Invasive plant horror stories

4 hours 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 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
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Bridget Spiderwort is pretty much a weed here in Florida. But at least it's a pretty weed.
  • Cheryl Green
    Cheryl Green Anchorage, AK
    I have yet to meet a plant that will grow out of control in my garden. Mother Nature's control over the rainfall has pretty much had me begging for most things to even take hold even with a drip irrigation system.
  • Diana Cox
    Diana Cox Marble Falls, TX
    fig leaf ivy... Central Texas, zone 8B. Holy moly it's the devil. Three - 3" pots planted along the back side of my house (facing east) totally took over the back side of my house in 4-5 years, ripping off Hardy Plank siding, destroying brick mortar
  • Shellee Van Hove
    I was given a Tansy plant. It grows fast and at first I loved it. Then it started taking over. I have spent the last 10 years trying to get rid of it. Every other year I end up digging up the entire north side of my house and methodically hunt down every
  • Eileen Proctor
    I have problems with Bindweed here in the UK, no matter how much you spray, pull up or dig up it carries right on growing and strangling everything in it's path, the tiniest bit of root left and off it goes again arrrrgh!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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......
Douglas Hunt