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

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 Cacti and Succulents Questions

Mulching Spring Bulbs in Upstate NY
October 25, 2010 - Just planted tulip bulbs for Spring. The Parks Department then put 4 inches of mulch on top. Will the tulips be able to get through and bloom come Spring? Is mulch a good winterizer for them? Indoor c...
view the full question and answer

Boundary plants to control cats
June 06, 2006 - Is there a plant especially ANNOYING to cats that I could plant along my fence line to keep him away from the street beyond? It would have to be hardy enough for hot temps & full sun. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Non-native jade plant from Pauline SC
August 24, 2012 - Do jade plants grow in South Carolina; if, so where?
view the full question and answer

Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
May 23, 2014 - I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
view the full question and answer

Possibly non-native succulent identification
March 27, 2008 - My mother has a plant that grows on a stalk, 2.5' tall, leaves are about 4-5" on the mature plant. The leaves are scalloped on the edges and seeds grown in the scallops & fall off and make new plan...
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