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08.15.14

Invasive plant horror stories

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.
206 Comments Displaying 15 of 206 comments | See Previous
  • Sondra A
    Sondra A Janesville, WI
    Yes, Janice, I wish they came with warning labels also! There are times when we may want an active (invasive) plant somewhere just because its on a hill or can't get anything else to grow there, etc. But if I knew it was invasive and still want it at
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  • Barb Reinert
    Barb Reinert Larkspur, CA
    Bamboo, Scotch broom and miner's lettuce. But at least miners lettuce is easy to pull out.
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  • Mary
    Mary Brandon, MN
    Trumpet vine....I put it the wrong spot to begin with...too shady for it....so I moved it but I have runners all over the place back there that I have to keep pulling...pain in the u know what!!!
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  • Wolfe Art
    Wolfe Art Saltville, VA
    I have Trumpet Vine issues, as well. Luckily, it's in an area where it can be mowed around and kept in check. On the other hand, the Chinese Wisteria, My mother planted on our adjoining property and it has since grown, pulled the porch away from her
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  • Peg
    Peg Cold Spring, NY
    Campanula glomerata, pretty but take over!
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  • Julie J
    Julie J Massillon, OH
    Kennelworth ivy. Look out.
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    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
      Julie J Isn't that always the case about plants not spreading where you want them to?
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    • Julie J
      Julie J Massillon, OH
      Douglas Hunt Yes! 20 feet from there is the creek bank that I've tried to start it for 5 years with little success. Where it is now it literally is clinging to rocks with no dirt. Frustrating!
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  • Tauna Mitchell Meints
    Lily of the valley. Smothered out some hostas.
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  • Karen Lenover
    Snow on the mountain - is taking over and is almost impossible to eradicate. I still see it being sold in garden centers even though in some areas it is considered a weed!
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  • Marjorie Seybert
    Marjorie Seybert Titusville, PA
    OMG thought I got rid of gooseneck loosestrife 10 years ago but found in garden this summer, not even close to where I had it before. I blame birds and wind. NASTY stuff
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  • Rebecca Temari
    Rebecca Temari Cleveland, OH
    Chameleon vine/plant....what a nightmare! These connecting roots take over and smother other plants. Hard to get rid of....the smallest piece of root will make new plants if you don't get all of it. I'm in zone 6a. Beware!
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  • Katie Price
    Katie Price Marietta, GA
    I finally won my battle with Alstromeria. Very invasive, insidious and persistent. Even after spending hours digging up a large bed and hand-removing little bulbs, I still see a sprout popping up from time to time. Mine was a pass-along and probably the
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Douglas Hunt

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