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 Problem Plants Questions

Controlling weeds in Habiturf lawn
May 16, 2015 - What's the best way to get rid of weeds in a Habiturf lawn? Habiturf seems like a great idea, but even with no extra water and no fertilizer, it seems the weeds take over - K.R. Bluestem and various...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of nut grass from San Antonio
March 22, 2011 - We just had a house built on a lot that was mostly rock. The small back yard has a berm on which they brought in soil then mulched it. Now we are getting all sorts of weeds through the mulch, what my...
view the full question and answer

How can I eradicate Mexican Petunia from my garden in Vacaville CA?
July 02, 2009 - Can you tell me the best way to eradicate the plant Ruellia, commonly known as Mexican Petunia, from my garden?
view the full question and answer

Getting Rid of Firecracker Flower
July 16, 2015 - We live in the Tampa area of Florida. We planted Russelia equisetiformis under some palm trees 10 years ago. It has grown deep among the palm tree roots. We want to kill the Russelia without harming ...
view the full question and answer

Live oak sprouts in Austin
August 01, 2010 - How can I control the hundreds of live oak sprouts our lovely trees are throwing off? We recently landscaped with rain gardens and the related drainage ditches; they are filled with these very happy ...
view the full question and answer

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