All over the country invasive plants are becoming a problem. To define what an invasive plant is I like this description best. Invasive plants are ones which can spread quickly even outside of their natural habitats and many varied environmental conditions.Ã‚ Those plants that establish themselves in a new area have a distinct advantage because disease and natural pest may not be present iin the same numbers as their original environment to help control them.
Some examples of invasive plants are Purple Loosestrife,Ã‚ English Ivy,Ã‚ Crown Vetch, and Exotic Honeysuckle to name a few. This plants can be coming established very quickly and are very aggressive. In some forested areas English Ivy can grow up the trunks of trees and then smother them in just a few years. This aggressive nature can quickly take over and kill off native plant species. This ability to establish quickly and then spread rapidly is very disturbing. A lot of damage can be done to sensitive ecological areas if they become established such as wetlands and sand dunes to name a couple. This destruction of native habitat is also disruptive to wildlife that depend on the area for their existence. Once established it may make it impossible for native species to come back untill the invasive plants have been eradicated. Remember nature is a system of checks and balances and if something gets out of whack it may take a long time to fix.
Just think about the damage some of these vines can cause to your garden and property. They are hard to pull out and once they start climbing walls their aggressive roots can destroy masonry and mortar. The cover your fences and shrubs and if not controlled will quickly cover the whole garden.
What can a gardener do to help control these invasive plants? First rid your garden of them by cutting back and pulling out these plants as quickly as you see them. Be very aggressive in your vigilance to destroy them before they become established. Be sure and check before planting new landscaping to be sure you are not using plants that can become a problem. Make it a pointÃ‚ to tell neighbors or fellow gardeners about them to help control their spread. If you have to use a herbicide do it only as a last resort, be careful that it does not do damage to native plants or desirable landscaping. Learn to identify plants in you area that have been classified as invasive and sound the alarms and ring the bell to everyone when you come across them, especially if they are already starting to take over an area and smother the native plants.