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.
  • 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,
    • SueZD
      SueZD Cornelius, NC
      I have lamb's ear in my garden and it has always stayed in the same spot. I've actually transplanted it to a couple of areas in my garden and it hasn't "gone wild". I've also never heard that about Lamb's Ears before.
  • 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
    • TaraE
      TaraE Cincinnati, OH
      Jo morning glory will grow on the moon! and I am sure mints and loose strife will also, morning glory being a climber though and the others are tall, but all worth a try.
  • 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!
  • Kat Key
    Kat Key Marietta, GA
    Monkey grass is the worst. It's eaten the entire back yard and pulling it out by the roots is like pulling teeth! I don't know why my mother ever planted them. They're ugly and spread like wild fire.
    • Billie Sue
      Billie Sue Albuquerque, NM
      I have never had a problem with monkey grass, aka liriope. What you might actually have is nut sedge. The foliage is similar, but it is an invasive weed. It spreads by underground runners which produce little nut-like structures along their length.
  • Billie Sue
    Billie Sue Albuquerque, NM
    Epazote. It is a fairly obscure herb that is used in Mexican cooking. It is an annual, but it self seeded all over my garden.
  • Kim Fiebig
    Kim Fiebig La Crescent, MN
    Chinese lanterns! I started out with 2 styrafoam cups, planted one in the back yard & one in the front yard. They took over everything! I still have a few pop up here & there but it took me 5 years of constant pulling & digging these up as soon as I saw
    • Allison
      Allison Selma, NC
      O no! I just bought a packet because I thought thy looked cool and planted them in a pot on my porch. So sad to hear this
    • Kim Fiebig
      Kim Fiebig La Crescent, MN
      Allison You might be okay if they are in a pot. They have a root system that spreads a couple of inches under the topsoil but are really hard to pull up as they spread so rapidly &
  • Monique
    Monique Claremont, NC
    We bought an old house that hasn't been lived in for a while. The previous owners had planted Creeping Myrtle that is now everywhere and no matter how often I pull it up, it just keeps coming back!
  • Shawn Lancaster
    Shawn Lancaster Alpena, MI
    For me its spider grass and lily of the valley. can't seem to get rid of either. P.s. if you put morning glory in a pot and hang it will grow down
Douglas Hunt