What Do You Wish You NEVER planted?

MagnoliaBelle(7/MS)January 14, 2004

As a fairly new gardener, I frequently see plants that look neat but then learn they are invasive. What are some plants that you had to learn about the hard way?

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vinca, english ivy, four-o-clocks many years ago and i am still finding remnants!
pampas grass - it just got too big for the location and i am killing it with herbicide. looks ratty most of the time, anyway.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 7:38AM
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Japanese climbing fern - it's beautiful but reseeds everywhere and is impossible to completely dig up.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 9:14AM
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Joe Pye Weed, Autumn Clemantis vine and Wild Ageratum, all of these were/are very intent on taking over my yard and eventually the neighborhood through seed production. I was able to successfully eliminate (for the moment) Joe, but the others are more difficult.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 12:59PM
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Many things. Purslane is one. The seeds over time spread just about all over my yard, and it's no longer the original colors. Instead, they all bloom yellow.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 6:14PM
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Dwarf bamboo is THE plant from hell; makes kudzu look tame.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 6:47PM
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Cypress vine!!! And this native sweet pea. Takes over the word and reseds like there's no tomorrow. Brazilian button is coming in a close third.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 12:21AM
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Oh yeah - Cypress vine. I forgot about that. I think the seeds must be viable for 10 years and every seed germinates into 5 plants! It's beautiful and the hummers love it but it is a kudzu 'wannabe'. Linda

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 9:09AM
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I'm speaking for my mother--mint!!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 9:22AM
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I have wild violets growing all over my back yard and dug some to plant in one of my beds. UGH, I didn't know they were so invasive and that you couldn't get rid of them on a bet!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 1:41PM
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Dancey(Zone 8b Texas)

What I planted is not invasive but I won't make the same mistake again in our hot zone. Hybrid tea roses!!! What a pain!! If I ever have roses again they won't be hybrid teas. I'll just stick to the old fashioned found roses that bloom only once.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 7:40PM
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that danged invasive cypress vine - any way you'll know to kill it?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 8:57PM
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Maryl zone 7a

Well, we are talking invasives that we wouldn't replant. But I would still plant Sweet Autumn Clemaits although it's a royal pain. Yes, it invades by seed everywhere, but it is one of the few Clematis that retains its nice green foliage throughout the year. It's a love/hate situation.

Now here's one for you. Honeysuckle. I planted the Purple Leaf variety that is not invasive only to have the birds reseed it with the wild Honeysuckle. Try and untangle those two. You can't.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2004 at 10:51PM
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KMc_in_Atlanta(7 Georgia)

A native plant that the friend who gave it to me called "skinny bamboo", but which I have since learned is called "scouring rush." Spreads via runners, will pop up everywhere, and is almost impossible to get rid of. Ditto Trumpet Creeper Vine, which I inherited and battled for about 10 years at our first house. Used everything on it but tactical nuclear weapons and would STILL find it in the flower beds every spring.

Can't believe that I occasionally see these two for sale to the unsuspecting public, even at the better nurseries.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2004 at 10:21PM
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Cypress Vine. The seeds will remain dormant under mulch and sprout when uncovered. It is almost as bad as kudzu.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2004 at 12:02AM
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pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)

Lupine Grass...AKA Monkey Grass...eeeecccckkkkk. I planted it three years ago starting it as borders for new flowerbeds....So much for borders. It takes over the flowerbeds. I've pulled and tilled most of it up. What a job! Never, never again will I ever plant that stuff.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2004 at 8:23PM
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YARROW, Four o'clocks, morning glory, cherry tomatoes

    Bookmark   January 28, 2004 at 9:54PM
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Cypress Vine - still fighting its seedlings years later...how can it still keep sprouting all over the garden years later?

Goldenrain Tree - billions of Box Elder bugs & tons of seedlings all over the garden for years.

Crossvine - it was a very attractive vine, but got too big so I removed it. But I can't get rid of all the roots and it suckers from them all year long.

Burmuda grass - just a big, invasive weed you can not keep out of your gardens.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 10:26PM
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Mexican petunia, four-o-clocks, perennial blue mist and spiderworts. Ye gods and little fishes, I wish I'd never laid eyes on them. On the other hand I do love my cypress vines, I was always enchanted with the starry blooms and the seedlings are easy to remove from where they're unwelcome. I love my blue dawn flowers but wish I'd used a bit more discrimination when I planted them, lol, and I'm torn about black-eyed-susan vine, it's so lovely especially when it's growing with the cypress vine but it really goes everywhere. Sweet autumn clematis is another I'd do without if I'd known then what I know now. But the number one thing I'd fail to let get a foothold is Seven Sisters rose. I planted a three inch twig and two years later I was trying in vain to rip out a 20'x15' monster.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 2:15AM
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My neighbor planted carolina jasmine on the fence out back and it has spread into my yard and is covering my shed out back. I tried weed killer to no avail, I even poured kerosene on it to little avail. Does anyone know a solution to carolina jasmine? The one plant I wish I had never seen is the mother of thousands, that is an ornery little spreader and so is the mexican poinsettia coming in a close second.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 12:51PM
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luvs2plant(z9 TX)

For Dancey:
Don't give up on roses. Check out websites like Chamblee's or Antique Rose Emporium for shrub or tea roses. You'll find lots! that are recurrent and the blooms are to die for.

