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Invasive plant horror stories

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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.
  • Barb Rosen
    Barb Rosen Wilmington, DE
    on Jun 9, 2013

    Thanks, Douglas! If I had read about this plant in advance I never would have planted it. Getting rid of it is going to be an ongoing project I'm afraid. A lesson learned in watching those "impulse" plant purchases!

  • Barb Rosen
    Barb Rosen Wilmington, DE
    on Jun 9, 2013

    @Miriam I ~ this might be a great discussion for Hometalk's Facebook page too!

  • Robyn H
    Robyn H Saint Paul, MN
    on Jun 9, 2013

    I have one for you, Soapwort or "Bouncing Bet". It looked so pretty the first year and now its EVERYWHERE. It chokes out anything in it's path! I have been tackling that baby for a few years now. It even managed to make it to a garden all the way across the yard.

  • Organized Clutter
    Organized Clutter International Falls, MN
    on Jun 9, 2013

    Knock on wood! I don't have any big problems with invasive perennials. I am quite careful to investigate any new purchases and especially plants shared from another gardener. I think my zone 3 climate keeps things in check too. The only perennial that I had any trouble with at all was a tall white phlox. It took several seasons of digging up new plants coming from live roots here and there.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Jun 9, 2013

    I think we're going to learn from this post that pretty often comes at a price, @Robyn H.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!