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

Sunday - July 21, 2013

From: Laconia, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants, Vines
Title: Eliminating evasive Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet)
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have Oriental Bittersweet growing pervasively in my shrub garden, strangling my shrubs and growing into my beautiful Victorian porch. I can't keep up with it! What can I do?


Yes, Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet) is a seriously invasive vine.  The Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group has placed it on their Least Wanted list with several methods for managing it—manual, mechanical and chemical.   Please read about the control methods they recommend on their webpage.  The National Park Service also has recommended methods for controlling this and other invasive vines.   I imagine you will need to use all of the methods to completely get rid of the pest!

When using herbicides, please read thoroughly the label on the chemical and carefully follow the instructions to protect yourself and the environment.


More Problem Plants Questions

Controlling poison oak or poison ivy in Iowa
April 29, 2010 - We recently purchased a property that is VERY wooded and has been vacant for two yrs. with little upkeep previously. We have (we were told) l00 yr old poison oak vines hanging from trees. We hired so...
view the full question and answer

Identity of and how to get rid of plant in planter in Indiana
May 17, 2013 - We moved to Mooresville Ind. (Brooklyn area) 3 yrs ago. In one of the 12x12 planters out back, these one THINGS keep cutting back and spreading everywhere. They are tall, hollow stem, seems like ther...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of nut grass from San Antonio
March 22, 2011 - We just had a house built on a lot that was mostly rock. The small back yard has a berm on which they brought in soil then mulched it. Now we are getting all sorts of weeds through the mulch, what my...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of skunk cabbage in Hopedale OH
April 22, 2010 - How can someone get rid of skunk cabbage?
view the full question and answer

Magnolia species are allelopathic
August 02, 2014 - Have a healthy Southern Magnolia tree around 8 years old. It seems like everything I plant next to it dies.: Variegated Spirea, Stokes Aster, Hydrangeas. Is there something it secretes like the waln...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center