Do you have invasive plants growing on your property? Would you know how to identify them if you did? Whether you’re dealing with stubborn plants that are taking over your garden or you’re planning a brand new landscaping project, it’s important to know a little bit about invasive plants.
In this article, we’ll go over the definition of invasive plants, why they’re problematic, and how to identify them. We’ll also discuss ways to remove or control them effectively and safely. Keep reading to learn how to stop invasive plants from spreading on your property.
What Are Invasive Plants?
Unless you’re a certified plant enthusiast, it can be difficult to distinguish an invasive plant from non-invasive species. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t always judge a plant by how it appears. It’s a common misconception that only weeds are invasive. In fact, many unattractive weeds are non-invasive, while many invasive species look pretty.
So what is an invasive plant? In simple terms, invasive plant species are those that are 1) non-native to the local ecosystem and 2) likely to cause environmental or economic harm to human health.
Why It’s Important to Avoid Invasive Plants in Landscaping
While planting native species in your garden can help the local ecosystem and wildlife habitats thrive, invasive plants do the opposite. When planning and planting your front and back garden, it’s a good idea to keep a comprehensive list of invasive species to avoid. This will help protect the local natural environment, any nearby wildlife, your family’s health, and your home and any other structures and systems on your property.
Selecting the right plants for landscaping is a more complex process than many homeowners realize. It’s important to consider things like irrigation, existing systems on your property, the terrain and soil conditions, wildlife, the orientation of your property, and the local weather and climate. For larger projects, it’s often helpful to work with a professional landscape designer. This can take the stress out of trying to select the right plants and spacing for your garden and makes avoiding invasive species a breeze!
How to Identify Invasive Plants in Your Lawn & Garden
Identifying invasive plant species can be a bit tricky. Unfortunately, there are no specific common features that make them easy to spot, especially since invasive species differ from place to place. That’s why the best way to recognize invasive species is to do your research ahead of time.
Luckily, there are lots of online resources that provide invasive species lists and other helpful information. Here are a few reliable places to start:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States
- Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
- U.S. Forest Service
If you want to be sure, you can always take a photo of the plant in question and ask an expert at local or federal departments of forestry, wildlife, or agriculture, or the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
When in doubt, turn to us at Blessing Landscapes — our door is always open! We know all about native plants and invasive species in Oregon, and we love working with local homeowners to help them understand the plants on their property and create more beautiful and environmentally friendly lawns and gardens.
What to Do About Invasive Plants On Your Property
Once you’ve identified any problematic plants growing in your garden, the next thing to do is figure out how to stop invasive plants from spreading. You don’t want stubborn plants suffocating your existing native plants. Luckily, there are numerous effective methods of controlling invasive plant species, including the following:
- Biological control methods such as insect predators or plant diseases
- Chemical control methods involving herbicides like glyphosate and triclopyr
- Cutting or mowing if the area can be continuously maintained
- Pulling and digging when invasive plants are limited enough to ensure the removal of the entire root system
- Suffocation using multiple layers of thick UV-stabilized plastic sheeting
Working with professional landscapers and plant experts is the best and easiest way to understand the existing plants on your property and how to approach the process of removing or controlling invasive plants.
Blessing Landscapes: A Different Kind of Landscaping Company
At Blessing Landscapes, we do things a little differently. We don’t just design and install beautiful landscapes. We are truly committed to 1) taking the time to understand your unique property, preferences, lifestyle, and goals; 2) helping you understand your existing plants and options, and 3) doing our part to protect and improve the beautiful ecosystems and natural landscapes of the PNW.
Our process is designed to make your experience smooth and ensure we’re with you every step of the way to answer any questions you have. We offer the full range of landscaping services to meet your specific needs:
- Landscape Design
- Landscape Maintenance
- Water Features
- Drainage Services
- Lawns & Gardens
- Synthetic Lawns
- Outdoor Living Spaces
Ready to get started? Call us at (503) 284-3557 or contact us online to tell us how we can help you!