Monday, September 05, 2011

No Rest For The Wicked

The wicked plants in your garden are not necessarily turf weeds but exotic invasive trees, ornamentals, and vines that take over ecosystems and spread their havoc far and wide. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, known as FLEPPC, has a downloadable brochure for your files, maintenance company crew, or your HOA to determine if a plant species should be removed. If a HOA committee is renovating common areas or older landscapes, make sure that these plants are not in the design.

Many of these beautiful and hardy plants were sold and encouraged in previous years so its not anyone's fault that they are in your yard.  But while Category 1 Exotics are not illegal to sell nor mandatory to remove, they are still expanding into Florida's habitats and will for decades to come. Exotic invasives are dangerous because they are easily propagated by seeds and spread by underground roots. Birds and winds from tropical storms help dispurse the seeds increasing their range out of neighborhoods and across the state. As these "Most Unwanted" plants multiply, they compete with native plants for space and resources.
In your landscape, exotic invasives grow very quickly and have little to no pest problems to help decrease their numbers. Exotics, then with water and fertlizer that in their homeland countries would not normally get so their species has no natural controls, and populations explode.

Who are these most wanted wicked plant species? Are they in your backyard? Here are some of the ones I frequently see:

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, I know all about the wicked weeds. Battled air potato for about a decade until my neighbor and I finally teamed up to defeat it once and for all. One attempts to gain a toehold now and then but is quickly ripped up.

    As for Mexican petunia, I planted that myself about 12 years ago, beforeany of us realized how pervasively invasive it is. It is STILL popping up in my yard, no matter what I do. I am resigned to just pulling the seedlings up for the rest of my life.

    Good post, Teresa. Very informative!