Invasive plants are defined as plants which have not evolved in the ecosystem where they are now growing. They are prone to ‘taking over’ an area because they have nothing to stop them growing. They are resistant to local diseases, not eaten by animals or insects and may contain chemicals which prevent other plants from growing nearby. Thus, they out-compete native plants, reduce biodiversity, disrupt food webs and impact wildlife.
Examples of common invasive plants which you may have in your garden: periwinkle, goutweed, Burning Bush.
Master Gardeners are committed to supporting and educating other gardeners. We may be asked how to get rid of a plant taking over a garden and the questioner will be appalled to discover that a plant they purchased at a nursery is very invasive.
Many ornamental plants sold by the horticulture trade are, in fact, highly invasive. The Canadian Coalition for Invasive Plant Regulation formed in early 2022, begun by Master Gardeners in Ontario. Other organizations have joined to begin a nationally coordinated plant to improve federal, provincial, and territorial regulations which are needed to limit the spread of aquatic and terrestrial invasive plants.
Learn more at ccipr.ca.
Submitted by Leslye Glover, Master Gardener, Stratford.