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
1 rating

Thursday - August 17, 2006

From: Nottingham, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Suggestions for alternatives to invasive, non-native English ivy
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can English ivy be planted in a pot, kept oudoors, and expected to endure our Maryland winters?

ANSWER:

English ivy (Hedera helix) is native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa and is considered invasive in at least 18 U. S. states. We are not enthusiastic about giving advice to propagate non-natives given that: "The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes." Nonetheless, English ivy is very cold hardy and would probably survive Maryland winters in a pot outdoors; and, it would probably do no harm as long as you were careful to remove any blossoms and/or seeds and kept it where none of the foliage could come in contact with the ground to take root.

If you are looking for a a hardy evergreen plant for the Maryland outdoor winters, the Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) and Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea) would be good native substitutes. If you are looking for a vine, not necessarily evergreen, Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) and the native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) would be good choices for Maryland.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native banana plants dying back in Rocklin CA
March 15, 2010 - I bought a home last July in Rocklin, CA that had several banana plants growing in the yard. They died back during the winter frost. We pruned them back to the ground and placed mulch over the top. ...
view the full question and answer

Information for native garden in Guadalajara, Mexico
July 24, 2006 - I am trying to start up my native garden in Guadalajara Mexico but have not been able to find many databases or info. Any advice or suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Insect pest on non-native dwarf apply tree in Utica MI
June 02, 2011 - I have a dwarf apple tree that bears 5-6 different kinds of apples. I am having trouble with insects; what is a good choice for this and feeding it? Is there also a organic choice?
view the full question and answer

Bastard cabbage in Austin TX
March 17, 2012 - Not sure if this is the forum to address this; but is there any effort out there to do something about the bastard cabbage taking over Austin? Especially on MoPac where you can hardly see the bluebon...
view the full question and answer

Are Royal Poinciana and Royal Empress trees the same?
October 09, 2015 - Hi, can you tell me if the Royal empress tree and the Royal Poinciana are the same tree?
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