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

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 Invasive Plants Questions

Invasive horesetail in Belvedere CA
August 23, 2009 - Can I ever get rid of horsetail? It was planted without a barrier and is now in my garden, not quite everywhere yet.
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native Senna bicapsularis from Ocean Springs MS
April 04, 2013 - I have 4 Senna plants (cassia bicapsularis) that I planted late last spring. They about 3-4 feet tall but are very gangly with leaves at or near the tips only. How should I prune them to encourage g...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating crabgrass in a newly mulched area in Austin
June 26, 2009 - We just had our whole front lawn taken out. We are starting to plant native plants in its place. The idea was to do whatís best for the environment and reduce maintenance. At this point Iím beginni...
view the full question and answer

Toxicity and invasiveness of Scarlet Wisteria
May 04, 2007 - I recently purchased seeds for Scarlet Wisteria (Chinese rattlebox tree). I spoke to a neighbor about this and she warned me not to plant them as they were poisonous to hummingbirds. Can you clarify...
view the full question and answer

Use of non-native pothos for outside wall from Las Vegas NV
January 05, 2014 - I am in Las Vegas, NV. I live in a cottage-style apartment so I have a north facing porch with no one on the west so I get some there (and have an inherited cactus probably a yard all round) I would ...
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