Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - June 15, 2012

From: Nashville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Saving non-native sempervivum from accidental weed killer application from Nashville TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How to save a 'Live Forever' plant that had weed killer put on it by mistake.

ANSWER:

The name "Sempervivum" has its origin in the Latin Semper ("always") and vivus ("living"). Sempervivum are called "always living" because this perennial plant keeps its leaves in winter and is very resistant to difficult conditions of growth.

When we searched on "Live Forever" plant, we found many, many plants going by that common name, all of them were sedums of one sort or another, so we settled on Sempervivum to research. We found very little mention of herbicides in connection with the plants. When we are asked about herbicides, we always first establish if the plant is a monocot (narrow-leaved, like grasses) or dicot (broad leaved, like shrubs, trees, herbaceous blooming plants). Succulents are neither, they are sometimes called "fat plants" because they hold water in their structures.

Probably about all you can do is wait and see. If they are going to die, it will probably takes them about 3 weeks to do so. If some parts of the structure droop or turn brown, you can just clip them off. Succulents are very sturdy and good at self-preservation. Even if the above ground structures turn brown and are trimmed away, the roots will likely regenerate the plant.

Bottom line: we don't know of anything to cure it of herbicide, or any other plant, for that matter. What's done is done.

Don't do it again.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native invasive creeping fig on oak tree
August 15, 2007 - I have a creeping fig in a pot that sits next to an oak tree. It took to the tree as a trellis and looks beautiful. My question is: is it doing the tree any harm?
view the full question and answer

Pruning a non-native Hinoki cypress from Denver NC
July 08, 2011 - Hi! Our painters have asked that we trim the Golden Hinoki Cypress back from the house. The tree is about 20' tall, beautiful and healthy. Since it is July and therefore, HOT! I'm wondering how t...
view the full question and answer

removing paper mulberry shoots from lawn
August 09, 2011 - Dear Mr./Ms. Smartypants, I recently moved into an Austin home with the backyard taken over by paper mulberries. There were originally 2-3 large bush/trees, but now that I've removed them I realiz...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native Japanese maple
June 03, 2008 - Can you tell me how to properly prune a Japanese maple?
view the full question and answer

Aphids in non-native crape myrtles in Austin
August 19, 2009 - What is the least toxic way of getting rid of aphids? They are on a crapemyrtle and I do not think it will hold up to really forceful water spray. Due to the drought in Central Texas, our St. Augus...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.