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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Schneider

Be Plant Wise!

We all love to have fresh colours to fill our gardens throughout the growing season but be careful of what you plant! Some ornamental plants are highly invasive. They may be beautiful and hardy, but they can spread quickly, outcompete native species, and take over gardens, yards, and surrounding land. Several invasive species present in the Boundary were originally grown as garden ornamentals or distributed in wildflower mixes. These include bachelor’s buttons, blueweed, knotweeds (often referred to as bamboo), yellow flag iris, and field scabious among others. They may be easily grown and keep your garden fresh year-round, but they can escape captivity and take over grasslands, pastures, and waterways. The good news is that there are alternatives!

Grow Me Instead promotes awareness around invasive ornamentals and safe and beautiful alternatives to plant in your garden. For every invasive ornamental, there is an alternative (or five!). The Grown Me Instead guide provides information on invasive ornamentals and what substitute species are safe to plant. Plant native species where possible. You can be sure that they can survive the growing climate and they will be beneficial to native pollinators.

There are a couple of things to be careful of when purchasing seeds or plants. You may think that nurseries are a guarantee of safe plants, but this is not the case. Some do still sell invasive species. Do your research, ask questions, or talk to us before you buy! Avoid plants that are advertised as ‘fast spreaders’ and ‘vigorous self-seeders.’ There are also several great apps that can help you identify invasive and non-invasive species, too!

Be careful with wildflower mixes. Many contain invasive plants, but they are not always easy to spot due to the variety of common names attached to a single species. Before spreading seeds, double-check for any possible invasive species. The best way to avoid accidentally introducing an invasive species to where you live is to use single-species seed packets which are far more easily identified. Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)- introduced through seed mixes

What do you do if you already have an invasive species in your garden? Contact us! Addressing these species quickly is essential to preventing a problem in your garden and out. The Boundary Invasive Species Society can help create a management plan. We can be reached at, or 250-446-2232. Explore our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our latest updates and information on invasive species.

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