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?


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 - September 02, 2006

From: Dalworthington Gardens, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Management practices to eradicate Johnson grass
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Please suggest some eradication methods for Johnson grass. It is established in a field that I want to encourage native wildflowers/plants such as goldenrod, prairie coneflower, blue eyed grass, milkweed and bushy bluestem.


Complete eradication of Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense) is a difficult task, but controlling and reducing its abundance is possible. The most effective way of eliminating it is to dig it up. If you have a small population, this is a possibility. To make it easier to remove, you should thoroughly soak the ground with water around the base of the plants. You must get all of the roots out of the ground or you will have new plants sprouting from them. You will have to be watchful and persistent about removing new shoots along with their roots when they appear.

If you have a large population of Johnson grass, however, rogueing it out may not be practical. You will probably have to employ several methods to eliminate it. The Nature Conservancy has an excellent article Element Stewardship Abstract for Sorghum halepense, Johnson Grass that discusses the grass and various management strategies. Illinois Nature Preserves also has an assessment of current management practices.


More Problem Plants Questions

Is Mimosa pudica poisonous from Janesville WI
February 21, 2014 - I have just recently learned of Mimosa Pudica also known as the sensitive plant. I see using the USDA website that it can be found in the USA so I think that covers the North America aspect. I have b...
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

Aggressive native Inland Sea Oats in Whitehouse Station NJ
April 29, 2010 - Can you direct me to a source of help managing a very aggressive grass, Chasmanthium latifolia, Woodland Oats or Indian Sea Oats. It is behaving like a very noxious plant and I am concerned as I am h...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014 - We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
March 10, 2003 - Clover has taken over and just about covered the Bluebonnets. Is there any way of removing the clover such as with fertilizer or something else?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center