Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
3 ratings

Wednesday - March 31, 2010

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

Pull them out. Sorry, that's the only option. Anything you spray on the weeds will kill the bluebonnets and other plants in the neighborhood. Here is an answer to the question "Is there a way to weed my yard with weed killer and not harm my bluebonnets?" which came to Mr. Smarty Plants a few days ago.

"No. There are herbicides out there for broad-leaf plants or dicots (which includes  bluebonnets), for monocots, or grasses and the broad spectrum, kill-everything herbicides that will melt your sidewalk. Many of your weeds will probably be native grasses, but spraying with a spray for monocots just threatens other monocots, like your lawn grass. Spraying with an herbicide for dicots will kill the broad leaf plants and the bluebonnets, and can also drift around to kill a shrub or two, because they are also dicots. And, finally, all herbicides and pesticides can become residual runoff material, as rain or watering causes them to run off into our water supply and subsequently into your water glass. Identify the plants you want to keep, monocot or dicot, and pull out the others that you consider weeds. Getting them out before they have a chance to go to seed will help, although the wind and helpful birds will continue to provide you with fresh stock." 

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Is Robinia pseudoaccia a good replacement tree for Shumard oaks in Austin TX?
February 27, 2013 - Recently two of our Shumard trees in the front of our house died. Both trees were small/medium in size having only been growing for 13-17 years. I've been reading about Black Locust trees which accor...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that smells like oranges in Alpine, TX
August 16, 2012 - There are patches of flat bushy like plants in lawn, smells like orange. Areas may be 10" and spreading, but when pulled has small root. How can I get rid of this plant and what is it?
view the full question and answer

Containing roots in Kaysville UT
October 26, 2009 - I'm planting my yard in all native Rocky Mountain and Great Basin plants. Is there a way to halt or contain the root propagation of Smooth Leaf Sumac and Quaking Aspen? I've considered digging dow...
view the full question and answer

Source of Allergies in Austin, TX
June 19, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Northwest Austin and I've been suffering from allergies since moving to Austin. The allergies seem to occur at least once a year for at least a month or two. Beg...
view the full question and answer

Smoking mint instead of tobacco from Fairfield CA
March 23, 2013 - I realize this is a stupid question, but i am a little curious about this. Anyway I heard more people are smoking mint leaves to help cure their addiction to tobacco and i was wondering if it is s...
view the full question and answer

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