They Were Right

Guest post by Amy Urquhart

“Invasive” does, in fact mean, well, “invasive”. I’m always curious when I buy a new plant labelled as invasive, just how invasive can it be, really? That one little starter plant can’t really get to be that big in one season, can it?

Besides the usual mints, balms and the like, I give you the official 2006 list:

    Plants In My Garden That Have Proved Just How Invasive They Can Be

Catnip - this is literally a shrub now, after starting it from seed just last spring. It has made many little catnip babies all around the base, too.

Baby Catnip

Monarda - my mother in law gave me some of this last year. Now I know why. It’s very beautiful, though, and in a contained area so it should be kept in check. I moved the clump to another place, and where it once sat, this year, it sprang from the earth again. I must have left a little piece of root behind.

Raspberries - also from my mother in law. We got three canes from her last year. Here’s the result so far.


Cherry Bells Campanula - These have taken over the entire small bed the first plant went into mid-way through last summer. The most prolific self-sower I’ve had yet.


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11 thoughts on “They Were Right

  1. Amy

    I’d like to add to your list ‘Vinca Major’. I bought a small plant when I first moved into my house about 8 years ago. The lady who sold it me said it would make a good ground cover, but that it would spread …

    It seems like it’s got world domination in mind … but at least it has beautiful blue flowers!

  2. Will raspberries grow in shade? I have one space that needs invading, and I’d love to eat raspberries if something has to invade the space. :-D

  3. Invasive is one long list in my garden…gooseneck loosestrife, vinca major (as mentioned above), bishop’s goutweed, and seeders like prarrie mallow, donkey’s tail….I’m just getting started here!

    Sparky1971: I originally planted my raspberries in the shade. They quickly sent their roots to a nearby sunny patch and vanished from the shade.

  4. I’ve just come in from the garden trying to make a bit of a mental have-need list before heading out to the nursery to get some bits to fill bare spots. I’ve got a bed all along one side of the house that needs some plant-y goodness now that the bulbs are dying. This is so appropriate because I was just out there having a conversation with myself about how patient I could be. At this point, due to limited budgets (after blowing a wad last weekend at the perennial sale) and my general desire to have beds full now (!) I was mentally weighing “invasives” higher as offering more bang for their buck. Still not sure what I’ll do, have to see what the nursery offers as well I guess.

  5. I’ve also found Sage, Mint, Forget-me-nots and other plants to be increasingly invasive and persistant.

  6. Lilly of the Valley is very invasive as well. Be sure to plant it where it can be contained by concrete, it has migrated up 3 feet into my elevated flowerbed from the groud and taken over.

    Raspberries are another one that needs to be contained by concrete if possible. They are now in my lawn – be careful what you wish for!

  7. OK my list is long: oregano, forget-me-nots, chinese lanterns, goutweed, vinca major, monarda (but that’s a good thing so far), tiger lilies, blackberries, creeping jenny (the bane of my existance) and mint.

    Sigh. I wish basil and tomatoes were invasive.

  8. Uh oh! I just made a special trip to Whole Foods
    (way the heck across town)to buy purslane seeds.
    They’re considered an invasive weed and quite tastey. They are about the only invasive weed our yard doesn’t have!

    And my birthday’s coming up. I was thinking about asking for a raspberry bush!

  9. Mint is so invasive that it overtook my very first herb garden. I pulled and pulled and it came back with a vengance! To this day I cannot tolerate the smell of mint – I don’t even chew mint gum anymore. I hate MINT! I am however glad to hear about the forget me nots. This is my first year with them and I simply love their little faces.

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