15 Popular Plants You Should Never Plant in Your Garden

15 Popular Plants You Should Never Plant in Your Garden

When you hear the phrase “invasive plants,” you might think of a particularly nasty plant Little Shop of Horrors, but that’s not how these types really work. Plants that are considered invasive tend to grow and multiply when left unchecked in an area, essentially taking away resources needed by other plants (and the animals that depend on them). It is also free of natural checks and balances such as predators, diseases and other plants. From an ecological standpoint, invasive species tend not to support insect or bird life in the area.

“People are often unaware of the fact that the plants they choose are invasive,” says Ulrich Lorimer, director of horticulture at the Native Plant Trust. “Even with increased laws restricting their sale, some nurseries are still selling them.”

It’s a good idea to do your research before planting new trees, shrubs or shrubs in your garden. Check with your state heritage program or with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which maintains lists of invasive plants, or check the National Wildlife Federation’s native plant finder. Problematic species vary from state to state and region to region, so check which species are invasive in your area before you hit the garden center.

Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)

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You may have seen many butterfly bushes available at local nurseries or garden centers. But some butterfly bushes can become a major nuisance to the environment. “Butterfly bush can be invasive and naturalizes by self-seeding, especially in areas where it is not dormant in the winter,” says Mary Phillips, National Wildlife Federation™ Certified Wildlife Park President and Wildlife Habitat. “This can push out other desirable native plants that serve as a host plant for the full life cycle of butterflies. A butterfly bush is not a plant for butterfly caterpillars.”

To avoid this problem, look for new seedless varieties, which won’t spread into the environment, or choose native azaleas, oakleaf hydrangea, buttonbush, or another native shrub, Phillips says.

English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

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If you’ve ever grown English ivy, you know why it’s on this list. “This vine can kill trees it climbs and damage structures by getting into gutters, loose mortar or aluminum siding,” Phillips says. “This can choke out the vegetation of many native plants on the land that are valuable to wildlife, especially the ephemeral spring plants that support early-season bees and other pollinators. They also host bacterial leaf scorch, a disease that causes a problem for some native trees and shrubs.” ”

Instead of ivy, choose native ground cover plants such as wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), Virginia creeper (Parthenocisus quinquefolia), and wild stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)., Phillips suggests the common blue violet (Viola sororea), or creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera).

Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis or Wisteria floribunda)

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These gorgeous vines look stunning draped over a tree or trellis, but they can quickly take over the space in which they are planted. “Wisteria “It spreads quickly, outcompetes other species, and can kill young trees,” says Erin Moriarty, a designer and team leader from online design company Tilly. These are easier to manage, or choose coral honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens), a favorite of hummingbirds.

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

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This fast-growing and fragrant plant should definitely be on your list of plants not to grow. Japanese honeysuckle has been a popular garden choice for years, but it easily invades wild areas and outcompetes native vines, Phillips says. Instead, look for native varieties such as coral honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens).

periwinkle (vinca)

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These beautiful (and very popular!) flowers may seem like the perfect addition to a pollinator garden, but they are definitely plants you shouldn’t grow. “The vinca needs very little to survive and forms a dense ground cover that keeps out everything underneath it,” Moriarty says. “They provide no value to wildlife and will outcompete plants that local wildlife need to survive.” Instead, consider ground cover plants that Phillips suggests, such as wild strawberries or creeping phlox.

Burning bush (Euonymus)

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This shrub is known for its fiery red leaves, making it a stunning addition to the landscape. But it can wreak havoc on the local environment. “Birds disperse seeds into forests and meadows where they will quickly form dense forests and can out-compete native populations,” Moriarty says. Instead, choose native shrubs that suit your area.

Special hedges (Ligstrom)

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Their dense growth makes them popular for creating a natural privacy screen in your garden, but it can also make them a nightmare for native plants. “Weeds form dense thickets that shade out native shrubs and perennials, quickly overtaking them, depriving native wildlife of what they need,” Moriarty says. Instead, choose native species of viburnum, which can help give you privacy but also help local wildlife.

Heavenly or sacred bamboo (Nandina)

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Once you start with this plant, it may be difficult to stop. “They colonize by spreading underground rhizomes, which is very difficult and can be very expensive to completely remove,” Moriarty says. You can replace it with strawberry bush (euonymus americanus), which has the same bold crimson colors.

Japanese Spiraea (Spiraea japonica)

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“This plant is native to disturbed areas, such as construction zones, which is any area where plants have been removed or disturbed,” Moriarty says. “Spiraea grows rapidly and will quickly outcompete natives in meadows and forest clearings.” There are native spirea plants you can grow instead, such as meadowsweet shrub and meadowsweet.

Tropical milkweed (Asclepias Currassavica)

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Milkweed is known as a butterfly magnet, but this particular species has become naturalized and self-sows in warmer parts of the United States. The big problem? Because they don’t die off during the winter months like other types of milkweed, a parasite called ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) can build up on plants, Phillips says. Studies have shown that adult monarchs with OE have a number of problems. “Studies have indicated decreased migratory success, as well as decreased body mass, longevity, mating success, and flight ability,” Phillips says. So, skip this type of milkweed and choose a more local species instead.

Bradford Bear (Perus caleriana)

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A common tree you may see lining the street, this popular tree species has structural problems. Over time, the tree may weaken and collapse, and is particularly vulnerable to damage from storms.

It also does not support insect or bird life as much as other options. If you’re looking for an alternative, try a service tree or shadbush tree. They bloom at about the same time and produce edible fruits. Ultimately, it will attract more life to your garden. Some states have even begun banning the sale of these trees.

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

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Areas with a lot of these iconic trees tend to harbor higher numbers of ticks. It is dense, thorny and shrubby, so it provides unmarked areas for mice, which are a major vector of disease and further exposure of humans to ticks. An attractive alternative? Plant raspberry bushes instead.

Asian bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

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These varieties of bittersweet were banned for their ability to take over other plants and even trees. There is an American variety that is sweeter, but it is outperformed by this introduced variety. If you’re looking for an alternative vine, try trumpet honeysuckle or American wisteria. There are also native species of clematis.

Basswood Viburnum (Viburnum deltatum)

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Some introduced viburnum species, such as linden viburnum, have made their way into natural areas. They outcompete other shrubs and reduce biodiversity because they do not have natural checks and balances in the area. However, there are many native varieties of viburnum, so ask about them when you visit a nursery. If these varieties grow in the forest, this is a good thing; Some contain fruit that birds love.

Eulalia Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)

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It is a very popular landscape grass, and you can still buy it at a nursery, but it is now starting to take over landscape lawns. As an alternative, try switchgrass or Indian grass, which has the same aesthetic qualities as Miscanthus sinensis.

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