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 Invasive Plants Questions

Identity of the mass fields of yellow flowers in North Texas
March 23, 2012 - Are the mass fields of yellow flowers we are seeing in north Texas now likely to be Indian Mustard (brassica juncea) or Charlock (brassica kaber or sinapis arvensis)? We are teaching a wildflower ide...
view the full question and answer

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
July 02, 2014 - Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is not a native U.S. plant. It was introduced to the U.S. from Europe and is now considered invasive in many parts of the western U.S. It invades our forested wild land...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for bamboo from Houston
May 21, 2013 - I've read one reply where you do not advise using Bamboo as a privacy fence plant. What do you suggest in its place? The suggestions on the one I read will not work for me. Your suggestions were My...
view the full question and answer

Removing three-seeded mercury in Austin
November 09, 2009 - How can I get rid of Three Seeded Mercury (Acalypha phleoides)? Even if I try to dig it up, the roots go down forever and it ends up just breaking at 6-8" down. Just breaking it off at the surface,...
view the full question and answer

Skunk cabbage from Amsterdam NY
May 02, 2012 - Will skunk cabbage grow under a mobile home and cause odor?
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