As for what I regret planting in my yard: asian jasmine! Planted it as a groundcover, but it snuck into the lawn while I wasn't paying attention. Everywhere it touches, it roots!! GGRRR!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 7:07AM
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elephant ears. they love roundup. I think they will grow in a toxic waste dump. maybe in a cave.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 1:48PM
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Golden Rain tree - the seedlings are incredibly numerous and widespread. I kept apologizing to my poor neighbors that had it popping up in their yards.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 3:18PM
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The spreading type of liriope, hoytunia, sweet autumn clematis, english ivy, violets, obedience plant, roadside verbena, mint, and some little grassy looking bamboo that you see in almost every nursery pot is probably the worst of the bunch.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 11:25PM
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I am so glad I continued reading this thread! My sister wanted me to plant a Goldenrain tree, needless to say, I will not. I have enough problems with trees popping up all over the place because of the Silver Maple (it came with the yard, I'd never, ever plant one willingly).

I love birds, so despite the possible nightmare, I'll probably plant a cardinal vine on my fence for the hummingbirds, I think with yellow flowers (New Gold Lantana) planted in front and beneath the vine it will be a very cheerful contrast. I hope next year I'm not posting how much I regret having planted it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2004 at 12:59PM
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aintmartha(z8b GA)

yarrow, honeysuckle, popcorn tree, mimosa,english ivy, and i finally got rid of the cypress vine.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2004 at 7:20AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Dancey, I live in the heart of the "blackspot belt" and grow old timey tea, china and noisette roses - NOT hybrid teas - without spraying them. They bloom over and over, and some of them have blooms just as big as the hybrid teas, too. Some of my best ones are Mrs. B.R.Cant, General Gallieni, Marie vanHoutte, Marechal Niel, Awakening, Georgetown Tea, and Monsieur Tillier.
I didn't plant any of these, but the worst plants around here are Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese privet, Japanese climbing fern, and it looks like Chinese tallow trees are becoming as invasive as all these other Asians. Chinese privet, in particular, is terribly invasive here - every seed (and they make jillions) is viable, they root by layering at the drop of a tiny bit of dirt, and their roots are made of stainless steel!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2004 at 11:23AM
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WestEnder(z7 Atlanta GA)

hypericum, or St. John's wort. It came in a gallon pot on sale and looked so pretty. Then it took over the entire flower bed. Fortunately I moved a couple of years later, so it became someone else's problem.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 9:35AM
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mercury777(9A Gulf coast)

zone 9 + rain (Houston, New Orleans etc)....AVOID:

Umbrella sedge - must be thinned STALK by STALK by hand..you will pay for your mistake with blisters and hours of hard labor. Vinca minor - invasive and the tiny blue flower is simply not worth it. Equistem (horsetail)- will show up six feet from mother. Tetrapanex (Rice paper plant) ditto. Blackberry and Dewberry (unless you have fifty acres). Same for Cross vine or trumpet creeper. Silverleafed Artemesia - knows no border, can slowly cross lawns undetected to appear in yet another bed. Mexican Butterfly Weed - reseeds by dandelion like seeds that will float into ever crack, cranny, crevice and container. Mexican petunia (Ruellia) at your own risk.

Plant only if mentally and physically prepared:

Deciduous wisteria, elephant ears, thunbergia (orchid vine or blue sky vine), Mexican Flame Vine, Fire Bush, Four-o'Clocks, Turks Caps, Coral Vine, and Potato Vine.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 6:43PM
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miSago(z9 Fl Island)

trumpet vine
asperagus fern
purple sesbane
aruncus var.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2004 at 4:22PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

Miss Sherry, I, too, have had nothing but disappointment with hybrid tea roses! I don't think even a nuclear blast would get rid of the black spot! The japanese beetles love to eat them, too. I think I will (after I retire in a couple of years) try roses again... only a different variety. Oh, and chinese privet is an invasive pest here also.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 6:11PM
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BlackEyedSusan(z7 VA)

Verbena bonariensis! Holy monkeys what a pain in the butt that is. Daylilies and hostas because now I'm an addict :P =) Unfortunately I'm at odds with Vincas (Catharanthus). They have some beautiful varieties but what good is it when they die from some number of fungal diseases two days after you bring them home? Poor beggars. On a side note - its kinda funny so many have complained about cypress vine. We love the stuff and can never find a wholesaler with it and we used to get tons of customers looking for it. Guess we lucked out =)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2004 at 10:43AM
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southern(z7 Al.)

one i didn't see posted is campanula. i bought one gallon and now have a milion plants . can't get rid of it. i don't know the name, but it has a beautiful bell flower white with speckles on the inside. but it's a monster.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 8:04AM
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ChrisI(z5 Iowa)

I wished I had never planted Houttynia chordata, also called chameleon plant. It is very pretty but very invasive, I dug it out this summer but I am making bets I will find more still growing. Any time a plant is called "quick spreading" be careful. Mint I can keep under moderate control but planting it in a pot would be better.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 9:14AM
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Texas007tornado, spray the jasmine with Roundup BRUSH killer. Be sure it is the BRUSH concentrate. Wait until late May when it is warm. Add dish washing liquid to the mixture so it will spread on the leaves and not run off so quickly. Saturate it. I'd almost guarantee this will kill it.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 8:42PM
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prussell(z8 WA)

