Replace These Invasive Plants With Natives

Some call them invasives and others thugs but whichever name you use the meaning is the same. These plants cause problems. And the unfortunate thing is that many invasive plants are very attractive such as the butterfly bush (Buddleia). While the article quoted below relates to Northern Virginia the general principle applies to all areas of the country. This article by Kira Hunter which I found on the Northern Virginia Magazine website suggests three plants that should be replaced with native varieties.

The makeup of our gardens has a powerful impact on the local environment. If you?ve cultivated a garden for some time, you?ve likely noticed how some native plants are able to attract pollinators like butterflies and bees while others can effectively repel hungry deer. Conversely, you might have already had to wage war on invasive species like bamboo or English ivy.

Switching out plants that are foreign to Northern Virginia for native ones can improve the surrounding air and water quality while helping the land maintain its natural character. Native plants also provide food and shelter to some of the smallest but most vital players in the ecosystem, protecting the insects that feed birds and butterflies, bats, bees, beetles and flies that cross-pollinate plants.
We?ve gathered a short list of invasive plants best to be avoided in your garden and suitable native substitutes that are just as pretty to look at but have also evolved to thrive in the region and as a result are easily maintained.

Instead of the chocolate vine and Japanese honeysuckle ?

While its brown flowers and chocolatey aroma might be alluring, the chocolate vine is an aggressive perennial. Likewise, the Japanese honeysuckle kills native plant species by out-competing them for sunlight and water, and it can destroy everything from smaller plants to trees with its enormous weight alone. It has very few predators in North America and consequently keeps the door open for other invasive species to flourish.

? plant yellow jessamine or trumpet or coral honeysuckle.

The yellow jessamine vine boasts yellow flowers, which attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Trumpet and coral honeysuckle have a mix of red and yellow flowers and attract hummingbirds, butterflies, finches and robins.

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Sponsler/Adobe Stock

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