Invasives: The End of Innocence: I Planted an Invasive Species Today

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by moth1, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. moth1

    moth1 Member

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    .......because it came from my friendly neighbourhood Superstore (i.e. President's choice, i.e. Loblaws) garden centre. And because as a result I thought it must surely be "okay."

    The plant is morning glory. I was told at the centre that it is an annual, but "tends to seed itself." Coming home, I thought only to check the Internet for its preferred soil type, when I discovered that "tends to seed itself" is an understatement, and that I could easily spread it by breaking the root rhizomes during weeding.

    I've since painstakingly dug it up and put it in a pot and then back into the ground. Will this help to contain it?

    At least I discovered something about the English ivy (also on sale at aforesaid centre BTW) that my neighbour planted many years ago. Perhaps because our zone (5b/6a) or whatever, it didn't get as badly underway as one might expect. BUT, it was still hard going getting rid of it this evening (3 hours hot work.)

    Having once started research on invasive species, I am astounded to learn that:

    the Forget-me-nots, Bachelor's buttons, and possibly columbine my neighbour is so proud of are invasive. (I had notice the Bachelor's buttons strangling her peony, and the forget-me-nots reminding me of their existence in my gravel driveway.)

    Oh, did I mention that at Kent Building Supply AND PC garden centres, one can buy honeysuckle? (Looks disturbingly like the Japanese version that is allegedly invasive...)

    Also baby's breath....

    Do major supermarket chains not use any qualified people to protect their customers from themselves?

    What can I do now?

    On the plus side, at least I now 'know' not to automatically trust garden centres!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There are many kinds of morning glories, sounds like you are confusing weedy perennial ones with the annual one you have purchased. Likely you have acquired an Ipomoea and were reading about something like a Calystegia.
     
  3. moth1

    moth1 Member

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    Thank you RonB for your quick reply.

    Yes, it is an Ipomoea. While the label says simply "Ipomoea heavenly blue" I think it is an I. tricolor. Unfortunately much though I hope you are right, this website:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/ipomoea-tricolor

    indicates that ipomoea tricolor can be invasive due to "fast rate of growth and prodigious seed production" . On the other hand it apparently isn't calystegia sepia, which was mentioned on ubc botanical forums as being invasive due to spread by rhizomes.

    So perhaps if I am careful to remove flowers before they become seeds, I should be okay?

    Am I right about the other plants I mentioned being invasive?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Weediness varies regionally, but Japanese honeysuckle in particular is certainly infamous for forming choking growths in parts of eastern North America.
     
  5. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Forget-me-nots, Bachelor Buttons and Columbine all readily spread. Whether or not they are invasive depends on how much you really care if they spread. Forget-me-nots can be very aggressive but I planted some down by an old well on our property and I don't care how wild they get down there. They can have the whole area. A couple of other common garden plants that can get out of control are Johnny Jump-ups or Wild Pansy's Viola Tricolor, Foxglove Digitalis purpurea. But there again, depending on what your plans are for the space they occupy, it may not be all bad that they go crazy!
     
  6. moth1

    moth1 Member

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    Thanks both for your replies. And having made one mistake in that I confused one species for another, more serious one, I must be careful to check the exact species before condemning the aforesaid garden centres.

    It must surely be true that weediness varies generally (with the possible exception of Japanese rhubarb/bamboo/knotweed, which probably grows on the moon and Saturn as well as on Earth....
     
  7. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    I have bachelor buttons (the dark purple ones are great for arrangements), foxglove, forget me not, and centranthus all in my garden, where they seed freely. My garden would be a mass of volounteers but I weed most out early in the season and only leave them where I want them.

    Part of the charm of gardening is enjoying where Mother Nature plants these things!
     
  8. LilyISay

    LilyISay Active Member

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    Ipomea heavenly blue won't come back the following year or invade your garden in NS. Don't worry, it's OK.
    Garden centers sell what is in demand, period. Their bottom line IS the bottom line- if it makes money, they'll sell it. Don't expect big box stores to have environmental ethics! And their staff are generally very ill equipped to tell you anything at all about the plant.
    If you're worried about invasive species, get a list for your area and don't buy them! Different plants will be invasive depending on the conditions you live in- for instance, gypsophilia is invasive in the Canadian prairies, but hard to even get one specimen plant to thrive in the lower mainland of BC unless you tinker with PH. You're luckier in NS than I am here-you have much less on your list. And thank you for thinking about the future of your particular environment. I wish more people did.
     

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