Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Friday - August 23, 2013

From: San Diego, CA
Region: California
Topic: Problem Plants
Title: Eradicating Cucurbita foetidissima (wild gourd) in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in San Diego County where the wild gourd/stink gourd roams freely and quickly. Any suggestions on how to eradicate. It is extremely invasive and nothing has worked! Thank you,

ANSWER:

Cucurbita foetidissima (Stinking gourd) can cover a lot of ground just from one plant.  How much stinking gourd are we talking about?  Acres and acres?  I did an internet search to see if I could find anyone else who had the problem of invasive stinking gourd, but didn't have much luck.   I don't know what methods you have tried, but here is what I would try if I had the problem.   Find the spot where the vines come out of the ground.  Cut off all the runners from that origin, then paint the stumps with an appropriate herbicide.   Check with a local nursery to find an herbicide that would be most effective.  One of the foam, sponge-like paintbrushes would be best to use for painting the stump.  It is important to paint the stumps as soon as you have cut the vine runners off them.  Plant cells often quickly seal damaged areas and this could result iin less herbicide entering the root system.  Simply spraying the vines with herbicide will not be as effective and could result in killing nearby desirable plants.  Be sure to dispose of gourds containing seeds so that the seeds will not have a chance to germinate (e.g., put them in a plastic bag and place in the trash).  Read the instructions and safety warnings on the herbicide label carefully and follow them to protect yourself and the environment.  Good luck!

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Eliminating KR? Bluestem from St. Augustine Yard in Spicewood, TX
April 28, 2012 - How can I eradicate bluestem grass invading my St. Augustine lawn?
view the full question and answer

Controlling Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle)
July 18, 2013 - Hello,I need your help to control some nasty weeds in my yard/pasture. I am an old timer and do not have a picture to include—haven't figured out that part of the camera/phone yet. This weed is a pri...
view the full question and answer

removing paper mulberry shoots from lawn
August 09, 2011 - Dear Mr./Ms. Smartypants, I recently moved into an Austin home with the backyard taken over by paper mulberries. There were originally 2-3 large bush/trees, but now that I've removed them I realiz...
view the full question and answer

Defense against poison ivy from The Woodlands TX
March 24, 2014 - Hi and thank you in advance for your help. My husband is allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac, or something in our yard. We need someone who is very knowledgeable to come and identify any poisonous pla...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Roughleaf dogwood
November 28, 2013 - We put 5 rough-leaf dogwoods along our side deck; having been told (by the local, natural plant seller) that they would reach a maximum height of 6 feet. They have grown taller than that (despite som...
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.