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?


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

Monday - December 10, 2012

From: Chula Vista, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Vines
Title: Invasive mandevilla from Chula Vista CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


How can I rid my yard of mandevilla that has invaded from my neighbor's yard?


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants,is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. According to this University of Nebraska at Lancaster article Growing Mandevilla, the plant is native to Central and South America, specifically, Argentina and requires USDA Hardiness Zones of 10 to 11. Obviously, in San Diego County your climate would meet the growing requirements for this plant, so you can't rely on freezing it out. Although this plant is out of our area of expertise, we do have instructions to help you get rid of it. It will not be easy, and you will probably have to repeat the treatment many times, even if the neighbor removes their mandevillea. 

First of all, you need to find where it is emerging from the ground.  Realize that there may be more than one origin for the vine.   When you find where its growing from the ground, cut or saw it in two.   Immediately, paint the cut end that goes into the ground—the one attached to the root—with an herbicide.  Check with a reputable nursery for an effective herbicide.  Using a small paintbrush or a small sponge with a handle to apply the herbicide.  It is necessary to apply the herbicide immediately after cutting the vine since some plants can quickly repair breaks in cell walls and this would prevent the herbicide from being taken up as readily by the plant.  Be cautious about getting herbicide on any desirable plants nearby.  We advise against spraying the herbicide since it can drift onto desirable plants and perhaps kill them.  Also, read carefully and follow the directions for using the herbicide to avoid any dangers to your health.


More Non-Natives Questions

Will a non-native smoke tree, Cotinus coggygria, be harmful in Utah
May 08, 2009 - Can one plant a smoke tree in Utah without causing and harm to the environment? I'm worried that this plant may be a species that could cause a problem since I believe it is not a native plant.
view the full question and answer

Is Mimosa pudica poisonous from Janesville WI
February 21, 2014 - I have just recently learned of Mimosa Pudica also known as the sensitive plant. I see using the USDA website that it can be found in the USA so I think that covers the North America aspect. I have b...
view the full question and answer

Dividing non-native daffodils from Austin
April 15, 2012 - The foliage on my daffodils is lush and healthy, but I have no blooms. Should I divide them?
view the full question and answer

Non-native citronella mosquito plant wintering inside in Charlotte NC
October 20, 2011 - Can I bring the citronella mosquito plant in the house over the winter, or should it be planted outside. I live in Charlotte, NC.
view the full question and answer

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center