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
2 ratings

Friday - February 29, 2008

From: Manchaca, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Possibility of using vinegar solutions for weed control
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is your suggestion about the control of weeds - do you consider vinegar solutions environmentally friendly?

ANSWER:

The purpose and focus of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to promote the care and continuation of plants native to North America. We neither advise for nor against the use of any herbicide or pesticide. If you would be interested in the research being done by agricultural scientists, go to this United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Resource Services website on Organic Weed Control with Vinegar. Another article you might be interested in reading is this Washington State University extension site on Acetic Acid as Herbicide. Both of these articles point out that common household vinegar is 5% acetic acid; effectiveness in killing plants generally requires a higher percentage of acetic acid, up to 20%. At that strength, if it is to be sold as an herbicide, it must be appropriately labelled, with cautions regarding use of protective clothing while using high concentrations of vinegar. Skin irritaion from contact, lung irritation from fumes and very severe and permanently damaging eye irritations from splashes all are possible. And, of course, it is no more selective than any other herbicide. Spray it on a weed, let it splash on a prized flower, and both may be gone.

Just as a personal opinion, honestly, we feel that if you're going to go all that trouble and bend over to carefully spray just the leaves of the offending weed, wouldn't it be just as well (and possibly less dangerous both to yourself and the environment) to just pull the darn thing out?

 

More Vines Questions

Trailing milkvine, Matelea pubiflora, identified from seed pod
November 10, 2006 - I have a vine that has a seed pod that looks like okra. Inside the pod is a small flat seed and a cotton-looking fiber. Please help identify, if possible.
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with purple flowers
July 06, 2011 - I'm trying to identify a vine-like plant growing in my yard to determine if it is a weed or should be kept around. It has small purple flowers with a small yellow center, looking like a mini honeysuc...
view the full question and answer

Vine to cover concrete retaining wall in Georgetown TX
March 02, 2013 - I have an unsightly concrete retaining wall and culvert covers that require fast coverage from a vine of some sort. The plant must be deer resistant and drought tolerant. The retaining wall and culv...
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Plants in bloom in April in Stuart FL
February 24, 2012 - Can you tell me which plants I might reasonably expect to see in bloom in April of this year?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center