Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Wednesday - March 31, 2010

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have lots of blue bonnets growing in my yard but they are overcome with weeds. What can I use to eliminate the weeds without killing the bluebonnets?

ANSWER:

Pull them out. Sorry, that's the only option. Anything you spray on the weeds will kill the bluebonnets and other plants in the neighborhood. Here is an answer to the question "Is there a way to weed my yard with weed killer and not harm my bluebonnets?" which came to Mr. Smarty Plants a few days ago.

"No. There are herbicides out there for broad-leaf plants or dicots (which includes  bluebonnets), for monocots, or grasses and the broad spectrum, kill-everything herbicides that will melt your sidewalk. Many of your weeds will probably be native grasses, but spraying with a spray for monocots just threatens other monocots, like your lawn grass. Spraying with an herbicide for dicots will kill the broad leaf plants and the bluebonnets, and can also drift around to kill a shrub or two, because they are also dicots. And, finally, all herbicides and pesticides can become residual runoff material, as rain or watering causes them to run off into our water supply and subsequently into your water glass. Identify the plants you want to keep, monocot or dicot, and pull out the others that you consider weeds. Getting them out before they have a chance to go to seed will help, although the wind and helpful birds will continue to provide you with fresh stock." 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Promoting Monarch Habitats in Texas
July 11, 2016 - My parents have a 6 acre pasture in East, TX with native milkweed in it. What are the best times of year to bush hog to promote more milkweeds & do you know of any grants to help manage land for monar...
view the full question and answer

Will wildflowers still be blooming end of March from Austin
November 20, 2009 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants - A wildflower enthusiast from Rome Italy wants to schedule a special visit to Austin end March early April 2010. Can she be sure wildflowers will still be blooming then?
view the full question and answer

October wildflower bouquets for South Carolina wedding
August 25, 2008 - I live in Marietta, Georgia and my daughter is getting married in Pendleton, South Carolina (near Clemson,SC) October 11th. I am in charge of getting 10 wildflower bouquets for the bridesmaids !!! C...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of mayflower
May 03, 2005 - Although I now live in Virginia, I grew up in eastern South Dakota. Several years ago while visiting SD I was walking in the pasture and noticed that many of the wild mayflowers (pasqueflowers) had ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Shaded Patio Container in Missouri
April 17, 2015 - What kind of native plants would grow well in a pot on a fully shaded patio? I live in Kansas City, Missouri. The patio faces north and doesn't get any direct sunlight, but it gets lots of indirect...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.