En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-native invasive Asian jasmine in greenbelt in Austin

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - September 22, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native invasive Asian jasmine in greenbelt in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can I convince the people that live next to me to control their Asian jasmine? We have a small greenbelt owned by the City behind our houses and they have let it grow until it is ruining the greenbelt. It goes into my yard also and is a constant source of irritation. When I try to convince them to at least keep it in their own yard that it is ruining native vegetation their response is "well, I don't own that land." They don't care.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't have all that much luck convincing people about the use of invasive, non-native plants, either. In all fairness, the neighbors may not even have planted that jasmine, but inherited it from a previous owner. If it is not bothering them on their own land, there is no way to legislate a plant from spreading. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department on Nature Preserves website has a list of "Least Wanted" which includes Asian jasmine.

For the responsible gardener, here are some guidelines from the Texas Invasives website:

"Gardeners

Not all non-native species are bad, but some plants that look lovely in your garden might be harmful invaders that will make their way into natural areas. The Be PlantWise website has easy tips on how to manage your garden to preserve the unique qualities of neighboring wildlands.

  • If you don't know it, don't grow it!
  • Avoid exotic plants that self seed and show up outside of your garden.
  • If you see your local nursery selling invasive plants or seeds, let them know about your concerns.
  • Landscape and garden with plants native to your area. Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's Native Plant Information Network for resources to help with creating low-maintenance and colorful native plant gardens."

This sounds like it needs to be a neighborhood project. An invasive is in the eye of the beholder. If you are the one it is bothering, perhaps you need to take the initiative in at least controlling it in the green belt. We realize you can't do this alone, but you might get some help and suggestions from Austin Parks and Recreation; Austin Preserves Contact Information. If this is not in their area, they still might know who you should ask for help.

In terms of controlling the Asian jasmine, obviously you can't spray herbicides. They don't seem to have much effect on Asian Jasmine anyway, but they sure would damage or kill a lot of the plants that you are interested in preserving in the green belt.  There is probably no use in trying to get your neighbor to try to stop it moving off their property, because it is already well-established in the green belt. In fact, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower recommends neither for nor against chemical herbicides, and you can understand why. There is no such thing as a plant-specific herbicide, that will just kill the plant you hate, and not affect the plants you love. Your best bet is to pull out as much of the offending vine as you can, disposing it in a way to prevent its re-rooting. Then, start working on the roots. Everywhere you see a root stalk emerging from the ground, snip it off as near the ground as possible. With a disposable sponge paintbrush and a broad-spectrum herbicide, paint over the cut root stem within 5 minutes. You do this in order to get the poison started down into the root system before the root starts healing itself over to keep people like you from getting rid of it. Be very careful with the herbicide, don't spill it and don't overuse it. The ground can be contaminated by it and any accidents could, again, lead to damage to the plants in the green belt you are trying to preserve.

This, unfortunately, is not a one-off operation. The plants will continue to come up, likely for years. Just be vigilant, get to them before they get established and start again to overwhelm the green belt area.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

About African Violets
April 26, 2007 - I have an African Violet. i clipped a leaf off and rooted it and i have a baby pink-leafed African Violet now, not pink flowers, pink leaves. It struck me as odd. i never saw one like this before. i...
view the full question and answer

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Yellow jackets on non-native crape myrtles
September 25, 2008 - Hey Mr. Smarty Plants I have only 1 question. I have several Crape Myrtles that have numerous amounts (alarming) of yellow jacket bees on them. who what where when why etc? Should I be concerned? tha...
view the full question and answer

Citrus trees for Austin
May 21, 2008 - I am looking for citrus that grows in the Austin,Tx area. Could you offer any suggestions please?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Maytens tree in Saratoga, CA
August 05, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, My friend's Mayten tree (green spray)leaves are yellowing and we don't know if it is under-watered (surrounded by grass and fed with a time sprinkler for 20 min. maybe 2 or ...
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