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what to avoid planting
and why


Most plants, native or non-native, grow and limit their development to the location where they are planted. Although many of our ornamental plants and most of our fruits and vegetables are not native to the United States, they are not invasive.

However, a small number of non-native plant species have become invasive which means they disperse to other locations and establish themselves at the expense of native plants.


Invasive plants are successful because they


  1. grow and mature rapidly

  2. have an extremely high reproductive rate

  3. can flower or set seed over an extended period

  4. may spread quickly and aggressively

  5. have few natural enemies to limit their spread

  6. thrive in many habitats

  7. are extremely difficult to control once established

The above characteristics allow invasive plants to out compete native plants, which can lead to the disruption of ecosystems.

Every gardener should avoid planting invasive species--no matter how small their plot--even though some in the nursery industry continue to sell these plants.

The following plants may be sold at garden centers and should be avoided because of their invasive tendencies:


Aegopodium podagraria (Bishop’s goutweed; bishop’s weed; goutweed)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain-berry; Amur peppervine)

Anthriscus sylvestris (Cow parsley; Wild chervil)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)

Clematis ternifolia (Sweet autumn clematis)

Eragrostis curvula (Weeping Lovegrass)

Euonymus alatus (Winged Burning Bush)

Glaucium flavum (Yellow horn-poppy)

Euonymus fortunei (Winter creeper/Creeping euonymus)

Hedera helix (English ivy)

Iris pseudacorus (Yellow iris)

Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle vine)

Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle)

Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping jenny; moneywort)

Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife)

Myosotis scorpioides (Forget-me-not)

Nandina domestica (Nandina/Sacred Bamboo)

Phyllostachys spp. (Bamboo)

Ranunculus repens (Creeping buttercup)

Spiraea japonica (Japanese spirea/Japanese Meadowsweet)

Vinca minor (Common periwinkle/Vinca)

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria)

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