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

Pipevine (Aristolochia sp.) found in Denton County Texas
August 24, 2009 - I am almost positive that I have numerous pipevine swallowtail in my garden in Denton County, TX. I read that the host plant for the larva is almost exclusively pipevine. Would any kind of pipevine be...
view the full question and answer

Plants to cover 1000 square foot wall in Virginia
March 29, 2013 - In Norfolk, VA, I want to cover a large (1000 sq ft) cement wall with a variety of maintenance free plant life. Any recommendations?
view the full question and answer

Plants for wall with afternoon sun in Oregon
July 03, 2008 - Portland, Or. We have a stacked cement wall about 30 feet long that receives afternoon sun from the west. we would like to plant something edible along that wall that can tolerate afternoon sun. G...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Fence Vines for Austin, TX
August 31, 2013 - Hi, What are the best high density vine plants for coverage on chain link fence in Austin, TX? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center