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
2 ratings

Tuesday - March 19, 2013

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Turf
Title: How to control Yellow Woodsorrel in Habiturf?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Last year we planted Habiturf in our front lawn and prepared the ground as directed with organic compost. This year we have an infestation of low growing yellow oxalis which we believe came in with the compost as we have not had this before. What do you recommend as a control? as weeding will not get all of it and the areas are large. We are considering using an herbicide knowing it will knock out our grass but then we will reseed.

ANSWER:

Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis stricta, and Slender Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis dillenii, both North American natives, are often unwanted visitors in lawns, especially newly-establish or unhealthy lawns.  As your lawn matures and develops a denser stand of grass, broadleaf weeds like Wood Sorrel will be less of an issue.  Promoting healthy grass growth will eventually pay off in reduced weed infestation.

There are broadleaf herbicides labeled for use on oxalis.  These chemicals are specific to dicot weeds and will not kill grasses and other monocots if used properly.  We take neither a pro nor con stance on garden chemicals, but only urge those choosing to use them to do so in a manner that is safest for them and the environment and to strictly adhere to label directions.

Other than hand weeding, we know of no effective organic control for Oxalis species.

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Problems with Mexican feathergrass
October 24, 2015 - I live in Austin. I've recently seen negative comments re: Mexican feathergrass. Is it native to this area? Is it becoming a problem? I have had it in my yard for years and never considered it a ...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
March 31, 2010 - I have lots of blue bonnets growing in my yard but they are overcome with weeds. What can I use to eliminate the weeds without killing the bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Skin Reaction form Cochineal on Prickly Pear
February 16, 2015 - I have severe burning and peeling skin on pads of fingers after touching "white stuff" on a prickly pear. White stuff tuned purple then burned skin even after washing hands. Skin has been cracking a...
view the full question and answer

How to eliminate roadside thistles
May 26, 2015 - When we drive along the highway we see lots of wildflowers and no thistles in the median. How does the Highway Department keep the thistles out? Here in Kerrville, we are overwhelmed by thistles thi...
view the full question and answer

A method for killing nandina and ligustrum with herbicide
October 19, 2012 - Is there an effective herbicide that can be painted on the stumps of Nandina and Wax-leaf ligustrum to keep them from growing back? Thanks so much!
view the full question and answer

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