The flowers that just wouldn't leave

girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)March 14, 2011

Ugh, I had no idea that Four O Clocks would be so invasive! Why don't they print that on the packets or in the catalog descriptions I wonder?

Planted them 2 springs ago and now I can't seem to get rid of them. several of them grew underground tubers that took about 12 to 18 inches of digging to uncover. Lots more volunteer seedlings popping up everywhere.

Share your own flower invasion stories--maybe it will prevent a disaster or two.

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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Gladiolas - the bulb that just keeps on giving. Even if you yank it out and toss it, dozens of tiny bulblets will have already formed and drop off. And EACH ONE makes another glad.

Ceratostigma - I don't like deciduous groundcovers, although it has lovely blue flowers and blue is a rare/prized thing in my garden. It's got a root system like vinca - virtually impossible to get rid of!

Spirea - I yanked it out. Three years later, a tiny piece of root sends up another plant. Gotta respect something that persistent through our drought-tormented summers, so this time I let it stay.

When we were first landscaping, I briefly thought about planting strelitzia, the bird of paradise plant - it is xeric and evergreen, and my mom, who was living with us at the time, adored the flowers. But a neighbor's house periodically disappears behind the massive, overwhelming clumps of four BOP shrubs planted in the front. She chops them down, and they come right back up again. I think they actually form the foundation of her house, and she'll never be rid of them.

Worst of all: oxalis pes-caprae, aka Bermuda Buttercup. Before I started gardening, I used to think the bright green cloverleaf leaves and nodding yellow spikes of flowers were so pretty. HA! Only when you garden do you discover how pernicious, indestructible, and evil this weed is. Digging out the soil and replacing it didn't work, because it happily migrated in from both my neighbors' yards. The best I can do is keep it from smothering my plants. Nothing like having to weed the same bed four times in three months to make you feel like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill in Hades - and I have 15 separate garden beds.....

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:07PM
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girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)

Jkom I hear you on the gladiolas. My mom had a similar infestation a few years back. And they were all her least favorite color--orange.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 2:02PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I always loved Bermuda Buttercup, and I tried to dig one out once and plant it in my yard. Thanks for posting this, jkom.
I planted four-o-clocks once, too. Still picking them out.
The most horrifying, though, even worse that horsetails, is the blue dawn flower perennial morning glory that has taken over shrubs next door. It's like kudzu.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 11:23PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

TRUMPET VINE (Campsis radican) - once planted, shoots offspring everywhere, you will be pulling it forever.

Wild Strawberry plants - cute for a while, until they take over your flowerbeds like wild fire.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 8:12AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I've not had a problem with 4 Oclocks because I pick off every seed, and only grow a few plants.
Gladiolas and the more "plain" crocosmia...oh, my. I've had a time with them. I planted many kinds of glads, in all different colors and they ONLY come up in this peach color I hate. I don't know why I hate it, but I just do.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 11:25AM
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backyardgrown(7b-8 NW MS)

I have planted some things that are supposed to take over, but they won't. They behave themselves and stay in nice little clumps.

The things I don't want in my yard are the only things that volunteer themselves and thrive.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 2:48PM
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Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum. It's a woodland wildflower that is actually endangered in some states, I understand. They can come get all mine, if they like. It reseeds everywhere, makes clumps of rhizomes that colonize an area and won't allow anything to grow thru them. Grr. Invasive native. Damn weed.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 2:58PM
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I'm zapping the first signs of Moonflowers and 4 o'clocks in certain areas around the house this year. I'll keep them in othe areas, but they are invasive where they put on a lot of leaves and no flowers because there's not enough sun.

I sure want my red 4 o'clocks to do better this year, they are just stunning!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:49PM
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lily51(OH 5)

Thanks for this topic to help all of us in choosing plants.

Buttercups are horrible! I've been trying for years to get rid of them. Am on the lookout now for the first sign of any and out it goes.

HOLLYHOCKS>>>>worse than horrible. I just wanted a something with a little height to fill a corner, so planted a couple of the new shorter varieties. What a mistake.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 6:34AM
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I have houttuynia cordata the chameleon plant. The worst thing I have ever had and can not kill it! Please don't try it!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:25PM
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I now plant 4 o'clocks only where there is a lot of space -- out in the deer resistant garden. I learned my lesson when I found tubers the size of big sweet potatoes!

Off topic -- I planted seeds in February in spots where voles started digging tunnels. I don't know if they like 4 o'clocks, but they sure ate ALL of my Dutch iris bulbs and the roots off many echinacea. :-(

Flowers that won't leave unless you get rid of the seeds and dig out the tap roots (that I'm sure go to the center of the earth): bronze fennel and baptisia.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 7:15PM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

"The things I don't want in my yard are the only things that volunteer themselves and thrive."

And grass! I once thought about writing a book titled "Only the grass grows in my flower beds". Ha! I thought I might include all of my gardening misadventures in the book but alas, I decided it would be too depressing.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 6:28AM
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Autumn will strangle every living thing in sight. I dig and dig and cut and pull to no avail. Never ever plant it. c

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 7:42PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I love my Four O'Clocks. Yes, they do self seed but that's a good thing. I just pull out the ones that start to grow wherever I don't want them.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Ditto, trailrunner! I have the same problem with autumn clematis. I can't believe I actually planted one to cover an arbor, last fall.......At least that one will be where I want it! Lol!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:17AM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)

OMGod.... Cuban oxolis has taken over with no hope of ever getting rid of them not to mention the asolutely hateful forget me nots Errghhh!!!the only good thing about forget me nots is they really bring in alot of bees.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 2:09PM
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