labeling 'invasives' at plant swaps, etc.

breenthumbMay 10, 2006

I just read the whole thread "perennials you wouldn't recommend". Obviously we've spent countless hours (sometimes years) trying to rid our beds and yards of these overbearing pests. Yet they turn up constantly at plant swaps or sales--because WE DON'T WANT THEM.

It kills me to see lily of the valley selling for $3.00 each in a tiny pot at the garden center when I'm busting my buns trying to get them out of my rock garden and they've already lifted part of my driveway. But they are perfectly nice plants if planted in the right place and people know what to expect.

Doesn't it seem only fair to provide a little information/warning along with the plants being offered to unsuspecting fellow gardeners at a swap? I know garden centers don't always note the invasive factor either, but they are not giving them away free, which diminishes the temptation to plant a bunch of problems.

Please don't get me wrong. I've never planted a "swap-problem", thanks to GW. The LOV were here when I moved in, lemonbalm was brought as a "gift" from my visiting sister, my daylily bulbs were given to me by a friend who got them from her neighbor, and the ivy I rip out yearly was something I really wanted and nurtured from a good friend and next door neighbor. Sandy (too late smart)

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Aurore(Zone 4/5 NY)

As for the lemon balm I think Martha Stewart made lemonade from lemon balm. Sounds like you have enough for lemonade all summer long. As for the ivy here's my mantra, smother, smother, smother. Forget about weeding, just rake a big pile of leaves (tall enough so the plants don't grow through it) over the ivy. Of course this won't work if you have other plants you don't want kill growing amongst the ivy. Leave it covered for a long time. Vines are harder to kill because they will try to grow out from underneath the material you are using to smother them. Make sure everything is dead when you rake away the leaves. Even a tiny little bleached stem can green up and take off. Plant grass seed.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 8:53AM
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faltered(Hamburg NY Z5/6)

Sandy: I understand your frustration and agree that people should label potentially invasive plants when swapping. But, on another note, what's invasive to one might not be to another.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:49AM
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hammerl(z5-6 Amherst NY)

Agreed. Take lily-of-the-valley. You may have it coming through the sidewalk. I've got maybe 10 plants, and they've been sloooowly multiplying for about 5 years.

Most people don't find sweet woodruff invasive. It's a ground cover, it spreads slowly. At my house, the dog's been spreading the seed around on her feet in the springtime, and I now have large quantities in three beds. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law can't get it to grow.

Things that are invasive for me I label so at swaps. That doesn't mean it will be that way elsewhere. Some people consider money plant invasive because it reseeds. Well, this year I have no money plant, and haven't been overrun in previous years.Obedient plant is invasive, but I plant it under a huge willow and I don't have a problem with it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 11:03AM
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lucy925(z5 NY)

I'm still fighting cameleon how do you smother this, it has underground runners that don't seem to care, they seem to find a area to pop up in. Don't ever but this bugger!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 1:59PM
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Yes, I was given some Bishop's Weed at a swap. Who knew? I was desperate to fill in, so it isn't a problem YET. But, those d@#m lilly of the valley........


    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 7:01PM
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Everywhere you look in my yards all you see is Lily of the valley. I posted it on Freecycle, "you dig" and I have a ton of people responding. I also got rid of my Pachasandra (sp) and mounds and mounds of daylillies that way too. It saves my back from having to dig it all out!

Just thought I would mention it!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 8:27AM
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Gardeningwitch - I did that last year and most of them were taken, however a neighbor wanted some so I had the fellow leave a small patch. Neighbor then became ill for most of the past year, now doesn't want them. Back to Freecycle!!


    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 11:31AM
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One man's weed is another man's find - I've bought (and for high prices) a few things I'm still trying to get rid of - a cow parsley named Raven's Wing - attractive but a persistent weed. And a lysimachia with purple foliage that was devastatingly attractive and sent runners in all directions.
OTOH, I've grown Lily of the Valley for years and it has barely moved. The lemon balm was planted in a sort of wild area and after 10 years is about 18" across. The most aggressive invaders are ajuga, filipendula ulmaria and monarda Cambridge Scarlet - they've fought to a draw in the same area. As for filipendula Venusta Rubra, I zap it with Roundup whenever I see it. Who knew that this beautiful thing would sucker yards in all directions?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 9:13PM
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I've had half dozen responses from Freecycle so far. Hoping that will take care of it.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 5:58AM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Twinlead, Bloodroot, Wild and european Ginger, Ostrich fern, Stylophorum, mayapple and others are among plants that are becoming invasive for me.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 9:43PM
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