Invasive Plants

Plant Wars: How to Recognize and Deal With Invasive Nonnative Plant Species

program by Pat Sutton

Many people are surprised to learn that plants they’d assumed were native are in fact non-native, problem plants. Many gardeners are also unaware of the damage they can do when they plant invasives such as periwinkle (Vinca), English ivy, bamboo, and many others. In a very short time these plants can invade the neighbor’s yard, properties down the street, and even nearby preserves.

These invasions have taken a big toll on butterflies and moths (that need to lay their eggs on native plants) and insect-eating birds looking for butterfly and moth caterpillars.

Sadly, most nurseries contribute heavily to this problem by continuing to sell many culprits, even species out-lawed in surrounding states and/or those that the State of New Jersey is trying to remove from natural areas. Because the nursery trade has had a long love affair with these exotic plants, the wise gardener needs to be able to recognize them.

This program will help you learn to identify invasive plants, offer suggestions on how to control or remove them, and showcase lovely native alternatives.

Truly, it is just as important to remove as many invasive plants as possible, as it is to plant and /or protect as many native plants as possible.  We need to repair and restore some of the environmental functions of our yards and communities that have been destroyed by invasive plants.

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