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

Does Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) have agressive roots?
November 30, 2014 - Hello, Do you know if the Huisache tree has an aggressive root system? I have a few in proximity to my septic draining field and I need to know if I should cut them down to prevent clogging of t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive Siebold viburnum from Isleboro ME
June 17, 2012 - I was given several small Siebold Viburnum for planting on my Maine property. Even though it is often for sale in nurseries, I'm aware it is listed as invasive in several eastern states. Shouldn't I...
view the full question and answer

How can I control field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)?
April 12, 2009 - I have identified my invasive as field bindweed. Your answer in FAQs has websites that are moving and I am unable to find out how to control this major problem. I use organics to garden. The recommend...
view the full question and answer

A&M maroon bluebonnets for Hawaii
July 10, 2011 - My daughter graduated from Texas A&M and has moved to Hawaii. She would love to have the maroon bluebonnets developed by A&M to plant in her new home. How would she need to prepare the seeds since t...
view the full question and answer

Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
June 06, 2012 - We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
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