En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 20, 2014

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Problem Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Removal of thistles from Columbus TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am sorry if you have an answer in FAQs but I could not find it. We recently cleared property near Columbus Texas of many cedars (ash junipers). This spring we experienced a profusion of thistle - big and many. How do we remove them?


It's okay, we can't remember where previous answers are ourselves, even though we answered them ourselves. Begin with this previous answer on thistles in Central Texas. In cases like this, we don't worry about native and non-native, if they are obnoxious, you want to get rid of them. When you get to that answer, you will find another, Native and Non-native Thistles, that we recommend you follow, also, along with any other links. Finally, for the nuts and bolts of thistle removal, Mr. Smarty Plants has addressed this exact question before and, even though this previous answer is from Ohio, it tells you exactly what we would say again, and we are getting lazy. Easier for the same answer to be read twice than for us to type the same answer twice. We do warn you, this is not going to be easy, native or not, these plants take care of themselves.

These solutions are not easy, a lot of hard work is involved but we never promised you a rose garden, did we?


More Invasive Plants Questions

Nimblewill grass for a shady area in Dallas
April 04, 2013 - i have a very shady backyard and reading some of your post I think Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) will survive. Two questions: Is it drought resistant? Where can I buy the seeds?
view the full question and answer

Identity of Dwarf Oyster Plant.
June 02, 2009 - I purchased a plant from the local Home Depot, and it said on the sticker in was a Dwarf Oyster Plant. I can't seem to find any information on that name, so maybe it was marked wrong. See if you ca...
view the full question and answer

Chinaberry trees coming up volunteer
October 14, 2007 - I have several chinaberry trees that have sprouted after my neighbor trimmed his tree. I have cut these trees down to the ground a couple of times, but they just send out new shoots. Any idea on how...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of tree in North Carolina
September 07, 2011 - I live in North Carolina have found a tree on our property that has thorny branches and round fruit (perfectly round) with a fuzzy outer layer that starts out green but then turns yellow. The inside r...
view the full question and answer

Controlling Straggler Daisy
July 07, 2011 - Is there a barrier I can use that will keep Straggler Daisy under control so that I will not be a problem for my neighbors?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center