Archive | May 2019

Plant at Your Risk


This is the time of year when I spend many hours in my yard.  It’s hot, but not too hot.  I try to avoid working in the sun–for lots of reasons.  After many years of experience I have discovered several plants to avoid because of their invasive nature.  Some of these are great plants and can be used in a controlled space which means an area where they can’t escape!

Several years ago I planted Wedelia which is a fast growing ground cover that has yellow blooms.  It went everywhere!  Before that I begged my parents to bring me liriope from their yard.  My plan was to edge my beds with it.  I will spend the rest of my life trying to get rid of it.  The reason I don’t like it is because it spreads by sending a shoot underground which pops up in the middle of anything and everything.  One year I planted indigo which blooms well in the shade.  (I’m always looking for that.)  It too fills a bed in no time at all.  And then there’s Ruellia.  There are several varieties.  You are probably most familiar with Katie ruellia which has purple, white or pink blooms.  They are all very hardy and tenacious.  I particularly dislike the tall, upright variety (which I coveted in my art teacher’s garden).  It has that same spreading pattern:  sending shoots underground and popping up who knows where–usually in the middle of another plant.  I also have reservations about Tahitian bridal veil.  It is a wonderful filler in shady areas, easy to grow, no pests, but it does take over if allowed.  One year I was interested in native Texas plants.  I searched for spiderwort, dug it up and planted it in my beds.  Another mistake.  Like most wild flowers it can show up almost anywhere. I just planted Monarda also known as bee balm.  Will I regret that?  Finally the bane of my gardening existence is Oxalis.  I did not plant it.  Somehow it migrated to my yard.  It is extremely difficult to remove.  If one little seed escapes when you dig it up, you have it again, invariably in the middle of something else.  I consider it a weed, but some gardeners actually cultivate it.  Seems risky to me.

Light green oxalis leaves growing in mondo.  Ugh!

Light green oxalis leaves growing in mondo. Ugh!