I second Houttuynia chamelon. It is the most evil plant sold in nurseries. AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 5:59PM
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I didn't plant this one but my neighbor loves it-Japanese Honeysuckle. It grows 15' up into the canopy of trees and destroys the understory. It sends runners out from the roots for 8' and just because you trim it back, it's not "contained" - birds deposit the seeds everywhere. It's the worst plant I've encountered in Texas.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2004 at 8:07AM
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Mexican Primrose (Oenothera Speciosa) and gooseneck loosestrife (lysimachia). Those underground runners are impossible to dig up and any little piece will sprout and grow. The seedlings from cypress vine, which I have too, can be pulled out. This year will be an all out war on those two.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2004 at 4:24PM
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Limelight Artemesia! Not only is it invasive, it matures into an incredibly ugly plant! Kind of like a puppy, cute when it is little, but full grown dogs are MUCH more enjoyable than this plant when it is full grown.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 8:58AM
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Nothing worse than cat's claw vine. We have HOUSES cover with the thing and with its "claws" it is near impossible to be rid of. In Ms. privet is a major pain. I have cut and dig the stuff out only to have a zillon babies resprout. I have learned to accept the oxalis with pink flowers. It just grows where it pleases. I do like the flowers, but must it grow everywhere. And for goodness sake kept your wisteria trimmed back or you will be sorry! Mike

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 2:26PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

I have to agree with alwaysarookie's very apt description of 'Limelight'artemesia. Plus, it's like wire and impossible to pull out.

But then there's one man's weed, which is...my beloved Four O'clock. Summer wouldn't be summer without a big bank of them perfuming the evenings.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 7:39PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

Is ruellia (mexican petunia) really very diifcult to control? i have a few plants (like a type of goldenrod) that send out runners that I can cut
around the plant every year to keep it from going crazy, and other than that its okay. i put one one ruellia in my garden i was given last spring, and I suppose from what has been posted I will eventually regret it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 8:21PM
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kimberlysc(z7 SC)

Pampus grass, what a mess!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2004 at 11:50AM
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yomamanem(7B Georgia)

It is interesting to note how certain plants really aggravate some people and delight others! Many of the hated plants mentioned are real favorites of mine. Just goes to show that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Plants that are unruly (prolific) can be bothersome. Nevertheless, I was sort of surprised at one string written by people who really like many "weeds" such as nut sedge, wild onions, etc., and do not like to get rid of them. I hope they don't move next door. Ha Ha

    Bookmark   March 13, 2004 at 9:57PM
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karen_in_memphis(z7 TN)

Great thread. We do get quite passionate don't we? I've learned alot, thanks everybody. But, I just can't give up my Cypress Vine, my hummingbirds would never hum to me again. Happy Spring!
Oh, one regret - Mint!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 7:58AM
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Hmmmm...no regrets so far....but then again all my plants are in containers since I rent :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 5:31PM
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GAAlan(z7b(on map) 8(imby) Atlanta)

I cannot believe I ever planted dwarf bamboo either. I have this vision of a particular cartoon(might be a bugs bunny) where they blow up almost the whole planet except for a tiny sliver. The main characters are left hanging onto a root which I think is probably dwarf bamboo!!!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2004 at 7:38PM
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LoraxDave(z7B Alabama)

ROFL - I am experiencing the return of the 'Oriental Limelight' Artemesia this Spring also. I planted a one gallon plant last year, and this year it has resprouted in a circular area that must be 3 or 4 feet across. It looks kind of cool right now, though, because I planted it in front of a purple-leaved Loropetalum that is full of pink blooms.

In contrast, my 'Powis Castle' Artemesia has been well behaved overall. It is spreading, but not nearly as aggressively as the Limelight from Hell.

GAAlan - I was wondering whether you were still around on GW. I haven't seen any posts from you in awhile. Do you still have your garden gallery online?? I always liked looking at your photos.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2004 at 9:29PM
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GAAlan(z7b(on map) 8(imby) Atlanta)

LoraxDave, I had major computer problems, and had to start all over with a new one. I'm not sure how long I was away but it felt like an eternity!

I know about the invasive Artemisias too. I just noticed a tiny sprig of Silver King a few days ago, when I thought it was finally gone. Bad stuff.

I no longer have a collection of online pictures. I really miss Photopoint. At least I was able to keep my pictures on CD from them. I had over 800, so that would have been a lot to lose!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 7:58AM
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Asiatic jasmine and southern wax myrtle. Two plants from hell that my original landscaper planted. I am going to have to hire another landscaper to remove them and I have my doubts if any will take the job.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 4:26PM
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LoraxDave(z7B Alabama)

GAAlan, we'll look forward to a new album sometime!

Pterostyrax, LOL. I have deliberately planted both of these in my garden. I love Wax Myrtles. I have three that I propagated from a tree growing in a parking lot that appeared particularly vigorous and had good Winter foliage retention. Someday I'll patent it and make a fortune off of 'Alabama Asphalt' Wax Myrtle!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 8:38PM
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sun_shine_day_dream(Z8 panhandle)

Although they are beautiful, Begonias have taken over portions of my yard, and they were just in a pot on the porch....far away from where they are in the yard, not only have they spread in the yard but in all my potted plant as well! Mint and basil were also take-overs!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2004 at 12:17PM
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sun_shine_day_dream(Z8 panhandle)

Oh yes, four o'clocks are still surprising me after, I thought I had removed them last spring!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2004 at 12:20PM
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Underoaks(z7a TN)

It seems the thread is now turning to a defense of several of the green criminals. So let me speak out for one: mint.
Fifty odd years ago my father picked up some mint growing on a creek bank in north Tennessee. (It may be called Japanese mint, but it is certainly wild.) It is very gentle, and while it will run around, it has never choaked anything out in our gardens. It gets maybe a foot high and has the sweetest leaves I have ever ever encountered. So, wild mint -- good.
I wish I hadn't planted all those fancy tulips. Wrong place for them. Too much effort and hope and disappointment.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 5:07PM
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ponytail(9 Alabama)

Purple Passion!!!! It has taken over the back yard, well what i have of a backyard and the fence and where else its roots decide to send sprouts up. The only thing is I try to pull it up around the one section so it doesnt choke out my sons little veggie spot but I have to let it grow because I am a nature freak especially for the buterflys and hummingbirds and the caterpillars eat it for their food. Wish they would eat the stems too besides just the leaves. With so much of the ecosystem being distroyed by man I try in my tiny coner of the world to lend a helping hand to Mother Nature. In between my garden looks like a jungle conpared to everybody elses manicured places. For those of you who hate the Mexican Petunias .. send em on to me... LOL.. It is one of the few flowers that I can grow in this orange clay land and is not invasive to me at all.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 9:22AM
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My regrets: evening primrose, Virginia spiderwort, Chameleon plant, violas (including Johnny-jump-ups), Toad lilies, Obedient plant, morning glory; Mint - though I finally got rid of them.

