It’s wonderful when a well-meaning friend or neighbor offers you cuttings from their lovely garden, unless they’re sharing an invasive plant that’s going to choke the life out of everything in your flowerbeds! Here are nine bullies you should never plant in your outdoor space.
1. Purple loosestrife
Don’t be fooled by the spikes of stunning pinkish-purple blossoms. This perennial spreads like crazy! The best way to remove it is by hand, preferably when the plant is young; otherwise, cut it down to the ground before it has a chance to seed, then grab your tools and carefully dig it out.
Who doesn’t love lush, cascading blooms? However, these shoots pop up everywhere, which means shrubs and trees can get swallowed up in no time! Because wisteria can live hundreds of years, it must be pruned annually or it’ll grow out of control.
3. Himalayan Blackberry
Nothing beats homegrown produce, but this bush is incredibly aggressive and hard to get rid of when it’s growing in unwanted areas.
4. English Ivy
This fast-growing climber may be a great way to cover up brick or grow down slopes, but it also winds its way through your garden in all directions and is strong enough to bring down a tree! Plus, it carries bacterial leaf scorch, which can destroy other native plants. To get rid of stubborn ivy on the ground, pile on a few inches of mulch. Pull it away from trees with your pruners and cut it down to the ground.
This pretty, variegated groundcover works wonders along a fence, but then it spreads everywhere and takes over entire flowerbeds.
Snipping fresh herbs to sprinkle in drinks or savory dishes can be wonderful, but mint is a space-hog that can ambush your garden in one season. Make sure you plant it in containers and keep it away from other plants.
7. Common periwinkle
This popular groundcover with its blue, purple or white blossoms is a shade gardener’s dream, but it quickly becomes a nightmare when it spreads through your whole lawn to form a dense carpet. Rake out the runners or pull them out by hand if they’re near other plats. Dig out the roots at least four inches deep. Cover the area with plastic weighed down by rocks to smother this perennial vine.
8. Calla Lilies
So gorgeous in a bridal bouquet, this ornamental bloom seems elegant until it shades out your other plants from sunlight. Because they spread through tiny rhizomes, it’s best to keep these in pots if you really want them in your outdoor space.
9. Japanese Honeysuckle
We’ll call this one the ‘sapling strangler’ because it can invade trees so completely that no light can get in! Pull these vines out by hand, and get rid of leftover trailing bits with a hoe or shovel.
What bullies do you have lurking in your garden? Share your stories with us!
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