• Jen Haynes

Grow Me Instead!

There are still lots of great plants for sale at this time of year. When you go to the nursery or the greenhouse to buy your plants a bit of research before you go can save you having an invasive plant problem later. Just because you can buy a plant doesn’t mean you should. Some places sell invasive plants and they are not aware of it. There are tools to help you figure out which plants to avoid. The PlantWise app has invasive plants to avoid and the alternatives that are either native or non-invasive. For example, pearly everlasting is a great native alternative to the invasive baby’s breath. It is broken down so that you can search by region and by zone. It also has PlantWise partners that have committed to selling only non-invasive plants. There is also the Grow Me Instead booklet. It has the same information as the PlantWise app. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play. For more information on the PlantWise program check out http://beplantwise.ca/.

When buying flower seeds please avoid wildflower seed mixes. In 2002 the University of Washington conducted an experiment. They grew nineteen packets of wildflower seed mixtures and found that each packet contained between three and thirteen invasive species. They also found that only five of the nineteen packets correctly itemized the seed species contained in the packet. Your best bet is to buy single species seed packets. They are far less likely to be contaminated with invasive plants. Remember wildflower does not mean native.

When you are doing yard work be careful of how you dispose of your waste. It’s illegal to dump anything in wilderness areas. Composting can be a good disposal, but you shouldn’t compost invasive plants as most compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill the seeds and roots. It is free to take invasive plants to the landfill in our Regional District. They need to be double bagged though to ensure nothing escapes.

For more information on invasive species please contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at info@boundaryinvasives.com , 250-446-2232, www.boundaryinvasives.com and on Facebook. Check out our photo gallery of native plants!