As to roses, I agree; you can have lots of teas, noisettes, chinas, polyanthas without spray and they DO REPEAT bloom till frost and a lot of them are very fragrant.

HTs are not impossible either but most Hybrid teas need a good praying schedule. If you use the newest anti-fungal products (Mancozeb- Manzate for actually killing the spores and Banner Maxx to prevent germiantion of the spores), you can get away with 14 days spray intervalls.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 9:47AM
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Chinese paper lanterns, OMG, it spreads by seed and runners.
Can't eradicate it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 12:10AM
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you heard of jack and the bean stock, well it could just as well been jack and the trumpet vine

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 2:54PM
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oh my goodness! i have started cypress vine! morning glories i know, i have also started glory vine. should i plant this? i have a small backyard that we are bricking in any way(townhouse) and i want to cover the fence, is this a good idea? i have moonflowers as well.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 10:40PM
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ray_in_nc(z7, NC)

I'm surprised to see that a couple of people have mentioned yarrow. For those who have had problems with it being invasive, how long did it take for it to become a problem? I've had mine for a couple of years and it hasn't really spread at all. Or is it only specific varieties? I've had 'Paprika Red' for a couple of years and just planted some 'Salmon Beauty' yesterday!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 7:28PM
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obediant plant....dang stuff has spread halfway up the darned hill...we just keep on mowing it down...and it just keeps on coming up...egad...

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 11:15PM
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Cypress vine??
Oh no. I just planted about eight of them mixed with Cardinal vine. All along my fence.
It better not choke out my Black-Eyed Susan vine or I'll have a fit!
Guess I'll give it a chance. We rent for now. Maybe I'll learn my lesson before we buy next year! LOL

My mistake has been tomatoes in my compost. Which I spread all over my flower beds. Now I have baby tomato plants popping up all over the place. I have to laugh about it though. Atleast they are not that #$%*&^&$%#@@ CRAB GRASS!! I hate that stuff.

A close call was my DH wanting to put Bermuda grass seed all over the backyard. Oh man I'm glad he told me first!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 1:46AM
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OKDustin(z6 OK)

I have a wild strawberry that has yellow flowers and thrives in shade-even dense shade. I wanted some year round green in the bed-not spilling out of the bed and choking perennials!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 4:23PM
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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

Bishop's weed. And I would love to get my hands on the first person to bring Asian honeysuckle to America.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 2:13PM
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Rebel_42MDx(z7B Arkansas)

Wisteria and grey henon bamboo...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 10:32PM
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LoraxDave, good luck, particularly if you have any shrubs or trees in the same bed as your asiatic jasmine. It's a miniature kudzu. I am right now trying to find a lawnmower that I can raise the cutting level up to about 6". It is the only solution to keeping this plant in bounds that I can come up with. I can't use a string trimmer because of the shrubs and understory trees planted with it.

Words of wisdom to anyone who cares - plant monkey grass as an evergreen groundcover instead of asiatic jasmine. Infinitely more well behaved. The AJ has escaped from one of my beds into the bed with moneky grass and is now trying to completely cover the monkey grass as well as envelope my house.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2004 at 5:48PM
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No, no, Pterostyrax! Don't tell people to plant monkeygrass (liriope). It seeds, it runs, it creeps and makes huge clumps that push out anything of value. If you must have it, at least use the variegated form which is not fertile, so you won't have surprises (shocks!) springing up everywhere. And let's make it against the law to plant English ivy (it already is the law in some states). That plant is positively the worst. It grows up into trees, seeds itself generously, and pulls down the trees when the wind catches it. There are other things much more lovely and practical!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 9:57PM
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Four o'clocks, cranberry hibiscus, and bolivian jew. I didn't plant it, but I have mother of thousands STILL coming up after 6 years of carefully pulling each one up before it has babies on it. I even removed 3 inches of topsoil in one bed to get rid of it, and its back.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2004 at 12:32AM
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I can't believe nobody has mentioned aspidistra or cast iron plant. OMG, spend a weekend pulling that up, with roots to china, and made of guess what? Cast iron. Hate it. Also hate nandina. It is literally growing through a tiny crack in my front porch steps. I DETEST it. Cannot get rid of it. This is a fun thread, by the way. I love reading all the different opinions! Cindy

    Bookmark   May 17, 2004 at 7:05PM
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ladybug24(z8 AL)

I can't believe no-one has mentioned "rattlesnake weed". I didn't plant it though-just inheritated it from a neighbor! It has roots that are white and segmented just like a rattlesnakes rattles. When the segments are broken another plant appears. I am not sure what it is really called but if it ever gets started in your flower beds you have to dig the whole bed up and Round-up everything! HATE IT!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2004 at 9:00AM
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Morning Glories! they spread and spread and grow up trees, the side of the house etc etc! Linda :O)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2004 at 10:51AM
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Booo(z7 East TN)

