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
1 rating

Thursday - March 08, 2012

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Vinegar as a Herbicide
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

When can you use vinegar on weeds to get rid of them.

ANSWER:

Depending on my attitude at the time – almost anytime and never.

Here’s the deal:  Almost anytime because you should consider it a broadcast herbicide.  Put it on plants, any plants, and they’re history [in theory].

Never because it’s a broadcast herbicide and not all that good as one.  The Wildflower Center is big on natural solutions, and it is natural, but a broadcast herbicide will kill anything it contacts.[Including all your desired plants that are accidentally in the way. Murphys Law insists that they will die a horrible death while the weed will just shake it off.].

Here is a great previous Mr Smarty Plants answer that puts a little more detail into my comment that it is not a very good herbicide and better explains why our preferred approach doesn’t include broadcast herbicides.

Here is a Mr Smarty Plants answer on the topic of invasive week control with some more detailed advice.

And, I found three more answers like this where vinegar wasn’t such a good solution, this answer points to some websites with approaches for invasive weed control.

 

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Spring care for Garrya ovata from Pflugerville, TX
February 24, 2014 - Hello again, Mr. S-P, I planted a Mexican silktassel in April 2012 (purchased at the WFC). It has done well, but the leaves are bronzed and splotchy from this winter's freezes. All the stems are...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
February 23, 2010 - When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
view the full question and answer

Care for penstemons in South Jordan, UT
June 21, 2009 - I have Firecracker Penstemons and they bloomed beautifully this year. How do I trim them and when? Will they continue to bloom throughout the summer?
view the full question and answer

Wintering of non- native jasmine in Newton KS
September 18, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I received a gorgeous jasmine for mothers day and I planted it in my front yard in the flower area close to the house. Can I keep it there all winter or do I need to dig it up a...
view the full question and answer

What to do about cold damage to spineless prickly pear?
March 05, 2010 - In Austin, Texas our 'spineless' prickly pear cactus is about 6' wide by 4' tall. In the last severe freeze, the top half flattened out and has remained that way. Should I cut the flattened pads o...
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