There are some plants that are so beloved, we wish they would just take over the garden — imagine if those roses or hydrangeas self-seeded! Then there are plants that multiply in such a small way that they’re a pleasant surprise. I love to see Echinacea, Baptisia or Japanese Anemone pop up in unexpected spots. They’re also easy to remove.
And then there are the varieties that will take over the garden and prove extremely difficult to eradicate. They usually spread via rhizomes, an underground stem which puts out new growth and produces new roots. (If even a small piece of rhizome is left in the ground, it can generate a whole new plant.)
Here are 10 plants to avoid:
Many varieties including peppermint and spearmint are extremely opportunistic and will spread rampantly. Try planting mountain mint instead, a beautuful, delicious native plant which the bees love, too.
Sarah Nixon is an urban flower farmer and floral designer in Toronto. Since 2002 her flower company, My Luscious Backyard, has sustainably grown over 50 varieties of cut flowers in a micro-farm arising in many residential yards in Toronto’s downtown west side.
This article was originally published in July 2016 and updated in August 2017.