I have really enyoed this thread! I have been laughing out loud! LOLOL Is it not interesting that one mans "weed" is another's pride and joy! :~)

I would have to say the biggest that come to mind for me was Yarrow and Lambs Ear.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2004 at 9:51PM
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I can't believe no one has mentioned PLUME POPPY. STAY AWAY FROM IT......IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET RID OF. By the time someone told me how invasive it was.....IT WAS TOO LATE. I'll have it for the rest of my life!!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2004 at 12:55PM
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I'm not to blame for these because I didn't plant them, but the worst plant I've inherited is honeysuckle! I've had to battle it at both houses I've had, and I've not beaten it yet. At this house I also have what I believe to be Virginia creeper. Pulling it up only seems to encourage it. Liriope is a pain. So are red tip photina and boxwood bushes. You can never get rid of all the roots, and they are just too big and ugly to allow them to take up room in my yard.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2004 at 11:40PM
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Julie40(Z5 IL)

I have to agree with yarrow as being the worst - but the white one. Most of the hybrids are fantastic and well behaved. I started the white one from seed. In one year it has covered about 100 sqft. It spreads by seed and runners and is almost impossible to get out of the lawn.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 12:09AM
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Has purple basil been mentioned under another name? I actually introduced this to my yard from a neighbor--there are little seedlings all in our fescue yard and virtually everywhere else. The funny thing is that I was so pleased with it last year and mulched it real good so it would be sure to come back. the seedlings are half an acre away now.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 8:41PM
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barbquilts(z7A GA)

This thread is funny. I'm going along saying to myself - that one's fine for me, glad I didn't do that one, but I do have a lot of the plants that have been mentioned, but have managed to keep them in check.

Purple basil - yes we have quite a bit of that around and it came from our other house with us 2 years, but hadn't been invited. It's so easy to identify though that we just pull out what we don't want. Now if we would just pull or cut it down before it goes to seed.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 10:52PM
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Bamboo! My Mom gave me some and it was so pretty by the pond but every year it gets worse and now it tries to grow under the siding on the house! The Round-up Brush killer seems to be making some headway though.
Morning Glory is another.
Purple Spiderwort also takes over the flower beds, I like it but if I had it to do over I would not plant it in the beds!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 7:13PM
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marozeckinj(SJ/PA zone 7)

Trumpet Vine! I didn't plant it, it was here when we moved in. The actual base of the "plant" and I use the term lightly, is wedged in a 4" space between my shed and a fence we share with a neighbor. It is on the shed, in the shed, under the shed. It is ugly & invasive and I have never seen a hummingbird, butterfly,or even an insect go near it. I have dumped roundup on it, gasoline, kerosene, you name it we have tried it. I guess we can wait until it knocks over the shed then we will have better access to BOMB it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 8:23PM
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isabeaux & BarbQuilts - is it Purple Basil or Perilla? I know the Perilla is highly invasive. I didn't realize the basil was something to worry about.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 9:44PM
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Wisteria actually started pulling away the siding of my 2 story house one year (upper story) while I wasn't paying attention.
Privet entwined itself into a chain link fence so that it can't be cut away except for peripherals.
Morning Glories invade my late Summer veggie garden every year.
If you refuse to use chemicals, are reduced to mechanical means of removal, and work ridiculous hours, like I do, it can be quite daunting.
I love the challenge.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 10:46PM
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Tanski(55407 MN)

No one mentioned garlic chives. My neighbor gave me a bunch as a kind of house warming present. Pretty little plant with nice white flowers, looked good in my herb garden. That was 10 years ago and I am still digging it out. When you try to pull it out the leaf stalks come off and that just strengthens the bulb and so it grows about 10 more! It is in my herb garden, flower gardens, compost, and my nightmares. This year though I think I am finally getting on top of it....well thats what I thought last year too. The battle continues.....

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 1:20AM
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Sally, I should have used the scientific name - Ophiopogan, not Liriope. Ophiopogan is extremely well behaved and makes a beautiful ground cover in full sun all the way to full shade. I agree with the Liriope. One of the Ophiopogan plants apparently had one in it and it's trying to take over from the Ophiopogan. Very hard to dig up and get rid of.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 10:49AM
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shohopper(zone7b NC)

WISTERIA! It's awful. It has taken over the arbor where it was intended, hasn't bloomed in 8 years, but now is sending up runners as far away as 50 feet! I measured it! Even if I pulled it off the arbor, the runners will NEVER go away, I fear.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 3:45PM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

A golden raintree! When it flowers, the golden showers are all over everywhere like glued together pollen. When the flowers make seed pods and the pods are beautiful for about 2 weeks you just love the tree. Then, the pods burst open and scatter a guzillion seeds which come up in the flower beds, the cracks in the sidewalk, the rain gutters, just everywhere. I'll bet there is not one seed that doesn't germinate. Then, late fall comes and all the leaves fall off and cling to everything. Then, still later the tiny leaf stems fall off and you slip and slide and roll on them. And, then, it's winter and the darn tree is sleeping and you say, thank heavens. Until the springtime.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 7:01PM
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When we bought our house the woman who owned it before us had put up a chainlink fence. Well she also planted honeysuckle every 2 inches along it. It has taken 5years 16 gallons of roundup but have it under control in the yard. Now the driveway is a mess with the privet hedge honeysuckle and kudzo impossible. Also those 4 oclocks they do seed. Have them all over the yard. Cant get rid of the bermuda either. Oh well keeps me busy and off the streets. Unless out looking for another plant. Redhot

