If you own your home, you want to make sure your home, lawn, and garden look wonderful. But there are some plants that can come in and take over, hurting the plants around them and even your home. Below are ten invasive and destructive plants that you may have growing in your yard.
1. English Ivy
This popular fence and ground cover often also grows on the exterior of homes since the homeowner thinks it adds a natural and unique feature to their home. But even though it’s beautiful, this plant can overtake yards, buildings, gardens, and other things because it can climb. It has the ability to engross everything it comes across, and it is a big problem in the northeastern and northwestern part of the United States. If you let it grow on your home’s side, it may damage your wood siding and paint more than you’d suspect.
You can stop English Ivy simply when you pull up its roots in the spring. If it has roots that are thicker, you can use lawn clippers for cutting the roots at the base. Remove all loose ivy. If you let it be it can become rooted again and quickly come back. You shouldn’t try yanking any ivy that’s stuck to your home’s walls or a tree’s trunk, since it may damage the paint or bark even more. Just wait for it to die off and it’s going to be a lot safer and easier to remove.
A lot like the English ivy, this plant can overwhelm anything in its way easily. It’s a vine that’s semi-woody and it has the ability to grow as much as a foot each day, and can even crossroads and other types of barriers relatively easily. Originally it was brought to the US as a way to help prevent erosion. But it’s become quite a nuisance to a lot of land and homeowners.
To stop this plant, you have to use herbicides regularly and mow over the plant on a regular basis. You want to target its main root so that you stop it from coming back. If you’re in a community of farmers, a few goats are a good investment. They love eating it and they’ll take care of it naturally.
Bamboo’s a plant that always seems to be growing. You can only contain the most problematic bamboo species using concrete or plastic root barriers. If you have a running type of bamboo, it can cross the barriers sometimes, but the clumping kind grows and spreads more slowly. If you’re not interested in having a field of bamboo in your back or front yard, you shouldn’t let this anywhere close to your house.
Because bamboo can become really large, it will need more work for removing it from the yard. Begin by removing bamboo’s roots using a shovel. You should continue uprooting and mowing over the bamboo shoots that reemerge. If you decide to go the chemical route, make sure you’re diligent about spraying the herbicide. You can also use boiling water and throw it onto the area where you see the roots coming up. Keep in mind that it’s going to take years to get rid of it, based on how much you have, so be patient.
Even though mint’s loved by a lot of people in the world, it’s really invasive and it can spreads quickly through runners. It loves partially shaded and moist areas, and if it’s taken root inside your garden or yard, you may have a long battle ahead of you. If you love mint and you want to plant it to use in recipes, simply put it in a container and keep it out of your vegetable or herb garden.
If you’ve discovered mint in your garden and yard and you didn’t put it there, there’s a couple of ways that you can get rid of it. But they all will require patience. Herbicides will work on it, but a lot of gardeners don’t want to use them because they want to preserve their land’s ecosystem. Rather than using a chemical, mulch and newspaper can be used for smothering it. This can take a few times before you’ve found that the mint’s controlled fully. Another method that gardeners have found to be effective is boiling water.
5. Chinese Wisteria
This is a beautiful plant, but it can be very invasive, and it can also destroy other trees and plants in a yard. It possesses really strong stalks and these stalks can kill your trees by simply twisting around the trees. The stalk often will grow to a diameter of over a foot and they often form blankets which smother trees and plants. Right now there are over 19 states which list this as a species that’s invasive.
To remove it from your back or front yard, use a chainsaw or clippers in order to cut the thick stalks, yank the plant along with the seed pods from the yard, and then use herbicide to spray that area. This may need to be done a few times before it is controlled fully. Make sure you’re careful with the herbicide so you don’t damage plants or trees nearby. The winter is the easiest time for containing and removing it.
6. Japanese Stiltgrass
This will grow into a very thick mat which will stop other plants from getting the sunlight and nutrients they need. Invasive grasses and plants such as Japanese Stiltgrass can be really hard to contain and remove since they’re able to re-root from the stems along with the seeds. Don’t mow over this grass to remove it, since it can help it spread even more in your yard.
It is able to spread above the ground as well as across barriers pretty easily, and the seeds will grow very well in soil that’s loose. That means when you are ripping it up and mowing it, it’s going to grow in that vacant space. The one way to control this plant is by using pre-emergent herbicides throughout late spring as well as early summer. You should pull up the patches and spray that area using the herbicide. But you should also be careful since the herbicide has the ability to harm your surrounding plants.
7. Leafy Spurge
This can grow as high as three feet and there are a few ways it can destroy a yard. It’s going to crowd out other flowers and emit toxins that are going to prevent any other plants from growing nearby. This type of invasion tactic is going to make the plant the bane of homeowners’ existence. The seeds are also bursting from the capsules and they can stay in the soil for as long as seven years.
If you see one of these plants in the yard, remove the plant and then spray that are using herbicide for a few years. If you’re a goat owner, they’ll also be able to help with controlling it. Make sure you’re not letting them graze where you sprayed. This plant also can be mowed down for prevention of seed throwing, however; it won’t totally remove it since it also can spread through the roots. It can be hard to use your hands to uproot it since its root system’s expansive and thick.
8. Purple Loosestrife
This plant has a couple of names that it’s known by, including marsh monster and beautiful killer. This should give you a good idea of the problems you’re going to have with it. This plant used to be used for treating dysentery, but these days most people know that it can take over their gardens. The plant will starve your native vegetation, wreaking havoc on your local ecosystem.
A lot of gardeners will use weevils and leaf beetles for stopping the plant’s growth, but you can also remove it using your hand. After you’ve removed it, put it into a sealed bag so that it won’t spread. If you’re allowed to in your area, try burning the plants that you uproot. Treat any of the root systems that are thick using herbicide to stop them from regrowing.
9. Trumpet Vine
A lot of people love the look of this plant since it attracts butterflies. But even though these plants are pretty, they will attach themselves to your house, trees, and other plants. This can damage and smother the areas so they can’t be repaired. If you want to keep a trumpet vine, it’s good to contain it in an in-ground, sturdy container. Your plant will be controlled, and you won’t have to completely remove it.
If you’ve found you can’t control it, you probably will have to completely remove it. When you just pull it up from the ground, it won’t stop its invasion and when you do a lot, the plant’s going to keep spreading the shoots. To kill it, dig the mother plant up as well as its shoots using a shovel with a sharp blade and then remove any blooms that are dead so it won’t reseed.
10. Common Privet
This evergreen shrub is able to grow as high as 30 feet. They’re usually found in areas with forests but they sometimes can come to suburbs. The seeds will usually be dropped by birds, and they’re able to form very dense thickets which will suffocate your native plants. They can also detrimentally impact local habitats and destroy sources of food for insects and animals.
Managing and killing privets is very hard. If you want a solution that’s easy, just cut down most of it and then mow over the base regularly for managing it. But this isn’t going to really kill it. There aren’t any biological methods that are known for killing it, even if you have a controlled fire, it won’t necessarily kill it. The best way to do it is through herbicides, but it can damage the quality of the soil along with plants that are nearby.
Remember these plants and the way to get rid of them. If you let them get out of control, they can ruin your garden and even your home. So take care of the problem before it gets too big.