Invasive houseplants

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Houseplants are generally chosen to be reproduced and cloned because they are so quick at growing. Because they are such hearty plants, this generally leads to most of the house plants being invasive in their areas. It is also more likely to be approved for cultivation if there is a lot of a plant available versus if it’s a rare, hard to find, plant. Then most likely they are not going to be able to pick it up and sell it for a lot of money. They want to reproduce it and make sure that there is a lot out there.

So what this means for us as houseplant collectors is that a lot of the plants that we bring into our homes are considered invasive where they are native. Majority of them if we plant them in other areas will grow prolifically and become invasive in those other areas. These are 5 plants that are guaranteed to grow crazy in your yard and make you regret ever planting them there.

Tradescantia

Tradescantia

First up, and if you are native to Florida you probably already know this one, Tradescantia (in particular Tradescantia Zebrina). In very warm, tropical, humid, environments this plant will be put outside in people’s yards purposefully or it might even just fall out of planters that you have on your porch.

When you are trimming and cutting if you just let the trimmings fall to the ground it is generally no big deal. Unfortunately, this plant will take a node. I will root and then it will run all over your yard. It will just go absolutely wild. I feel this is something that we really need to discuss if we’re putting our plants outside for the Spring and Summer time.

 Because in the proper environment this can cause a lot of problems long term. I know people that are still digging Tradescantia out of their yard even though they have to live there for years. They have been battling it for years and they didn’t even plant it there. It was previous homeowners.  So it is one of those “this causes long-term issues for more than one person as well type of things” and it is a very voracious plant.

They are great for an inside house plant. It is fantastic that they can thrive so well. This issue is just in our yard when we are bringing our house plants outside from inside. We definitely need to be aware, not just of what’s going on with our plants, but what is happening in our yard when we do that. So that we can take care of it right away. If we paid attention to that one little Tradescantia cutting then we could pick it up right away and it would not have a chance to become this 7-year problem for other people or for ourselves if we stayed there.

Epipremnum(Pothos)

Epipremnum(Pothos)

This plant does not accidentally get put in people’s yards the majority of the time. It is actually usually placed there on purpose.  Epipremnum (aka Pothos) is a very popular plant. What people like to do with this plant is size up the leaves. They want this plant to get mature really quickly so it can grow bigger leaves. People want to see fenestrated leaves so they can see their gorgeousness of them. They are absolutely stunning.

However, in order to do this, especially if people live in a very tropical area, they will plant them outside up against trees up against poles. The plants will then creep out across the yard. It will climb up the trees, will climb up homes. It will do damage to these things and it will basically choke out anything that it is living on and take over the entire area. So yes, you will get those big fenestrated leaves but if you do not keep up on the maintenance of it it will take over your entire yard.

 You see something similar to this when you have it in a household setting. You will notice that it will reach out it and climb up a wall or it might gather onto another plant or some type of a shelf and it will just kind of go all over. It will creep in looking for things for it to climb and take over. That is in its nature and it makes an amazing house plant for this.

It is just something we just have to be aware of when we’re planting our plants outside. Because yes as house plant collectors we do have goals but we also have to be aware of the long-term impact of how we meet our goals. So putting this particular plant outside is not a good idea. Plant it in a pot if you can if you want to have it outside. You can keep it on a pole or you can get some really big stakes. You can also get a board or even plant it in a pot with a tree and have it climb that way if you want. Just tossing it out in the yard without containment and letting it climb up a tree or your home it’s probably not the best.

Monstera

Monstera

This plant is very similar to the Epipremnum. It is another climbing plant that is very invasive and destroys what it climbs. A lot of people will take this plant and they will put it on a pole and they want it to climb.  If it cannot climb then it will creep out and crawl across the yard. Because of this people will place it near something where it can climb.

A lot of times what will happen is, that they will try to plant it up against a very large tree so that it can climb up. Having no idea that it will actually destroy the tree that it’s climbing on. They will also try to plant it up against their fencing which is also going to be destroyed. Then you guessed it some people put it against their houses. They will want to have these very significant, very distinctive-looking, the monster leaves all along the wall of the house. Yes, it does look amazing but unfortunately, monster roots do not stop growing.

 They continue to grow through whatever and they don’t stop. They will go up, they will go around and they are a huge difficulty to remove once you have them established.  This makes them fantastic house plants but is yet another trait that can cause issues outside. It is very difficult to kill a monstera in a home. Unfortunately, it’s also very difficult to kill them in your yard.

