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

Propagation of trumpet vines from Dallas
August 19, 2010 - Can you tell me about trumpet vines, can they be rooted in water? I heard they reseed at the end of their growing season.
view the full question and answer

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
view the full question and answer

Native Vines for Pacific Northwest
June 30, 2010 - Hello, I recently built a shed/pen for my large dog. I have a trellis horizontal above the fence to hide the shed from street. I live in Pacific NW. Do you have any suggestions on a nontoxic evergr...
view the full question and answer

Is Matelea reticulata invasive? Will it take over a crossvine?
June 11, 2014 - I have 50 feet of fencing with a healthy crop of cross vine on it. Pearl milkweed (I believe it is Matelea reticulata) is growing into portions of the cross vine. Is the milkweed too invasive for th...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a grapevine in San Antonio
May 20, 2009 - I planted a small grapevine that is growing well. I want to move it, (only tiny green grapes now, should be merlot) and wondering if I can do it now, mid May, or do I have to wait until fall? Not real...
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