THOSE INVASIVE PLANTS - BY GLADYS JEURINK
Many people avoid a plant when they hear it is invasive. I
like them! They fill in spaces where nothing is growing; they surprise
you with the combinations that appear. But I have several hoes and a squirt bottle of Roundup so all
goes well. Let’s meet a
few of them as there are many!
The most persistent for me is the chameleon plant (Houttuynia) a
gorgeous pink, white, red, and green leaved, short plant that likes
water and sun. Flowers are white but I generally just cut them off.
If you want to keep it in one spot, plant it in a container and
leave the top edge out an inch or so.
Since it spreads by running roots its easy to see them escaping
and cut them off. Another
way is to put it in pots in your pond near the edge.
It doesn’t do as well in deep water.
In the sun the colors are brighter than in shade.
Good ground cover for a wet spot.
Bee balm comes in red, pink, purple, lavender and maroon growing
about 2 ½ to 3 feet tall. Clumps send out runners from all sides so each spring I
choose one side of new plants for a new clump and pull the rest.
This way I always have fresh plants.
It pulls or digs very easy.
Bees love it and so do butterflies.
It is easy to chop out a “hunk” and give to your friends.
Perilla, a 2 to 3 foot almost black reddish purple plant with
curly leaves spreads by seeds it makes by the thousands.
The color is so perfect with clumps of it here and there.
It makes the greens look greener and the white’s whiter. There are small whitish flowers that appear in the fall.
When I have time I cut them off and wait until spring to see
where my new crop will be. They
pull up super easy.
Cleome or “spider plant”, is a tall one for the back border.
The spider legs are the seed pods full of many seeds.
There are pink, white, and lavender ones. I have a set of three pinks that tower over a currant bush
with yummy yellow currants. It
has also migrated to the front yard among the dahlias. The lavender came
up among the rocks around my lily pond.
In the fall I carry all my “frosted” plants back to the
compost pile. They tend to
shed seeds all along the way. Among
the seeders are larkspur, dwarf hollyhocks, sweet rocket, black eyed
susan, and cone flowers.
A very different way is used by the old fashioned tiger lily our
grandmothers carried with them in covered wagons.
They produce little black beads all along their stems where the
leaves come out. In three years those beads are 6 feet tall and covered with
My root creepers include ribbon grass, buttercups, wind anemone,
and Chinese lantern. Autumn
clematis produces a parachute for its offspring which you can expect to
Copyright Sept.11, 2004