Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?

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
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
10 ratings

Wednesday - August 08, 2007

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disposal of non-native invasive Houttuynia cordata
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am a homeower in The Woodlands with a very difficult problem in my butterfly garden. I have an impossibly invasive weed that I cannot get rid of -- so much so that I'm thinking of just paving over my butterfly garden and being done with it. I have attached photos of the offender and would love to hear from you about what it is and what I can do about it, short of paving over my beautiful garden. I have checked numerous websites but have been unable to find a weed similar to the one I have in my yard. I'm hoping you can help. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants believes that your weed is Houttuynia cordata. This is an Asian species that is extremely invasive in the garden. Although it has been sold as an ornamental for gardens, its potential for being very invasive outweighs any aesthetic appeal it might have. You may find it very, very difficult to eradicate. According to the following web page, your best bet is to remove the plants by hand and keep doing so as they reappear. Be very careful when disposing of the material you take out. Incinerating the plant material you remove is the best plan of action. You can also read the comments of other people who are also trying to get rid of it. Good luck getting rid of this pest!
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Moving potted plants from California to Georgetown TX
February 10, 2012 - Hi, I am moving from Gilroy CA to Georgetown TX, I have many potted plants I would love to take with me but I am not sure what would survive in my new location. These plants have been cared for so ma...
view the full question and answer

White powder on non-native houseplants from Fort Davis TX
February 11, 2011 - I have a white powder on my houseplants that I can't figure out what it is or what to do about it? (Dracaena & Corn plants) Could be a fungus can you help? (can send a photo if you will tell me how t...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native bougainvillea in Florida
February 10, 2009 - Hi, My neighbor has two established bougainvillea that he is giving me..I just have to dig them up and not kill them..what is the best way to dig up and transplant them?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native closet plant
August 26, 2008 - I have a closet plant that is not doing well no matter what I do or where I put it. What is the best way to care for one of these beautiful plants?
view the full question and answer

Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014 - i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.