When you visit a garden center the plants for sale always look their best and tempt you to make an impulse purchase. While that small flower in its pot looks innocent enough you can sometimes get more than you bargained for. Not all plants are created equal and while some may be delicate specimens others can turn out to be real thugs. This article which I found on the Hometalk website warns you about seven of these unruly characters.

Not every plant that you find in the garden center or nursery this spring is a good choice for your garden. Garden retailers often sell plants that many consider problematic or invasive.
Why do they sell them then? Well, gardeners often disagree on what constitutes a ?problem?. I happen to think that Goutweed is pure evil, but I know at least one friend who thinks it has nice variegated foliage and likes to have it in his garden.
For me a problem plant is not just invasive, it is also one that is hard to remove where unwanted. Aggressive spreaders like Goutweed send out roots that spread underground. Eradicating it is next to impossible. Any of the white root segments that remain in the soil after you remove the surface plant are capable of producing a new plant.
Other plants like the False Lamium (see below) send out runners above the ground that take root and create offshoot plants.The runners shoot off in all directions and it too is hard to get rid of.
To avoid issues with invasive plants, here are a few suggestions:
Generally, it is a good idea to be suspicious of plants with the word ?weed? incorporated in their common name. ?Goutweed? would be one of them.
Ask nursery or garden centre staff for a reference. If you are considering an unfamiliar plant, ask staff if the plant is in any way aggressive or invasive. Most well-trained staff will warn you off problem plants.
  • gardener beware plantings that should come with a warning label, container gardening, flowers, gardening, raised garden beds
Lily of the Valley! Yes, the flowers are sweet and the fragrance is divine, but it spreads like wild fire. I have it in the back garden in a shady flowerbed under a tree. It can only go so far in this particular bed and is not a concern. On the other hand, it is a huge problem elsewhere. It was in the front garden when we bought the house and spreads by an underground root system. Lily of the Valley crowds my other plants into extinction. Getting rid of Lily of the Valley, where unwanted, has proven to be next to impossible!
  • gardener beware plantings that should come with a warning label, container gardening, flowers, gardening, raised garden beds
Goutweed, Aegopdium podagraria can really take over. I would put it to the top of my list of unwanted, invasive plants.
  • gardener beware plantings that should come with a warning label, container gardening, flowers, gardening, raised garden beds
The False Lamium ‘Variegatum’ in my garden isn’t my own. It’s my neighbour’s. Each spring it creeps under our shared fence and then spreads like wildfire through the back of my flowerbeds. I tear it out, but it always comes back the moment my back is turned. Despite its attractive variegated leaves, I’ve grown to hate it on sight !
See more at Hometalk
Image source: Tiger Lily



  1. I had a trumpet vine planted and dug it out before it got to big, but left the wisteria vine, that way there is only 1 to control, lol lol TRUMP for president!

  2. Lily of the Valley is a pest that just spreads and spreads…love the fragrance and the flower, but I wish we had never taken that “free” plant….lol Also Columbine…those little seeds scatter all over creation and make more and more plants…not necessarily where I want them…

  3. I have gooseneck loosestrife, obedient plant, milk weed, and spurge all fighting it out in one flower bed. I noticed that the obedient plant had pretty much taken over the one end and thought I had lost the gooseneck loosestrife. This year the loosestrife is at the opposite en

  4. Gout weed is terrible! A landscaper put ithe in my front yard landscaping a few years ago. It spreads and chokes all the annual flowers really bad. It was in the bushes too. Awful stuff!

  5. I was given some Queen Anne’s Lace and Yarrow years ago. Both plants are very pretty, but the Queen Anne’s Lace is very invasive. It roots by underground shoots. The Yarrow multiplies, but in clumps and is easy to separate. I have a beautiful TRUMPet vine in full bloom right now. It has salmon-colored blooms. Trump/Pence 2016!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Nancy Phillipssays:

    Yes, I understand what a pain some of these plants are, Canna Lilies are one plant I constantly am trying to remove. Note to author: I wish you had included pictures of the plants you mentioned as I am unfamiliar with any of them.

  7. Patricia Foltasays:

    This is garden advise, keep your unwanted political choices to yourself! Thank you.

  8. Saw three but couldn’t find the list…! I have had Obedient Plant which I really liked but had to really keep an eye on it and thin out or it would take over. Currently I am dealing with some Sweet Autumn Clematis that wants to get out of hand and I have to keep an eye on and thin out.

