How to Prevent Invasive Plants

Prevent invasive plants in your garden and learn which plants to avoid growing altogether.
Similar Topics:
  1. Plants
White Black Locust Petals

White Black Locust Petals

Which plants should be avoided in your neck of the woods? That's a good question to ask, says master gardener Paul James.

"One of the hottest topics in the world of gardening is invasive plants, and it's also one of the most misunderstood."

Invasive plants, also known as alien or even exotic plants, are those that are extremely adaptive and can quickly spread and take over native plant populations as well as food crops. In addition, invasive plants may also threaten animal populations by destroying their habitat and food sources. In fact, invasive plants cause more than $100 billion in damage in the United States alone.

Nearly all invasive plants, including common weeds, came to this country from somewhere else. Some arrived accidentally, perhaps in the form of a seed hitching a ride on someone's shoe, as a volunteer in a shipment of nursery plants, or introduced on purpose as ornamentals.

So what can you do? Here are some points to ponder:

  • A plant that's invasive in the East isn't necessarily invasive in the West, and vice versa. There are a number of plants that behave beautifully in one part of the country while being a complete nuisance in another.
  • Become familiar with plants considered invasive in your area and refrain from planting them. And, by the way, invasive plants may include both terrestrial as well as aquatic plants. You might also ask local plant retailers to either clearly label or stop selling plants that are known to be invasive in your area.

Paul recommends that you not grow these plants no matter where you live. These plants are considered invasive or at least potentially invasive throughout most of the United States:

white poplar
black locust
shrub honeysuckles
smooth and glossy buckthorn
winged euonymus or burning bush
purple loosestrife
dame's rocket
giant reed grass (Arundo Donax)

Next Up

How to Grow Self-Seeding Plants

Learn all about plants that reseed themselves without being invasive.

Landscaping How-to: Taming Invasive Bamboo

Master gardener Paul James explains how to tame the most rampant runner, invasive bamboo.

How to Cultivate and Care for Bonsai Trees

Learn these botanical basics to fully succeed at planting and caring for your bonsai tree.

Planting Australian Plants in Your Garden

Some of these specimens from Down Under could have great potential for American gardens.

How to Grow a Night Garden

Add a little nightlife to your landscape with flowers and foliage that give off beautiful fragrances.

How to Plant and Grow Persimmons

Experts pick their best tips on how to achieve persimmon perfection.

Decipher Plant Descriptions

Confused on what those fuzzy words mean? Learn how to decipher plant descriptions.

Propagating Plants With Ease

Check out these techniques for stem, leaf and leaf-fragment cuttings, plus air layering.

How to Get the Most From Plant Retailers

Knowing your nursery staff can reap huge dividends for your garden.

How to Provide Sharp Drainage for Your Plants

If your landscape require sharp drainage, follow these tips for successful gardening all year round.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Rescue My Renovation

6:30am | 5:30c

Selling LA

7am | 6c

House Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

House Hunters

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
Tonight
Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Good Bones

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Good Bones

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.