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Invasive plant horror stories

4 days ago
Hometalk member and gardener extraordinaire Barb Rosen recently wrote of her nightmare experience with chameleon plant, Houttuynia cordata, and what may be her life-long project of getting rid of it. But Barb surely isn't alone in having planted something she regretted. For me, my biggest mistake was planting gooseneck loosestrife, Lysimachia clethroides. I'd heard how "rambunctious" the plant could be, but I had a dry, shady spot where I couldn't get anything else to take hold and bloom. Well, the lysimachia did, and soon started looking for territory to annex. I've since sold the house and it may have taken over the entire property by now for all I know. Here's your chance to sound off and put up the warning flag about plants that belong on a "do not plant" list. Please post a photo if you have one, and let us know what zone you're in.
245 Comments | Add a Comment Displaying 25 of 245 comments | See Previous
  • Cathy
    Cathy Glenside, PA
    Campanula "Elizabeth" is very invasive, even though it blooms from spring to fall, I have had to have at it consistently to keep it from overtaking all the beds!
    • Maggi Dunn
      Maggi Dunn United Kingdom
      I agree. I bought a plant because it's pretty and my granddaughter is Elizabeth. Now it is everywhere. I am in the East Midlands, UK
  • Debbie Perron
    autumn clematis ! nuff said
    • Rose S
      Rose S Marietta, GA
      Thanks Douglas, I appreciate the update and will keep an eye on it. But then if it gets too invasive the deer might also " come to my rescue", since they have just "snacked" on four large planters full of pansies. My garden appears to be trial by deer.
  • Sharon
    Sharon Cheshire, MA
    Lily of the Valley. I dug down at least a foot taking all the little spider roots out and it still came back.
  • Rose S
    Rose S Marietta, GA
    In a moment of madness I planted pampas grass next to my pond, thinking it would look nice. Sure!!! (Sarcasm), fought the runners for years, poor son in law tried to get rid of if and planted a needle Palm in the hole he dug. Next year, more pampas
    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Rose S Removing pampas grass is dangerous business. That stuff will cut you!
    • Rose S
      Rose S Marietta, GA
      Douglas Hunt Yes Douglas, I found out. But my revenge is that it is now in a planter and it's little feet are confined to stay put. So I talk to it now and then and remind it
  • Carolbpalmer
    Carolbpalmer Lafayette, LA
    Iron plant. It never leaves.
  • Maggi Dunn
    Maggi Dunn United Kingdom
    I planted Rosa 'Rambling Rector' on an East facing wall and it goes berserk. Lovely when in flower but it only flowers once a year and the rest of the time just grows and grows sending out shoots that catch you unawares when passing by. He has savage
  • Michelle Mackenzie
    Someone in the household purchased a plant about 15 years ago from a hardware store that must of had Gout Weed seeds or shute. Haven't been able to get rid of it ever and it's slowly taking over everything else including the lawn.
  • Dee
    Dee Independence, IA
    I also planted this and i ended up pulling it out.I love the plant but it needs to be in a pot. I can not find it at garden centers anymore but would love to try it in a big old wash tub.
  • Wilma
    wilma United Kingdom
    wilma coburn uk

    Passion flower.aaagh! I planted this against the south wall of my house to give it some extra warmth and protection. BIG

    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Carmen I have heard of many such experiences with passionflower. I guess one must hope for enough butterflies to keep it in check.
  • Donna
    Donna Cosmopolis, WA
    Ribbon Grass. Looks so sweet in the little 3" pot at the nursery. Made a lovely accent in my flower bed. 10 years later it's a raging monster, smothered everything that wasn't as vigorous. In photo it is lower left with the Rose Campion, labeled in pink
  • Thomas Lenihan
    Uggh! More than 40 years ago neighbors planted what I have always heard is "Michigan Bamboo" Large and tall (8 feet or so) leafy hollow stalks that grow in large clumps (maybe 4 feet across). I have sprayed Round-Up to them for several years in a row,
    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Thomas Lenihan I believe you have the dreaded Japanese knotweed, and, left unchecked, it will probably take over the entire planet. As you have found out, Roundup is pretty
    • Rose S
      Rose S Marietta, GA
      I have something similar, only much shorter. The local nurseryman told me that they call it "Georgia bamboo and to get rid of it I would have to mix something else in with the roundup that penetrates the coating on the plant. I bought it, pretty darn
  • Patsy
    patsy Columbia City, OR
    Wood Violets! One cute little plant showed up in my borders several years ago it has now taken over. grows from roots and seeds. yikes.
  • Sue Wallace
    Sue Wallace Australia
    Agave Americana
  • Donna Morris
    Donna Morris Hillsboro, MO
    Grapevine.. The more you trim it the faster it grows!! Then it strangles all other plants within its reach. Then it attaches itself to everything and anything whether its metal, wood, plant or fiber. It can destroy any type of fence it puls it apart
  • Bridget
    Bridget Danville, IN
    Spiderwort. I've dug and dug and dug. The more I dig, the more it pops up. It's horrible!
Douglas Hunt

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