Will Vinegar Kill Daylilies?

On the surface, daylilies, in all of their bright yellow and orange glory, appear to be a charming enough flower. Hence, you may be surprised to find that for many, the emergence of daylilies in their garden is rarely an unwelcome surprise. The reason for this is simple. They’re invasive. 

The very presence of daylilies in your garden poses a threat to your other plants. With roots as deep as twelve inches, and their notoriously dense growth, they have a reputation for displacing any plants in their vicinity. 

Essentially, they threaten to take over the garden. Worst of all, they’re stubborn and difficult to remove. 

But for many, removal is the only option. This begs the question, could the beloved and ever useful household vinegar be up to the task? After all, it’s effective enough on weeds. 

So, will vinegar kill daylilies? Vinegar can kill daylilies. However, whether or not they will die is dependent on factors such as their maturity, root depth, and volume of the daylilies at the point of application.

Vinegar is effective enough when it comes to killing weeds, and its non-discriminatory nature means that it can also be relied on to hamper the growth of any other undesired garden life that it comes into contact with. 

Of course, this includes plants.

So read on to learn about how to use this versatile and cheap compound; besides, you want to protect the rest of your garden, don’t you?

How To Make A Vinegar-Based Solution To Kill Daylilies

So you’re ready to terminate those pesky daylilies, and you plan on using vinegar to do so! 

Your best bet is to whip up a batch of a classic weed-killing vinegar solution. 

I’ve laid out both the ingredients and method below. 

What You Will Need

All you need are the following three ingredients:

  • Vinegar – no surprise. 
  • Salt.
  • Dish soap.
  • And last but not least, a spray bottle. 

How To Make Your Vinegar Daylily Killer

Putting your vinegar solution together is straightforward enough. 

All you have to do is combine a tablespoon of dish soap, a cup of salt, and a gallon of vinegar, in a spray bottle. 

Perhaps the best thing about this mix is that it’s all natural and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about wearing gloves or taking any other extra safety precautions. 

How To Safely Use Vinegar To Kill Daylilies

When vinegar comes into contact with plants, it harms them. 

Usually, this statement serves as a warning. 

Fortunately, in this case, we’re aiming to damage the daylilies and ultimately to kill them, which makes the whole approach a pretty effortless one. 

Create The Solution

Once you have produced the vinegar solution and put it in a spray bottle, set the spray bottle to a fitting setting, i.e., one that allows for sufficient power and accuracy. 

Then, you’re ready to go! 

Spray Carefully

Go ahead and spray the daylilies all over, from their flowers to their stems. 

However, do be mindful to avoid hitting the soil with your solution, particularly if you have other plants growing in it. 

All three ingredients in your solution pose a threat to soil; they are capable of affecting its pH, drying it out, and depleting its nutrients. 

Nonetheless, daylilies tend to grow in such a crowded manner that, in a way, their proximity to one another winds up protecting your soil. They’re accidentally helpful! 

How Long Does Vinegar Take To Kill Daylilies?

Once the vinegar hits the daylilies, they will typically begin to wither within 24 hours. If you’re lucky enough that they haven’t yet grown in your garden in abundance, your efforts insofar may be sufficient. 

However, if you’re working with a high volume of daylilies, whether they’re mature or not, you may need to undertake a couple more rounds of the process before you see the results that you want.

A mere glance at the daylilies will quickly confirm just how much further action is required. If they still appear to be healthy, respray. Easy! 

Other Ways To Kill Daylilies

Overall, vinegar offers a decent solution to invasive daylilies. 

Nevertheless, daylilies are stubborn, and very much so, so it doesn’t hurt to have the knowledge of a few alternative approaches under your belt. 

I’ve shared some of the most popular ones below. 


If time is on your side, mulch may be the ideal solution for you. 

The first step is to mow the area where the daylilies are growing. 

Next, to apply the mulch. Around 12 or so inches of it should suffice. The mulch acts as a suppressant whilst preventing the daylilies from absorbing sunlight.

Under such conditions, the daylilies simply cannot thrive and will eventually die, roots and all.

Admittedly, the process will take many months and, in some cases, a whole year!

You will likely need to apply the mulch a couple of times a year, as your initial layer will eventually begin to decompose and become less effective. 

By Hand

If the daylily invasion isn’t too widespread, you could realistically remove them by hand.

Simply put on a pair of gloves and enlist a nifty spade to aid the process.

Next, go ahead and dig up the daylilies, being sure to extract their rootballs too.

This will not only kill the existing daylilies but will also decrease the likelihood of their re-emergence. 

It is important to take extra care when disposing of the pulled daylilies.

Place them in a bag and tie it tightly to avoid their growth in any form.

It goes without saying that mixing them into the compost is off the table. 

Weed Killer

Weed killer application is also an effective way to kill daylilies.

It works much like vinegar.

Simply apply the weedkiller to the daylilies whilst avoiding surrounding plants and the soil.

The daylilies will begin to die and, with a few resprays where needed, should be gone within a two-week period. 

However, unlike vinegar, systemic weed killers are toxic, so you’ll need to be careful to keep any pets and children away from the area at hand. 

How effective is vinegar at protecting your garden? Find out in my following guides: