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
10 ratings

Wednesday - August 08, 2007

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disposal of non-native invasive Houttuynia cordata
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am a homeower in The Woodlands with a very difficult problem in my butterfly garden. I have an impossibly invasive weed that I cannot get rid of -- so much so that I'm thinking of just paving over my butterfly garden and being done with it. I have attached photos of the offender and would love to hear from you about what it is and what I can do about it, short of paving over my beautiful garden. I have checked numerous websites but have been unable to find a weed similar to the one I have in my yard. I'm hoping you can help. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants believes that your weed is Houttuynia cordata. This is an Asian species that is extremely invasive in the garden. Although it has been sold as an ornamental for gardens, its potential for being very invasive outweighs any aesthetic appeal it might have. You may find it very, very difficult to eradicate. According to the following web page, your best bet is to remove the plants by hand and keep doing so as they reappear. Be very careful when disposing of the material you take out. Incinerating the plant material you remove is the best plan of action. You can also read the comments of other people who are also trying to get rid of it. Good luck getting rid of this pest!
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
January 16, 2010 - I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn...
view the full question and answer

Will the non-native tamarind tree survive in Austin?
October 11, 2010 - We live in the Texas Hill Country and we were given a Tamarind Tree as a gift (which the givers thought was a Pride of Barbados). Is it advisable to plant this in the ground, since it is sensitive to...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow fruit with many fingers
December 24, 2012 - This is a yellow lemon smelling fruit with many fingers. Yellow in color. Looks like an octopus.
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native Mandevilla
July 01, 2006 - I have purchased 2 Red Riding Hood Mandevilla's. The tag on it says it blooms spring to frost, full sun, ave size is 8 feet tall & spreading. I live in the Tampa FL area. Does this plant grow as a sh...
view the full question and answer

Plant Care for Plumeria
October 15, 2005 - I have a plumeria that is getting too tall for my small patio. How I should cut it back and can start the cuttings into new plants? Does the original plant need any special care when it is cut back?
view the full question and answer

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