En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 24, 2010

From: Victoria, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Large weed removal in Victoria VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a weed problem. Along my house and garage are several weeds that have grown to small-tree size. I plan to rip them out of the ground as soon as it cools off, but I've done this before and they always come back. I'm committed to not using chemicals, but what else can I do to keep those weeds from coming back? Thanks! p.s. -- I live in southern Virginia, zone 7

ANSWER:

We would say the first mistake you made was letting those weeds get that big! Whatever they are, if they are as big as a tree, you are way behind the curve. Learn to recognize what the seedlings look like, and rip them out before they get so big. They probably germinate or come up from suckers, depending on what plant it is, and emerge in the Spring. It is also cool enough to work in the garden then, and much easier.

We would suggest you contact the Lunenburg County Extension Office to see if they can tell you what the plant is. If it is an annual, your first priority is to keep it from seeding, and then pull out the seedlings as soon as they emerge. Seedlings can wait their turn in the soil for a long time, so this will be a continuing process. If is a perennial, coming up from roots every year, then you need both to get those roots out of the ground AND prevent seeding.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Invasive Cissus trifoliata in Dallas
May 25, 2011 - I have finally identified an invasive, stinky vine in my urban landscape as Cissus trifoliata. It was waxy leaves, small greenish flowers, and small black berries. It appears to spread with undergrou...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Science project on invasive plants in American Samoa
September 23, 2004 - What is an experiment I can do on invasive plant species for a science project? What are some main invasive plant species found in American Samoa? Where can I go to find more information on invasive ...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of Polygonum punctatum (dotted smartweed)
July 28, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, After much online research, my property has been invaded by what I believe to be Persicaria polygonum punctata, more commonly known as dotted smartweed. I have tried hortic...
view the full question and answer

Help with control of small, invasive groundcover
April 16, 2012 - I have a very invasive ground cover creeping into my yard. I've tried to identify it and it's similar to creeping charlie or garlic mustard. Leaves are triangular with jagged edges, small purple f...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center