    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 8:45AM
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I've got the triple whammy! The house I just bought has a veritable jungle outside. Privet, Liriope & English Ivy all fighting each other to take over the yard. I've tried Roundup & Ortho on all, no luck so far....Can I just till it all under?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 5:12AM
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autotetraploid(7B MS)

Houttynia chordata has my vote as invasive and stinking when disturbed. Advertisements always show a tricolor leaf (red, green and white) but all we ever had is a green weed.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 11:52PM
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angelfairy(Z-8 S.AL)

Nothing...if you are a dedicated gardener, you can plant anything and keep it under control. I've been gardening over 30 yrs on 20 acres and have even been able to control the most invasive plants like Kudzu,(which I love by the way) bamboo, many vines and grasses, and blackberries like you would not believe when I first moved here. Through simple mowing with a bushog,Dr Trimmer, and hand tools, My dh and I have kept this place the tropical appearing paradise we first invisioned. If you are a passionate gardener, this is not work, but a joy and challenge. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 2:19PM
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kywildcat2(z6 KY)

Chameleon Plant!!! This stuff tales over--even crossed underneath my sidewalk! Considering digging out the bed and putting in new soil to get rid of it. Does anyone have a surefire way to kill it out? Dwarf Bamboo is a very bad choice too.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 8:32AM
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I rue the day I planted ruellia!! I spend all my free time in the garden. Last weekend I spent about 4 hours digging ruellia from one part of the bed. This weekend I noticed several thousand seedlings popping up of the dreaded ruellia! Since I don't use poisons I have to pull it all up or dig it under.
Then there is the obedient plant, not supposed to like our climate, grows everywhere, seeds and runners going amok. Dig and pull and dig and pull, it grows in the compost pile, it grows when chopped to bits.
Dewberries, I didn't plant them, they came with the house.
Periwinkles, after 13 years I'm still digging them up, they came with the house also.
I watched a garden show one day and the lady said if you have weeds you don't have enough plants. But she didn't say what to do if the plants had become the weeds!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 1:20PM
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This thread is making me appreciate being in zone 6. Some of the plants that plague you southerners we just can't keep here - it's great to finally see an up-side to our nasty winters.

I've recently started using a corn gluten product on my mixed borders. I keep it away from the areas where I want volunteer verbena bonariensis, but it really does keep new seedlings from growing. It goes right over the mulch, every 6 weeks or so or whenever I add compost or disturb the soil.

Still, it's no help with my worst invasives - trumpet vine, autumn clematis, and honeysuckle, all of which I planted (sorry to say) when I thought I needed quick coverage on a very long stockade fence.

As for yarrow, a 6 pack of "summer pastels" seedlings that I planted 5 or 6 years ago in one bed has become a problem all over my yard. It took a few years, and seemed very well behaved for a long time - suddenly, it was obvious that it was out of control.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 10:35PM
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dogpatchlady(z9 s of Hou)

Bamboo- don't know what kind it was, the neighbor planted it and when we bought our place, it was eight feet into our yard all the length of the common lot line. Took years to get rid if.

Moon flower vine- planted a few seeds in a front bed and by end of summer it covered the entire front of the house. Luckily it died during the Ft. Worth winter.

mint- given a starting. Was told to put it in a pot. I put in in the bed. Bad idea! Smells nice when we mow it tho.

Chinese tallow- it's everywhere in Galveston Co. Horrible to keep out of fence lines. Never plant it in zone 9!!

Asparagus fern (sprengetti?)-The worst. I thought it was lovely in grandma's parlor. Not in a Galveston Island flower bed! Took over the entire bed, there was no dirt, just solid matted root. Got in the lawn, neighbor's lawn, spread by roots, the bean-things and fronds touching the ground. It has needles when you try to pull it. Never let it out of a pot.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 11:01PM
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MrsBox77(z9C N Hou)

Me personally (well, DH actually): Mint. It was awful.

A house I inherited and my in-laws house: Those large (4")leaf vines that grow from the things that look like potatoes (those potatoes are also mower killers), and Elephant Ears....you cant get rid of Elephant Ears, they spread like magic into all of your fertile/shady areas and they get huge.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 1:03PM
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Great thread!!! After moving here from the west coast I fell in love with pampas grass and had a few in my yard, well..... I have found the solution so I can still enjoy the stuff... burn it back every year in the fall. It dosnt look so good shortly after the burning but when it starts to regrow it becomes a great plant again and stays very healthy. The mint I just get a 8" aluminum bucket put a few holes in the bottom then plant the bucket 1/2 in the ground, these methods work well for me and keep me from having to work so hard to enjoy these opportunistic plants. cindy

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 1:02PM
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ctreynard(Zone 6--Chicopee, MA)

Snow in summer..looks like it's ROTTING all the time!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 9:41PM
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Clerondendrum bungii- glory bower... even growing through slats of my front porch!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 10:40PM
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Linda_e(SW LA z8b)

cypress vines
sweet autumn clematis
monkey grass
obedient plant (I'm still trying to get rid of that!)
redbud trees--I love them, but hate dealing with the gazillion baby trees that come up every where every year!

I'm sure there a several more that I can't think of right now. This is a great thread. Just wish I'd known back then what I'm learning now. LOL

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 2:27AM
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Gail_8a(z8a GA)

Monkey grass!! English ivy!! Horrible stuff!!! I cringe when I go to a nursery and see people actually SELLING this stuff!! I tell folks to come to my house and take all that they can carry away with them.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 3:34PM
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i'm reading all this and it's good research info, thanks everyone. 3 questions
what is monkey grass (couldn't find a pic)
what is probl with toad lily (looked nice when i looked it up)
liriope, does it get too big? i had some in Miami it got kind of big, i didn't know it spreads by seed. how about in North florida?
thanks brigitte.klein@airbus.com or echoiv@bellsouth.net

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 11:16PM
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Monkey grass=border grass

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 12:17AM
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good post! I hate my neighbors and plan on buying some seeds of these for their garden!

