There are some plants that you wish you didn’t invite into your yard. These are invasive species—non-native plants that take over your yard and cost time and money to control. While some non-native plants, like hostas, might fill empty spaces or add colour or texture, locally native plants are best for local landscapes and gardens.
Invasive plants act differently than our native plants, even when they’re related. For example, invasive Norway maple leaves emerge earlier in spring than our native maples. They shade out spring ephemerals, like hepatica, spring beauty, bloodroot and others, which bring early spring colour and feed early-season pollinators.
Most invasive plants spread quickly and aggressively by seed or rhizome (underground roots). Euonymus shrubs and honeysuckles (Tartarian, Japanese and others) spread into our yards and local forests when seeds are carried by wind, animals or water. Goutweed and phragmites reproduce both ways. They form colonies that crowd out other plants, take over your garden beds, move into your neighbours’ yards and destroy habitat.
These problem plants can be extremely difficult and costly to remove. In some cases, you may need to hire a professional. The best way to avoid a costly infestation is knowing what to look for and stopping plants before they spread.
CVC wants to help you protect your property from invasive species. Join us June 24 to July 31 for a fun and interactive invasive species scavenger hunt. All you need is the iNaturalist app and a smartphone or mobile device to take photos of the plants you find in your yard. Record your observations on iNaturalist to learn about what’s growing. You’ll get access to expert advice and removal tips and tricks for common invasive species when you participate. Learn more at cvc.ca/natureinvaders.