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

Mystery cactus in Williamson County, Texas
May 27, 2008 - We have a cactus plant on our place that I have not seen anywhere else in central Texas. The flowers are bright yellow with wine-red centers, but very sparse--only one flower blooms at a time. The p...
view the full question and answer

Potted crown of thorns cactus cold tolerance in Marble Falls, TX
December 02, 2009 - I have a large potted crown-of-thorns cactus. Can it remain outside this winter in the Texas Hill Country?
view the full question and answer

Specimen evergreen for sun in Central Texas
August 28, 2010 - I'm soliciting suggestions for a specimen plant for a new garden we're building. It will be planted in a 3' square raised (18") Limestone bed. It will be full sun, Western exposure, and relative...
view the full question and answer

Protecting agave pups in San Antonio
April 23, 2013 - I would like to share the soon to happen bloom of two century plants on my property; they are sisters planted at the same time. I am sad to know they will die but will do all that I can to protect the...
view the full question and answer

Thorny shrub for deterring break-ins in southeast Texas
February 05, 2013 - Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Rosa Rugosa rose but it is not native.
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