Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 26, 2012

From: Carrollton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Most indoor plants are non-native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, promotes the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is being grown. Apparently, indoor ivies are mostly Hedera helix, native to Europe and and western Asia, and therefore fall out of our frame of reference.

Hedera helix, often referred to as English ivy, is widely grown in North America and is considered extremely invasive if grown outdoors. Apparently, keeping it in a pot indoors makes this consideration irrelevant. From the Guide to Houseplants, we found this article on English Ivy Plant Care. We found no direct reference to avoiding damage when removing a support, but we found lots of recommendations that it be kept pruned, with dead leaves removed, etc. If the plant is doing well where it is presently growing, our recommendation would be to prune back branches of the ivy which are attached to the support, remove the damaged support, and let the ivy re-grow. Just don't plant it outside, it will take over your world.

Pictures

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Berms to hold water around roots
December 05, 2008 - I planted new flower beds this November. There are currently dirt 'berms' around each plant - creating a well for water to seep into the immediate plant area. How can I keep these berms from erodi...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant groundcover plants for Tarrant County, Texas
November 01, 2011 - I live in far NE Tarrant County (Ft Worth), TX and need a groundcover that can tolerate complete shade and poor, rocky, clay soil. I need mostly for erosion control, and needs to be relatively low
view the full question and answer

Plants for clay soil in Leavenworth IN
October 02, 2009 - I live in south central Indiana; the soil is very bad clay, either hard as a rock or mud. I have made several raised beds but am still having problems with plants rotting. What types of plants work he...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for a NC Clay Slope
June 06, 2013 - Hi, We have a large slope on the road edge of our property that has been gradually eroding with spring rains (NC red clay). We would really like to plant something for erosion control but the bank is...
view the full question and answer

Natives for wet soil in Cincinnati OH
March 21, 2014 - I live in Cincinnati and the soil in my back yard is wet (soggy) all year round. There are moss and grass growing in the yard. The area is shaded in the afternoon but receives sun earlier in the day. ...
view the full question and answer

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