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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 28, 2012

From: Myrtle Beach, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Getting rid of invasive Florida betony from Myrtle Beach SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can I get rid of Florida Betony from my lawn and flower beds/ garden area. Garden area was thoroughly dug up and hand picked of all tubules last year at least a foot deep. They are much worse now. Any herbicide I've tried seems to kill everything in the vicinity, only the visible plant of Florida Betony, but it comes back.

ANSWER:

This just proves that a plant does not have to be non-native to be invasive. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that while Stachys floridana (Florida hedgenettle) is not native to Horry County, it does grow near there and has obviously invaded your property.

Because we are not familiar with this plant, we found this article from North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension on Florida betony. We learned from this that a spray cannot easily access the tubers in the ground, but can certainly kill things around it that you didn't want killed. One technique that we have sometimes recommended involves clipping the stem of the offending plant down near the surface of the soil. Using a disposable sponge paint brush, quickly drench the cut surface of that stem. With good luck this will penetrate down to the tuber without the stem having time to heal over to protect the tuber. Beyond that, sheer perserverance is about your only resort.

From this Dave's Garden forum, you will learn that it is also edible, in case you need a backup food supply.

Pictures

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for a Septic Field in NC
August 14, 2013 - What kinds of low water plants can I plant over a new septic field in North Carolina? The area is part sun so I am concerned about having trouble getting grass started.
view the full question and answer

Plants to stabilize sandy slope in Massachusetts
September 23, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smartypants, I am working on a small public housing project in Chelmsford, MA, northwest of Boston. We have a steep, sunny and SANDY slope and I am stumped as to what to recommend that wi...
view the full question and answer

Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
August 04, 2009 - My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
view the full question and answer

Effects of Hedysarum mackenzii from Pflugerville TX
May 08, 2013 - What are the effects of Hedysarum mackenzii?
view the full question and answer

Plants for low light in Houston
April 21, 2009 - I moved from a home in New Jersey to an apartment in Houston, TX -inside court - low light. I can't keep houseplants alive., What do you recommend that I try here? Both inside the apartment and on ...
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