Invasive plant horror stories

3 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.
  • Michelle
    Michelle South Africa
    Never, ever plant morning glory vines... Mexican trumpet flower vines come in a close second in the "never" department. Recently moved to a property where they have taken over to the point where I actually don't know what's attempting to grow under them.
    • Matt N Rosie Swartz
      Michelle We live in Ohio and morning Glory is EVIL! Someone before us planted it in and every year (9 years now) I have to rip it out of my strawberry patches and off of my bean poles...UGH! And our winters are generally pretty hardy here!
  • Milagro C
    Milagro C Cuyahoga Falls, OH
    I also planted loose strife in my front yard to cover some spots, and yes, they are hungry. It is a chore to cut them back every season. sigh......
  • Amy Arnoldi Moon
    Amy Arnoldi Moon Haskell, NJ
    I have been doing battle every Spring and Fall with Gooseneck Loosestrife. I have a love/hate relationship with this plant
    • Cdouvwooby
      cdouvwooby Bedford, NH
      It won the battle and the war! I was lucky, I got to move...
  • Beth Pedersen
    Beth Pedersen Vacaville, CA
    For me Spider plants, Joe Pye Weed, Morning Glory and alstroemeria are my problems. I'm in region 8A. Also fighting a never ending battle with my neighbors' Honeysuckle. The Joe Pye and Alstroemeria are beautiful but just take over everything else.
    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Beth Pedersen I have certainly experienced Joe Pye's propensity to self-sow. I can imagine that with favorable conditions it could become too much of a good thing.
  • Christine Thomasschiltz
    Christine Thomasschiltz Chattanooga, TN
    add me to the hated violets group. They are impossible to eradicate. Lemon balm and spearmint were the worst mistakes I ever made when it came to planting.
  • Boulderqween
    Mint and lamb's ear are insane reproducers and in Montana morning glories are horrible weeds that wrap around other plants and weave themselves through your fence,
    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Boulderqween I've never heard that of lamb's ears before.
    • Lisa W
      Lisa W Saint Augustine, FL
      Douglas Hunt When I lived in PA, I rescued a fifty cent, half dead lamb's ear plant. It just about took over the garden i shared it with people, too. I actually miss it!
  • Horizon1684
    Japanese anemone and yarrow. You miss getting out one tiny piece of yarrow root and it will be everywhere before you know it. Both plants are pretty and easy to grow it ia s real shame that they get out of hand so quickly.
  • Peg
    Peg Cold Spring, NY
    Campanula glomerata! I was given a pot of it and some other potted plants from a garden club friend. It was so lovely after it got established. Well, it is so invasive. I love blue flowers but this one has to be maintained. Lovely in a big beautiful blue
    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Peg And by those looks one would think it might be a delicate thing!
    • Peg
      Peg Cold Spring, NY
      Douglas Hunt The mass of the globes of flowers are very striking. I try to dead head them to keep from forming seeds, but it certainly is a chore because they are all over. There
  • Karen Woodford
    Karen Woodford Monroe, CT
    Oriental Bittersweet is my nemesis. Not only is it nearly impossible to eradicate, it also has some thorns right near the branching brackets, and they rip your hands up when you are trying to pull it out. This horrible invader can climb and choke the
    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Karen Woodford I try to issue a warning about Oriental bittersweet every time I see someone use it in a craft project.
  • Peg
    Peg Cold Spring, NY
    The Japanese anenome and morning glory are also high up there for me too.
  • Jackie
    Jackie Petersburg, VA
    Morning glories are a little not of work but they are beautiful and attract humming birds. I plant them every year to vine up my porch railings. Clip the flowers when they begin to die so they can't go to seed. Wrap them up and put the in the trash,
    • Jackie
      Jackie Petersburg, VA
      *a little bit of work*
  • Jo
    Jo Newcastle, OK
    Any of this stuff make good ground cover for a slope with sandy soil? Thanks
  • Stephanie Hoxter Pawlowski
    A year ago I bought a foreclosure. The backyard is surrounded by chinese privet that was never kept in check. It also has poison ivy, grapevine (we are talking 10" around in spots) and some other sort of vine with LARGE thorns intertwined within it. We
  • Beth Pedersen
    Beth Pedersen Vacaville, CA
    Ramps, just awful.
  • Jean Whittington
    Jean Whittington Baltimore, MD
    Gooseneck Loosestrife is great in arrangements and makes a nice filler, however, like must invasive plants it needs to be managed!
Douglas Hunt
Feedback