There’s a common misconception out there—even amongst some of the most seasoned gardeners—that all invasive flowers and plants are an unsightly addition to a garden. But, in reality, that’s not the case at all. In fact, a lot of invasive plant species are nothing short of gorgeous.
So we totally understand the temptation… Who doesn’t lay their eyes on a stunning foreign bloom—invasive or not—and start imagining it as the newest and cutest addition to their bustling and colorful garden? We sure do!
But trust us, resist the urge at all costs. Invasive flowers can be a nightmare of epic proportions. In just a short amount of time, they can completely take over your landscape, which will most certainly spell doom for the rest of the pretty little blooms that call your backyard home.
Gardeners out there who underestimate invasive plant species often spend beaucoup cash on maintenance and futile efforts at controlling them. And even gardeners who manage to keep their invasive flowers and plants in line still run the risk of having birds spread the seeds to other areas where they could take a real negative toll on the natural habitat. Don’t be that gardener!
With that said, here are four beautiful invasive plant species to avoid, plus our favorite alternatives that’ll surely spruce up your garden!
Chinese wisteria is a woody climbing vine that sprouts exquisite hanging violet blossoms. Despite its insane beauty, though, it’s extremely destructive. When introduced to a new environment, its vines will quickly snake out and strangle surrounding trees. Take our word for it: don’t let their dazzling looks deceive you!
Best Alternative: Instead of the Chinese wisteria, also known as wisteria sinensis, opt for the wisteria frutescens, which is the native American version. While we don’t think it’s quite as eye-catching as its invasive counterpart, it offers a similarly attractive and unique appearance without the accompanying headache.
It’s definitely not hard to see why Americans brought back loads of Japanese honeysuckle to the states from Japan in the early 19th century. We wouldn’t be able to turn down its ornamental and deliciously elegant white blooms if we were in their shoes either.
But Japanese honeysuckle isn’t nearly as well-behaved as their appearance gives off. In fact, their aggressive vines are known to girdle young trees and smother soil patches. And needless to say, that’s the last thing you want happening in your garden!
Best Alternative: For those who don’t want to deal with pesky Japanese honeysuckle, they should go for coral honeysuckle. Not only does it boast a striking look with its trademark red blossoms, but it also promotes a healthy, natural habitat for your garden by attracting beneficial wildlife. That’s what we call a win-win!
We’ll be the first to tell you: roses are notoriously hard to grow and maintain. That’s why the super aggressive, hardy, and low-maintenance iteration of multiflora roses – another 19th-century import from China, Japan, and Korea – seem like the perfect choice for gardens.
But, we’re sorry to say, that’s not the case. While they’re nice to look at and don’t require much work, they will most definitely take over your entire garden with their extremely dense and large thickets—leaving no room for your other plants and flowers to flourish.
Best Alternative: One of our favorite wildflowers for gardens are asters. The reason: they attract butterflies, don’t require much maintenance, and they promote top-notch soil health. Best of all, they are deliciously aromatic and will have your garden smelling possibly better than roses!
Most gardeners who grow largeleaf lantana in their gardens do it for one reason: they’re awesome at attracting butterflies (and who the heck doesn’t like butterflies?)! Well, make that two, because they also rock some cute and tiny multicolored blooms that we must say are adorable.
But in warm climates – particularly Florida – largeleaf lantana can be a really, really annoying garden nuisance that we assure you you don’t want to have to deal with. They’ll quickly overtake your garden’s surrounding plants, essentially smothering them. Thanks but no thanks!
Best Alternative: If attracting butterflies is your goal, there are way better—and even more attractive—options to go for. Our personal favorite is the aptly named butterfly weed. Its majestic orange, red, and yellow blooms will add a touch of fall to your garden… And bring all the butterflies to the yard. Just be careful not to confuse butterfly weed with butterfly bush, which is actually also invasive. Yikes!
Avoiding invasive flowers and plants may take some research, but it’s so important not only for your own peace of mind, but also for the environment of which your flower garden is one small, but influential, part. And we at The Bouqs Co. will be the first to sing the praises of sustainable, ecologically-conscious flower cultivation. That’s why we offer beautiful, handcrafted, farm-to-table cut flowers – happiness guaranteed!Shop All