  9. Love the changes in leaf color, the white flowers and that it is the perfect ground cover for a wet soil area I have. It is invasive only if you let it be invasive.

  10. I have a real problem with the neighbor’s bamboo…it’s creeping into my garden and into my raised beds. I’ve heard the only to get rid of it is to poison it, but I’m afraid that would kill everything else I have growing there…roses, bee balm, daisies, lilies and anything I plant in my vegetable beds. Would love any suggestions!

  11. I love it when it first comes up and then the colors and white flowers, but then it takes over other plants and I have to pull it out so the other plants can be seen and bloom. Then pull most of it out and still comes back every year. DON’T plant where it can ruin you flower bed!

  12. Evening Primrose and Bowl of Cherries … them when they first come out and bloom, but take over the flower beds and plants look like weeds when finished blooming.

  13. English Ivy needs to be on this list. I’ve been trying to get rid of it for several years.Any idea’s$#%&!@*it . It’s taking over my mother-in-law planted some several yrs ago & now it’s coming up all over the place just 1 leaf with take root on top of the ground & spreads.

  14. I love goose neck loosestrife, echinacea and bee balm. I grow them in a wild garden and let let them roam. They are great for pollinators and cut flowers.Cutting them for bouquets reduces self sowing . They are great survivors and I have plants form originals planted over 20 years ago that flourished in all the weather combinations central Mass dishes out.

  15. I work as horticulturist for a park district and have a rather obnoxious resident who has been hiding their invaisive plants in the same holes as my landscape plants. It is very upsetting because for the last 5 weeks I have yanked out bunches of sundrops, perennial mums, shasta daisies and ither plants. They Know it is wrong because they hide their plants within mine. Just because You made the mistake of planting sundrops does not mean you have the right to ruin my landscaping in a public park.

    1. Shirley Brownsays:

      Agree about the trumpet vine. Keep trying to uproot it but when I had surgery it got ahead of me and grew under the siding of my house.

  16. You need to create a wall at the property line to stop the roots. A foot above the ground to and a foot below ground level so it will stop migrating your way. Or you could Round Up the shoots on your side of the property line. It won’t kill the whole plant. They’re very hard to kill. lol That kind of bamboo should only be grown in pots.

  17. Not flowers, but some years ago, the previous owner of our home, who couldn’t have been very bright, planted five queen palms smack in the front of the house growing higher each year and dropping their trash on the roof, patio,yard and street. After trimming the darned things for 18 years with a pole saw, we decided to have them cut down for $950. 00, well spent to get rid of those dust/mold spreading monsters. The five 2 1/2 ft. tall stumps make great flower pot holders.

  18. I guess the birds brought me Carolina Jasmine, I know I didn’t plant it. At least it is just running on a fence where it isn’t in the way of anything. The neighbor behind me had elephant ears that kept coming up under the fence into me rose bed. I would dig them out but they would come back the next year. Do be careful where you plant Weedilla. It is a very pretty ground cover but very invasive and you almost can’t get rid of it once it takes hold. And those delicate looking violets? Do not let them get started in your yard.

  19. Go ask your neighbor to have a professional cement barrier installed by someone familiar with controlling Bamboo. It is becoming a nuisance. There are two types of bamboo, clumping (slowly expanding usually in a small group) and spreading which is bound to take over a large area really quickly. They should have done their homework before planting. If they didn’t, they need to remediate it immediately. Some areas have laws on the books about bamboo spreading into neighbors yards. Look up if your city/county has them. I’ve only planted Bamboo in things like dedicated planter boxes or wine barrels where their roots are contained.

  20. Since there were only three lusted on the first page and no link to the next page I’ll never know what those other four plants are. Oh well. I try to only plant native species and research what I plant first anyway, so guess I’m good.

  21. Virginia Spiderwort will show up everywhere! The Gooseneck Loosestrife pictured above was a great plant for about 5 years then it totally tried to take over. Even after digging it out it, many times, it is still there!

  22. Oh my do I agree on some of these. There is goutweed in my yard that I think has been here for at least 50 years. That was long before I thought to live here. It is impossible to get rid of!!

  23. It’s pretty but boy does it spread! So unless you have some place where you don’t mind it, like off in a field, lol, it’s a pain and the bigger plants are very tough to dig up. There are a couple other colors of yarrow too that are really pretty. Perhaps a mixture of all of them would look much better and I wouldn’t mind them taking over in a nice spot.

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