So it is a very bad idea to plant them in your yard unless you are going to be keeping them contained in some type of pot. You can even plant them like we talked about with the Epipremnum plant them in a pot with a tree. And you can also get big stakes or huge beams if you want them to be that large.

Also you just have to stay on top of them and make sure that they are not going elsewhere if you are to do this. When you are placing them on your porch this summer definitely want to pay attention as to where you are placing them and make sure that they are not going to be climbing up your home or rooting themselves off your decking. Pay attention to where they’re growing and how they’re growing so you don’t end up having a plant that is going to take over your entire yard.

Especially if you were living down South or in a tropical area. Pretty much the only thing that would kill this plant is snow. So if you live in a snowy area it probably wouldn’t be too bad but if you’re living in a toasty warm area this plant will not die and you will be stuck with it for all eternity. Which sounds great until you actually have to be out there chopping it down and then it’s not so fun.

Spider Plants

Spider Plants

 This next one is probably going to come as a surprise to anybody not living in Australia. Spider Plants(Clorophytum Cosmosum) is a very popular houseplant. One of the first houseplants ever and it is because they were so invasive that they became a houseplant. They were very easy to propagate. Just pick one plantlet and take it and share it with friends.

 Unfortunately, when you plant them in the ground they will create spiderets. And they will plant themselves next to each other. Then they will create more and more and more.  All of a sudden you have an entire field of nothing but spider plants. Because they grow so big, so bushy, and so prolifically with their very thick rhizome roots. They block out everything else that wants to grow there. You won’t have anything else able to grow there. So that is, unfortunately, something that Australia is dealing with. It is also what a lot of other folks who have decided to plant them in their yard are having to deal with.

Be wary especially if you have a lot of Spring and summer weather. You definitely want to be paying attention as to where those little spiderettes are falling because they will definitely keep growing. Spider Plants are one of those plants that if you cut them at the very base of the root will just sprout up a whole new set of foliage and they will just continue to grow. So you can chop them all back and they will just grow back prolifically. The only thing that can stop them is to be continually cut back. And dug up thus not being allowed to mature enough to make those spiders. It is very difficult to get rid of a plant that is fully mature and an entire field of these things.

This does not seem to be something a lot of folks think of and it is a very common plant so I’m kind of surprised it’s not talked about more often but it is definitely one that we felt worth mentioning here.

Boston Fern

Boston Fern

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest then you probably thought of this already. Ferns spread through spores and then Boston Ferns are one of those types of ferns that will actually spread through creeping rhizomes. So they will have their little tendrils creeping out and they will be like the spider plants. They just pop up a whole bunch of brand new little fern babies next to them. They do not stay tiny.

A lot of times you will see them on people’s porches. You will have lots of big, lush, fast-growing, healthy, beautiful, ferns hanging on porches or resting on steps.  Lots of people find them so common that they just throw them away at end of the season. They will just bring them into their homes. Which is fantastic

What other people like to do, especially if you are in the northern hemisphere is plant them in your yards. Because ferns are big, beautiful, and popular, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Everybody seems to love ferns out here. But when you plant them in your yard they spread prolifically. Because they can spread so quickly either through their spores or their tendrils. Either way, you are going to end up with way more than just one plant. It can also spread across your neighbor’s yards and spread for miles.

If you bring these plants outside you definitely want to pay attention to whether they are creating spores. You can check the underside of the leaves and see if they have any green circular spores down there and see what stage they are in.  If they are going to be maturing and spreading via wind while they are out there another thing to consider. If you are going to put them in a pot are there tendrils going to run over it?  Are they going to end up planting little plants around the pot? As well or will they run off of your deck?

Also, if you dump them in your compost pile at the end of the season be aware that they may not stay dead. They might make a whole bunch of Boston ferns in your compost pile. Unfortunately, they are heavy feeders and they will take a lot of the nutrients from your compost. So just be aware there are consequences to Boston Ferns. They are considered an invasive species and they can cause you a lot of problems. Also they are big, beautiful, bushy ferns that grow prolifically and make amazing houseplants. They are just very bad for the yard.

Hopefully, this made you consider the placement of your plants when you’re putting them on your porch. Not just necessarily for aesthetic reasons but for long-term reasons as well. Hopefully, this also makes you look around your yard twice. And think about exactly what you’re going to be planting in your yard. Just because they are available and they are inexpensive, they are decorative plants. And you happen to have them on hand does not necessarily mean they would be great for your yard for the long term. Or that They would not cause more problems in the long term.

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