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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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.

 

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