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
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

Overwintering Cardinal Flower in Thornwood NY
October 01, 2009 - I have 6 Cardinal Flower plants in planters. They have mulch on top to keep them moist. Can they stay in the planters all winter? Do I cut the stalks before winter comes or leave as is?
view the full question and answer

Care of poppy plants
July 10, 2013 - I bought a tiny poppy grow kit at Target for 99 cents. Amazingly, they have grown into numerous large and very healthy plants, though they don't all appear to be the same species. Some have grown to ...
view the full question and answer

How to remove plume from Yucca elephantipes in NJ?
August 02, 2011 - In Manahawkin, NJ, how do we cut plume (2" diameter) off 10' Yucca elephantipes?
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

Pruning the leaves of Sago Palm.
March 10, 2010 - Is it a cardinal sin to remove all the sago palm branches? This winter they were so badly scorched by the cold that hardly a frond went unaffected. So I cut them all off as I needed to get around the...
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