe even try a combination of both.