Lol, J/K!

I am not going to plant mint after reading this though!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 11:17PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Great thread. My solution to the thugs is to dig them up and plant them in my isolated border in front of a black walnut tree where the herd of deer like to browse the catbriar. Two lambs ears survive but don't bloom and one secretsea (sp) purple wandering jew type survives but doesn't spread much. Ruellia kicked the bucket there as did oenoethera (thank goodness). Anything that can tolerate the poison of juglone and the hooves and teeth of the deer are welcome in that bed (except for the poison ivy).

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 12:07PM
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    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 1:29PM
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Ladybug your weed is called Florida Betony..I have finally gotten rid of it, I hope. I sprayed it with Roundup as the new growth was coming up this spring. I now have dead spots in my St. Augustine grass, small price to pay for dead Betony. Felder Rushing advised me what to do and when to do it and so far it has worked!!

Now, if I could just get rid of Vinca. I wasn't able to work in my gardens last year so I didn't see it multiplying, it has totally covered one bed and trying to invade the lawn. Gotta call Felder about this one also.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 4:54PM
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I could have lived without Periwinkle. I found a few plants at the end of my yard and planted them near the house. Soon, they had covered the yard and were even climbing up a retaining wall. Another one that tried to take over is orange cosmos. Planted a few seeds and they multiplied into thousands.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Friends don't let friends plant four o'clocks.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 7:48PM
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Mint is not something I would ever put in my flower bed again. Did that years ago when I was first starting out. Now I plant mint in a container and it makes some really good tea in the summer!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 11:21PM
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In my house in MD, I planted mint along the walkway. That was a BIG mistake. It get ugly if you dont' keep it short, and it takes over like ants at a picnic.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 2:38AM
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Canna Lillies & Elephant Ears, yikes, if I only knew then what I know now!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 5:16PM
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I despise liriope! And 4 o'clocks. Then there is this certain wild variety of gladiola I found growing by the road and planted at our old house. Pretty thing. There was roughly 5 million plants of it in our yard when we moved. Was glad to move away from the wisteria...was starting to have nightmares about it engulfing the house.

I'm wondering if maybe a key component of some of these plants is where the plant is located in your yard. Does it have optimum conditions for growth? Is it confind in some way? Oh yes! Nandina. I can't for the life of me believe that someone would actually spend money on nandina!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 8:32PM
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I say beware of any plant your well meaning friends pass along to you. Research it all first! I have been "given" so many invasive plants over the years and just put them out without a thought. My worst invasives are now mint, trumpet vine (Chinese variety) which MAY be gone this year after using Roundup BRUSH removal. We shall see. English Ivy (covers everything for miles), lirope (Monkey Grass) and Purple SpiderWort. The ivy is so invasive it's tangled with nearly everything and very hard to remove without ruining everything else in the garden. ugh.
I don't have a problem with Morning GLories for some reason but am very worried about the gifted 4 O'clocks after reading this post. I guess I 'll pull them up as I see them this year. I've had them for just one year now.
Just a mention on ROSES - There are so many varieties besides the Hybrid Teas you see at Lowes/HD. Try the antique varieties that require no spraying. You'll find many, many carefree types besides the Knock Outs that are almost invasive these days :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Ah. I needed a good laugh. You guys are great and this thread has inspired me to laugh at my own adventure cleaning out Rhapis palm.

It's such a pretty plant and a slow grower that it's probably not a problem for anyone else...until you want to take it out. It created a mesh of roots with the big oak in our front yard. TWO weekends of 8 hours a day gettin' that sucker out. Hopefully we haven't killed the tree in the process.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:52PM
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definitely monkey grass - I planted just a few and the stuff has just taken over - It looks like a grass weed in my garden- My sons and I are currently pulling it all up - trying to separate it from everything else - then replant the stuff we are keeping.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 5:50PM
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Love your comments, gives me some ideals of what I can plant where nothing grows. I enjoy many of those some don't want as they grow where nothing else does. For those who are trying to kill, first vines, get a large Zip-Lock bag and take the ends of the vine and place it into the bag then add stump killer then Zip it close and securer, it will drink until it dies all the way to the root. You may have to re-fill from time to time. For large tree-bushes, drill a hole 2"+ and insert a piece of PVC, fill with stump killer and cap. Check from time to time a fill if needed. As for the rest of those plants I just weed them out as I have to weed all the time here in my area anyway so they go the way of all weeds if needed. If not I enjoy them like the rest of my flowers.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:06AM
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Bee Balm. I planted it 16 years ago, grew it for one season, and then decided I didn't want to keep it so I pulled it all out. Unfortunately, I'm still pulling up seedlings each year. It's amazingly resilient.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:37PM
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Wild Purple Violets have a tough root to get out. They are everywhere! Also, Wild Ageratum, I pull it up all summer in all my flower beds and still have it everywhere. Also, obedient plant! I pull it out all summer and some still blooms. Varigated Vinca is taking over one bed - hate it also.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:37PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I don't know what 'wild ageratum' is. I have an abundance of perennial ageratum mixed with blackeyed susans(another thug) and I just dig the excess and plant it elsewhere. Up North, it was very obedient and stayed near a gutter downspout in sandy soil.
Down here it loves the moist clay, loves it a bit too much but the flowers are so pretty for cutting.

