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
1 rating

Tuesday - April 13, 2010

From: East Flat Rock, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Eliminating English Ivy in East Flat Rock NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

In the woods behind our house our neighbor has an invasion of English Ivy. It creeps over and through the fence into our yard, and we want to fight back! I have read the other articles about cutting ivy and treating it with an herbicide, and plan to follow those steps as a first line of defense. However, I was wondering if we then planted a native vine such as Carolina Jessamine, will it stand up to the ivy or will the ivy choke it out? Thanks! Heather S.

ANSWER:

Hedera helix, English Ivy, is native to Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa. This article from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group pretty much covers all the ways we know of to combat the plant. None of them are permanent, especially if there is a stand of the plant still adjacent to your property. You will have to watch for it all the time, as it can regrow from just a small cutting left on the ground. 

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower) is not native to Henderson Co. but to parts of North Carolina farther east; however, it should do all right where you are. Be careful what you ask for, you might get more than you bargained for. This plant can also scramble over structures and trees, is evergreen and grows aggressively. We're not sure if you could say it would choke the ivy out, but it would certainly compete strongly. You should also know that the roots, leaves and flowers are all poisonous and can be lethal to livestock.

We agree with your plan of first dealing with the ivy and then planting the Carolina Jessamine, but you will have to be alert that you don't end up with a mix of the two.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery: 


Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

How to eradicate chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata)
February 10, 2008 - How do I get rid of a invasive ground covering plant called Camelion without hurting the ground so I can plant something else?
view the full question and answer

Why is Common Horehound missing from NPIN?
March 27, 2014 - Hi there, I am not able to find Marrubium vulgare, i.e. Common or White Horehound, in the Native Plant Database. It grows abundantly on our ranch in Central Texas, and I am attempting to grow i...
view the full question and answer

Control of Acacia escaping cultivation in California
March 26, 2007 - My backyard has been overrun by acacia shrubs. How and what can I do to permanently rid the area of this weed? I hold an agricultural QAL so I have access to herbicides if there are effective ones a...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of invasive vine from Austin
August 21, 2013 - A friend lives in southwest Austin and has a vine that's coming up all over her yard. I am a Williamson County Master Gardener and have asked all the garden gurus in my group what it is from a photo ...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of Cosmos from Decatur GA
April 26, 2013 - I have been searching for an answer concerning the invasive plant Cosmos. I know that Florida declares this but I have not been able to find out does Georgia? And specifically,is it only the yellow Co...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center