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

Sunday - February 24, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Problem Plants
Title: Controlling sandburs from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, What is the best way to prevent sticker burrs from growing in a rocky bed with no grass. There are many other plants we want to preserve and a drip line to keep them watered. We have 2 small kids and a dog that like to explore the yard, any help is appreciated.

ANSWER:

Believe it or not, you are not the first person to have this problem, and you certainly won't be the last. See this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on dealing with Cenchrus spinifex (Coastal sandbur). The key advice is GET THEM BEFORE THEY GET YOU! Certainly if you see one with burs on it, it is already spreading seeds for its next generation, that's when you need the leather gloves. But if you can learn what they look like in the early spring and zap them then, you are steps ahead of them.

 

From the Image Gallery


Grass bur
Cenchrus spinifex

More Pests Questions

Identity of small objects that look like tiny pecans
November 14, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am doing my science fair project on acorns. Last year I measured how many acorns and other nature-y stuff fell into a baby pool from a live oak tree in my backyard every ...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
July 10, 2011 - I would appreciate your assistance with some native plant options to replace Italian Cypress trees in the Arboretum area of Austin, TX. I have 12 of the trees on the north side of the house to obstru...
view the full question and answer

Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
April 10, 2013 - Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
view the full question and answer

Insects attacking Gregg's Blue Mistflower from Comfort TX
June 20, 2013 - I have a beautiful stand of Gregg's Blue Mist flower that have been attacked by an unknown insect. The new growth is curled and stunted and it is not flowering. I'm not alone..I've seen the Gregg'...
view the full question and answer

Something eating holes in Texas Betony from Austin
June 06, 2012 - What pest is eating holes in the leaves of my Texas Betonys? They look healthy but almost all leaves have various sizes of round holes in them. What is the best cure for this? Thanks
view the full question and answer

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