En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 26, 2012

From: Carrollton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Most indoor plants are non-native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, promotes the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is being grown. Apparently, indoor ivies are mostly Hedera helix, native to Europe and and western Asia, and therefore fall out of our frame of reference.

Hedera helix, often referred to as English ivy, is widely grown in North America and is considered extremely invasive if grown outdoors. Apparently, keeping it in a pot indoors makes this consideration irrelevant. From the Guide to Houseplants, we found this article on English Ivy Plant Care. We found no direct reference to avoiding damage when removing a support, but we found lots of recommendations that it be kept pruned, with dead leaves removed, etc. If the plant is doing well where it is presently growing, our recommendation would be to prune back branches of the ivy which are attached to the support, remove the damaged support, and let the ivy re-grow. Just don't plant it outside, it will take over your world.

Pictures

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Goldenrod not blooming in Lecanto FL
September 19, 2010 - My goldenrod(fireworks) grows only like a groundcover(3" tall) and does not flower. It is in full sun in my garden in Lecanto, Florida(zone 9A). What could be wrong? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Pruning time for Lonicera sempervirens from Pflugerville TX
August 08, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, When does the Wildflower Center prune its Lonicera sempervirens?
view the full question and answer

Should wax myrtles (Morella cerifera) be pruned?
April 26, 2007 - We planted Wax Myrtles in our backyard as a wall for privacy from the lot behind ours. Should we prune or cut back the tops periodically to get more fully developed bushes or let them grow naturally?
view the full question and answer

Rocky Mountain Juniper Grazed by Deer
April 29, 2013 - I have four Colorado red cedar (Juniperus scopulorum). The deer have eaten from their height down. Now these narrow top to bottom evergreens have only tops left. Will the bottom fill in if I protect t...
view the full question and answer

Spring care for Garrya ovata from Pflugerville, TX
February 24, 2014 - Hello again, Mr. S-P, I planted a Mexican silktassel in April 2012 (purchased at the WFC). It has done well, but the leaves are bronzed and splotchy from this winter's freezes. All the stems are...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center