ShadyGardens Blog

September 21, 2013

Plants I Wish I’d Never Planted

Filed under: aggressive, freely, grass, grows, invasive, ivy, mint, pampas, plants, quickly, reseeds, self sows, spreaders — shadygardens @ 3:28 pm
If I could do it all over again, I’d plant my garden differently. Early on, when I heard the words “spreads eagerly”, “reseeds freely”, or “grows quickly” when it referred to a garden plant, I grabbed one (or two or three) for my garden. For some of that ignorance, I am paying dearly every single day.

1 6 inch pot has taken over and climbed to
the top of this tall pine tree in just a few years
English Ivy should never be planted directly in the ground. It’s a wonderful plant for containers and hanging baskets, but if you let it touch the dirt, it will take off running and you will probably never subdue it.

Mint. It smells good when you walk on it or touch it or cut it. But if you plant mint in the garden, it will eventually spread all over your yard and probably into the neighbor’s. I used to think it would be okay if you plant it where you can frequently mow, but if you do, it will eventually spread to areas where you cannot mow. That’s what happened to me. I permitted Chocolate Mint to escape its container years ago out beside the greenhouse. It now covers just about every square inch of soil on all four sides of the greenhouse. And once it gets tall and begins to flower, mint is not a very pretty plant. I will never again plant anything in the mint family directly in the ground. Any type of mint is beautiful at the edge of a hanging basket, urn, or any other container like this leaky watering can where it can spill over the side, and that is where mine now resides.

Pampas Grass. Years ago, Pampas Grass became popular here, adding a tropical appearance to areas that are several hours drive from the beach. Giant Pampas Grass is very hardy even with winters much colder than ours. This large ornamental grass starts out nice enough. But it will grow so large over time that it can take over a small or medium sized garden. And when it comes time to prune it, all I can say is OUCH! Paper cuts are nothing compared to the burning cuts you’ll get when you brush up against Pampas Grass. Pampas Grass is not the plant for a family with small children. If you love Pampas Grass and have a garden large enough to plant it where no one will get cut up with the knife-like leaves, then have at it. But Pampas Grass is one plant I wish I had never put in my garden.

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