- Invasive plants. What might look like a find (so pretty and such a fast grower) may actually be a garden monster. Invasive plants spread by runners or underground stems. Aggressive and extremely difficult to remove, these plants spread to choke out other plants. Offenders include chameleon plant, lamb's ear, lily-of the-valley and goutweed. To grow desirable invasives like mint or bamboo, plant in deeply-lined beds or large pots.
- Weeds Gone Wild. Weeds are the ultimate invasives, adapted to the local habitat and greedy for territory. To stop them, tackle their seeds. Remove existing weeds before they go to seed (each plant can produce thousands). Then apply a layer of mulch and sprinkle a weed preventer such as Preen on top. Mulch blocks the sunlight that weed seeds need to sprout. Preen stops the seeds in the mulch itself from sprouting for up to three to four months, plus those brought in by wind and birds. There's also six-month Preen Mulch Plus which has added weed preventers already mixed in.
- Inviting Trouble. Some plants are more than attractive – they're attractive. Those allergic to bee stings should avoid bee-magnets such as buddleia bushes or monarda (aka bee balm), zinnia or salvia flowers. Where deer are abundant, avoid offering deer-candy such as hostas, tulips, yews and azaleas. Holly and euonymous shrubs don't attract bees as pollinators, they attract flies.
- Right plant, wrong place. Read labels. That adorable shrub won't look so cute by the house when it grows to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Labels detail light and water needs, so shade-loving Impatiens don't die in full sun, and geraniums, which like dry soil, won't rot in wet places.
- More is not always better. Except during droughts, more plants are killed by too much water than not enough. Most established plants prefer about one inch of rainfall or irrigation every week or so. Too much water can cause rot or weak growth. Also too much fertilizer won't make plants more robust, it can burn and kill them.
Avoid Common Mistakes To Keep Aggressive Garden Monsters At Bay And Help Plants Thrive With Minimal Care
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