I have been gardening now for five years and I hardly consider myself an expert on the subject. My gardening experience lies in my mistakes. And boy have I made them. So, I decided to do an article of invasive plants that you shouldn’t plant in the garden since they will run wild. They are just wolves in sheep clothing. They would make Tony Soprano cry like baby with diaper rash.
Here are my top five garden plant thugs. (And on Tony Soprano’s hit list.) Add yours as well in the comments.
Fennel, the Bully:
I planted bronze Fennel, the herb, four years ago, and I can’t get rid of this plant. (There is a difference between the herb and the fennel bulb. The herb is a perennial plant.)
Why do I hate fennel? It bullies the other plants especially dill. Don’t plant them close to each other. They will cross pollinate each other and you will get “FennelDill.” This means it looks like dill but smells like fennel. Now some of you might say., “oh I love the black licorice smell of fennel” Then go ahead and plant the two together. But say goodbye to the dill.
The fennel is such a thug that my dill was so sick of the fennel that it moved to another part of my garden. Plants are very smart.
One more thing. Sometimes, seedlings won’t come up because fennel is sprouting. Once I removed the fennel, and re-seeded, the seedling emerged.
Dill, a Wayward Child
Don’t pity dill because of fennel’s nature. It isn’t an angel either. Dill reseeds itself. You know those cute dill flowers with the yellow seeds at the end? Yep, dill is one fertile plant and re-seeds itself. All over the place! The dill has taken up lodging throughout my blueberry patch. I am not sure if this a good thing or a bad thing. What do you think about about blueberries and dill together. Will I have dill blueberries?
Oregano, the Thug
Yeah. Yeah. You all love Oregano. So do I until it is growing everyone imaginable in my garden. I planted in one bed and in less than 5 years, I have an oregano field. It killed a Coreopsis plant last year. My defense is tear it out and dry it. Or perhaps don’t let it flowers.
Word to the wise. Don’t get sucked into those beautiful purple oregano flowers. Its like spider to a fly. Those purple flower simply cause more oregano to show up in your garden. As Henry the VIII said, “off with their head.” (Meaning the flowers.)
Mint, Oregano’s Henchmen
You love mint ice tea, mint ice cream, or mint whatever. Chocolate mint smells amazing. Just don’t give in to temptation and plant it in your garden unless you contain it in a pot. Oregano is a member of the mint family so do I need to tell you anything more about mint?
I am attempting the mint-in-a-pot concept this year. (I hope that I won’t be writing the proverbial “I can’t believe I planted mint in the garden” post. Say a little prayer for me.)
Amaranth, the Lost Child
Amaranth is ancient grain grown by the Incas. It is high in protein. It’s young leaves taste like spinach. I have written about growing this beauty and harvesting its grain in the past.
Many people may grow it for its flowers. Think of a maroon peacock flower. (See the picture here.) I told you, this plant is a looker. However those beautiful flowers hold little seeds that populate all over the darn place. In my case, in the garden, near my garage where I thrash the plant, and anywhere the wind drives those seeds.
Why do I keep planting it? I feel like a middle age man who has a twenty something girlfriend on his arm. Maybe she parties too much, but at the end of the day, I get to admire how beautiful she is and claim her as mine. Sick. I know. But getting Porsche at 50 plus and a new youngish wife is just as sick.
Butterfly Bush, Talk about an Ambush.
Don’t get me started. Again, a major looker and the butterflies think this bush is better than chocolate chip cookies. And the smell? Just too enticing. I feel like the men in after they meant the mermaids who were so beautiful but would lure you to your death. Okay. A little dramatic, but so is a bunch of baby butterfly bushes all growing in my patio. And those suckers are so hard to get out.
Join the Conversation:
- Which plants do you have a love/hate relationship with?
- Which invasive plants have driven you absolutely bonkers. And how have you dealt with them?
- Are you crazy like me and are lured into a plant beauty simply to be sucked down the road of unhappiness? Kind of like marrying for sex, not friendship.
- Is gardening like having a baby? You forgot how awful birth is and then you go and have another baby? (Um, did it four time. Now can you understand my gardening mentality?)