En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Sunday - October 12, 2008

From: Columbus, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Eliminating wisteria invading from neighboring yard
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can I get rid of Wisteria vine? It originates in my neighbor's yard. Have tried everything; gets in my Oak tree and has almost killed it. Thanks.

ANSWER:

There are 10 species of Wisteria, of which two are native to North America and the other eight are from Asia. It is possible that the plant that is invading your garden is Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) which is native to Georgia. However, it is much more likely it is either Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) or  Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria). The Asian species are the ones most often found in home gardens, and are much more invasive than the natives. It really doesn't matter too much if you have the native or non-native plants, they are obviously invasive in your garden. 

This Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group article Least Wanted-Exotic Wisteria has some information and good suggestions for treating this problem. You are in a situation where you can't fight the problem at its source, and must deal with it after it gets on your property. This is going to require frequent attention, and not letting it get ahead of you. The very first thing you need to do is go out and cut the vine going up your oak tree off at the root and then cut the girdling vines at intervals up as far as you can get. Any time you see a sprout of wisteria coming up, don't just snip it off, try to dig it out. Where the vines come over your fence, cut them off, and paint the cut surface (right away) with a 25% solution of glyphosate herbicide with water. Don't spray it, that will only take out desirable plants around the wisteria. Vines that are coming up on your property should be cut off at the root collar and, again, quickly painted with the herbicide. Be very careful not to let the herbicide run off into the soil, and keep it out of contact with any portion of a desirable plant. A disposable paintbrush is about the best means of applying the herbicide to cut surfaces, but it needs to be done in about the first 5 minutes after cutting, because the wound will seal over. 

As long as the "mother" plant is still alive, there will continue to be incursions into your garden. Don't allow yourself to get lax, or think you have the problem solved because you've treated everything. It will be back!

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Why are our Euphorbia myrsinites plants dying in Soquel, CA?
August 02, 2010 - Some of our Euphorbia myrsinites die in our garden for reasons we cannot understand. Do you have any explanation or suggest area we should be looking for?
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Butterflies attracted by Pink Evening Primrose from Burnet TX
July 30, 2012 - I see information on Pink Evening Primrose that says it attracts 'many butterflies' Please tell me which butterflies and name them? I've looked everywhere and am just exhausted and frustrated with...
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of Blue grama in early stages
July 06, 2007 - I am seeding my large back yard with blue grama - 30-45 minutes of almost daily hand weeding for two months keeps me from falling too far behind on the green foxtail, bindweed, elm tree seedlings, pig...
view the full question and answer

Eradication of invasive thistles in Parma OH
July 11, 2010 - Lawn is full of prickly weeds with very deep roots. May be called Scotch Thistle, although id is not confirmed. They will grow as tall as they can amid other plants, and when mowed in the lawn, they...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center