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
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 Non-Natives Questions

Various holly hybrids or selections for Pflugerville TX
March 24, 2011 - I love Savannah Hollies. I used them all the time in the Dallas area. Now that I have moved to Austin, I am wondering if I can plant them in this area. I have a soil pH of 7 and drainage is moderate. ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native cuphea in Pearland TX
November 09, 2009 - I have about 8 Bat Face Cupheas and I am having trouble with them. First, instead of mounding 360 degrees, the branches all grow forward (they do bloom well). They're in full sun, about 3 feet out fr...
view the full question and answer

Question about non-native blue potato tree
July 08, 2008 - I have a blue potato tree that I planted last summer, the top looks dead but isn't, the bottom has grown into a bush, help what can I do?
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for privacy from Larchmont NY
April 19, 2014 - Love your site! We have a 4'x4'x50' stone wall, full sun, with a planting bed 30"H by 24"D. We're looking for privacy, so a hedge with pruning is needed. We have looked at Ilex Crenata (8'),...
view the full question and answer

Non-native vines poisonous from Bakersfield CA
May 17, 2013 - Are pink bower vines and stars and stripes mandevilla toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

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