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?


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 - May 30, 2013

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Non-native pothos ivy from Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My pothos devils ivy is about 5 years old and grows outside. A couple of years ago its leaves became spectacularly large, like 12" wide and its stalk about 1 - 2" wide. A couple of years ago i guided it to grow/vine horizontally. But a bad winter came along and froze the plant. Last year it re-sprouted but this year the leaves are giant size again. The problem i have is that its growing vertically and its about 10' high now. I would like to take an exacto knife and carefully severe its anchors attached to a wooden fence and carefully re-guide it in a different / safer direction. do you have any thoughts or suggestions? well severing the anchors cause the plant to suffer and die, like cutting away its roots? ps: you want some pics of this to post on your blog?


Thank you for offering us pictures. We can no longer accept pictures. We are a team of volunteers and staff members of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center working as Mr. Smarty Plants, not a blog. We answer questions on plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally, for reasons of conservation of resources.

Epipremnum aureum, pothos or devil's ivy is native to the Solomon Islands in the tropical Pacific. It is considered a house plant, and when moved outside in temperate climates can become invasive. From the Missouri Botanical Garden here is more information on it.

Definitely not in our line or work.


More Vines Questions

Coral Honeysuckle suitability for Central Texas Fence
September 05, 2012 - I recently purchased a house in Liberty Hill. My backyard is enclosed by an iron fence (painted). I am interested in creating a habitat for birds, so I'm thinking of planting coral honeysuckle vine...
view the full question and answer

Red, puffy growths on Concord grape vine
July 07, 2015 - I have a growth on my grapevine that is red and puffy almost looks like it is full of water. It is a Concord grapevine. I have images I can send to you! It is on the stems.
view the full question and answer

Will Hyacinth Beans and Cardinal vine (non-natives) grow in Texas?
April 28, 2007 - I live in Coppell, TX, and a neighbor gave me some Hyacinith Beans and Cardinal Vine seeds to plant. She described these as doing well in her local garden, but I cannot find a photo or picture of them...
view the full question and answer

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

cultivating the invasive Passiflora incense
July 16, 2014 - Hello! I have been collecting passiflora for a while now, recently I purchased a "P. Incarnata" from a local nursery where I have gotten a few other species to grow along my herb garden recently. No...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center