Let me add to my hate that I planted it list..
Lemon balm/melissa. Give it enough moisture and no amount of glyphosate or brush killer will destroy it permanently.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 3:12AM
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I go with the vinca too, also the violets and Nandina. I've managed to rid myself of the vinca, but the violets are awful. Coming from up north, I thought they would be fine but wow, was I wrong. The nandina is controllable, but I found out after I planted that it is considered a nuisance species. The worst part is the birds don't ever eat those beautiful berries. I hate to tear it up, but I'm feeling a bit guilty about having it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 5:08PM
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ohhhh, I hate to have to break this to you, but getting rid of the nandina is not going to be fun. There was one growing at our former house that I would attempt to dig out every year for the 18 years we lived there. I never won the battle. The first year I dug up a huge chunk of the root, probably 2 feet long and 4-5 inches across. And the plant was only 3 feet tall! And elderly neighbor stopped by and watched for awhile and then laughing said, "you may as well give that battle up right now because there's no way you are going to win."

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:05PM
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Location is everything.

In my yard in Miami, mint thinks it's an annual, my one Four o'Clock has behaved itself, and the type of Monkey Grass or Lirope that I have refuses to grow enough to fill in its assigned spot in the yard.

However Pine cone Lilies (ginger), Macho Ferns, and Ruella grow too well. My worst mistake though is a pretty purple shrub that I planted (can't remember it's name) but's it's becoming a real problem.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:08AM
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Not something I planted, but I wish that the previous owners of my house, or perhaps owners of neighboring houses, never planted asparagus fern because it is everywhere.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 5:51PM
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1) SPIDERWORT! Look'd fantastic at the chap's property who sold it to me: nice 'n neat, tall 'n proud. Mine? - surely the plant's misspelled ... 3 years later it looks like a "wart" alright. A warty toad hopping all over the back gardens in places they are not allowed to play. They'd root inside a rock in an underground cave if there was a wee hole to blow a seed into.
2) JAPANESE ANEMONE - Pretty "as a picture". Blooms are lovely (10 days/yr). Super as a woodland filler but no way can I catch up to their Olympian runners! They got a head-start. They slide under pavered pathways and come up in my hometown 1200 miles away!

As for the chap who says "Snow 'n Summer Jasmine" (beautiful variegated palette of pink-white-green colours...See Snap Below) - what conditions are yours planted in that it "...always looks rotten"? �Just purchased my 1st two and I'm in Love. Am I to prepare myself that this affair is going to break my heart? Hope you're still tuning in.

No one told me a box of Depends was necessary b/4 reading thru' this thread! This would be an hilarious face-to-face forum of "forget-me-nots"!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Spider plants escaped from a pot and are absolutely an invasive perennial. Another vote for asparagus fern.

Why does everyone hate Four'o'clocks? Been a long time but wondering if everyone was referring to Mirabilis jalapa? Is there another plant called 4'o'c? This is one of my all-time favorites and it's been extremely hard to get any going. Finally got some seeds to sprout this year.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:46AM
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None I can think of but what I were had never been planted or took seed are privet and Japanese honeysuckle. I just hope the infamous Kudzu doesn't get here. I don't use pesticides nor herbicides except acephtate for the fire ants, so I don't know how I'd handle the Kudzu.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:48AM
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I didn't plant them, but our house came with 6 Loquat trees. Nothing can grow under them because they drop seeds constantly and the area is covered... COVERED, with baby trees. Also, the house came with a Papaya tree. They're the fastest growing, dirtiest thing I've ever planted. Leaves and fruit falling constantly, and rotting immediately. Gross.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Laura Grossmann

I rent and there are morning glories EVERYWHERE here. Of all colors in every inch of space in the yard and even popping up in the yard. There was also a big pile of metal fencing in the corner of the yard, so I nailed those to my wood fence, planted Cardinal Climber and moonflower in two locations as well.

I had a gorgeous cascade of foliage with very large leaves and tons of flowers growing from one side of the fence, all the way up and over to the ground in the front. So I loved them...but they are absolutely everywhere.

But I'm worried now that I'll have to deal with pulling up Cardinal Climbers and moonflower vine as well as morning glories this spring. And I want to try black-eyed Susan vine and Spanish Flag and Canary Climbers this year too. Yikes.

I also have what I think is wisteria growing on a trellis and it was reaching way up into a gorgeous tulip tree and choking it out. Luckily my dad brought his chainsaw when he came to visit! But it's back again.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 8:37PM
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squeakmommy(Z6b Mid-TN)

Our house came with liriope planted in every spot where they could stick it. It have ripped it out and dug it out, but it comes back year after year. It is a very common groundcover in this area, but whatever variety was planted in our yard is scraggly and unappealing.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 4:50PM
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The wisteria I have is a scarlet color. Going to remove it this week. As the house is getting painted. Whatever species this one is it has not overtaken the house. Its been close to 6 years. since I planted it. But this weekend feels like a good time. =] Hubby wants moon flowers and four o'clocks, I am hesitant after reading this.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 3:15PM
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zone 8(Zone 8)

Parrots feather. I was told that it would take over. Still fighting it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Oh my gracious Bolivian Jew! I thought it was beautiful in the basket when I bought it, until it grew to the ground. Then got flung into the lawn from the lawnmower. Years and years and years! I have sprayed, pulled, and crossed my fingers, and always... a new patch. Invading the lawn, invading the garden, invading the woods on the other side of our fence. Winter will come and it will be gone and I'll think maybe, just maybe. But always, always, always...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:36AM
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MKull(8 SATX)

I have to chuckle at that Alicia. 8 years ago, our home came pre-saturated with purple wandering jew. 8 years later I am still trying to get rid of it all. Just when you think it's licked...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:29PM
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