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6 Invasive Plants That You’ll Regret Planting in Your Yard

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Jessica
08.13.15

Not all plants are created equal. In fact, some plants are straight up garden jerks – bullying other plants and invading your entire yard. Not cool.

When it comes to planting a garden and landscaping your backyard oasis, you want to choose plants that makes sense for your home, budget and free time to spend watering and maintain them. The following six plants are popular, but difficult to keep under control. Try one of these eight easy alternatives instead!

1. Kudzu

Kudzu is practically a southern tradition, along with sweet tea and porch swings. But for a homeowner, they’re unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. This semi-woody vine can grow up to a foot a day, and it can take years of herbicide spray or kudzu grazing goats (who keeps goats!?) to kill it.

2. Mint

It sounds great in theory. “Let’s grow mint for bottomless mojitos forever!” But rarely do people know the long-term commitment of growing mint in the ground. Once it’s in the dirt, it spreads like wildfire and is difficult to control. If you want fresh mint (which is great!), it’s best to grow this herb in a potted plant.

3. Bamboo

Unless you’re prepared to plant concrete or plastic root barriers in the ground under your garden, it’s best to avoid bamboo. A large portion of bamboo varieties are called “running” varieties – that’s how fast they spread!

Tip: If you’re determined to have bamboo in your garden, choose a variety from the “clumping” family (like Bambusa or Borinda). While these will still spread, they do it at a slower and more manageable pace.

4. Chinese Wisteria

This plant has beautiful purple blooms, but it’s also a pain in the butt to keep under control. Chinese Wisteria is listed as an invasive plant that will choke the life out of anything in its path. It will wrap around trees, arbors, and whatever else that winds up in its way. It’s best to chop this woody plant down and spray herbicide to keep it from coming back.

5. English Ivy

It can have a charming effect on your home or garden, but it can also grow wildly out of control and into your neighbor's yard, which probably won’t make them happy. It will climb any wall and cover trees, so it’s best to pull up the plant each spring to keep it from overgrowing.

6. Honeysuckle

It smells amazing, but keeping it under control can be a nightmare. Honeysuckle is a vine-like plant that can overtake trees and create giant, hanging blobs of plants that takes some serious work to get rid of. It’s classified as a noxious weed in most states, and strongly discouraged to keep in your garden. 

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