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?

Share

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

Friday - July 04, 2014

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question is, which weed will win? The Horseherb looks very similar to Chickweed! Except the Horseherb has yellow flowers, an no hairy trails? So if I plant the chickweed, will it smother out the Horseherb? Thank you very much for your expertise! ;-)

ANSWER:

I assume that you are referring to Common chickweed (Stellaria media), a non-native introduced from Europe and now widespread throughout the U.S. (There are other less common native plants called chickweed.)  From what I can find out, I believe that Common chickweed will outgrow Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy), also called Horseherb, in early Spring, because Chickweed is a cool season plant.  However, when temperatures rise into the 90's Horseherb will begin rapid growth and out-compete Chickweed. Horseherb is also more drought resistant than Chickweed. Horseherb definitely prevails in Central Texas, where I live, and I expect it will also be true in the Houston area, although you should seldom suffer from drought.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native hibiscus in Buckeye, AZ
June 26, 2009 - We have been having problems with our hibiscus plants. They are planted near 3 queen palms behind our pool. All were planted new three years ago. Early in the spring we had two just suddenly start dry...
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Paulownia
May 03, 2006 - Hi. We would like to plant a fast growing tree that will provide shade for our house. What do you think of the Paulownia tree (Empress Tree) as a possibility for the Austin area? If this is not a g...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
August 26, 2011 - I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "...
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae)
November 30, 2008 - I have two Bird of Paradise plants on my lanai (Marion County, FL) and they are both in large pots. Nobody but me seems to like them at my house and I have been asked if I could trim all the leaves o...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center