Top 5 Most Hated Plants
Posted: Aug-22-2004 at 3:17pm
Most hated plants? Thought I would get started with a little bit of controversy. Mine?
Tropaeolum majus - Nasturtium
Arundo donax - Giant Reed
Rubus discolor - Himalaya Berry
Hedera whateverii - All things Ivy
Vinca thelotofitus - All things Periwinkle
Oh to heck with it. Here's the top ten.
Ligustrum everythingi - Privet Privet Privet
Cytisus scoparius - Scotch Broom
Asparagus densiflorus - Asparagus Fern
And finally....ANY non-native annual grass!
AHS 1 + 2
Posted: Aug-22-2004 at 3:38pm
Well Matthew you sure know how to start with a bang.
I agree with some on your list, others I am not so sure of. Ivy, a definate as it is destroying our forests.
But asparagus fern? Oh no, not asparagus fern! Such a lovely, but of course it isn't hardy here so we don't see it too much as probably you do.
Eucalyptus is barely hardy here and many of us drool over the cultivar with the snowy white trunk. Sorry can't remember the name off the top of my head.
Himalayan blackberry, you will get no argument from me. After battling that weed for 4-5 years and finally getting it some what under control, although it tries to stage a comeback every time I turn my back.
Welcome to Rainy Side, Matthew. Come out and enjoy the rain!
Posted: Aug-22-2004 at 4:19pm
You apparently haven't ever stepped on an asparagus fern with a bare foot! Do it once, and hate it forever no matter what!
AHS 1 + 2
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 10:10am
lol..matthew i can see your point about the asparagus fern, i have one in my bathroom on the back of the toliet and hubby and kids always complain about bumping into it. I just tell them it will keep them from taken' forever in the bathroom..lol.
A few of my unliked plants(minus most latin names):
i agree strongly about the ivy and that horrible balckberry. I think that would be one of my all time most hated plants. I can not get rid of that blackberry no matter what i do. put in new raised veggie beds and the sons of ***** or coming up in the beds now and tryn to strangle my beans and whatever else that gets in the way!!!! what to do?
sorry guess i got a little to much blood running threw my system at the thought of that horrible weed as i call it. can't seem to think of anymore at the moment. all i want to do now is go outside and start digging it out again..lol.
Gardening is the only therapy I can afford.
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 12:00pm
I'll second the Ivy although I'll limit it to English ivy, there are others that I like in their place (a pot)
I'm going to add horsetail. I've been battling that for 4 years. Although I think I'm getting the upper hand.
I have a love/hate relationship with blackberry, because I adore blackberry pie!
And what's up with EUCALYPTUS? Please elaborate. I just bought Eucalyptus Nicolii, should I be scared?
My husband said if I buy one more plant, he is going to leave me. Boy, am I going to miss that man!
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 12:37pm
I hate eucalyptus mostly because of how invasive it is. It will run straight out of a garden (at least in my previous geographical location) and manage to take over a hillside of natives. I was on an eradication team once, and we cut a big one out, ripped out the stump, PAVED over it, and guess what came up around the 10 x 10 patch of pavement?
Eucalyptus are also alellopathic..I am not sure about all the different species and cultivars, but most are. In a nutshell, they secrete chemical compounds from the roots in an attempt to basically wage chemical warfare on surrounding plants, in order to gain themselves more ground, and thus more water and nutrients. I am not sure what gets along with them, but I wouldn't put one in my garden.
They fall over constantly, have poor soil holding ability, and are a massive fire hazard. I am sure all of this is probably different between the different species, ornamental versions and such.
AHS 1 + 2
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 1:22pm
I avoid adding to my garden anything that hurts me if I get too close, so that includes blackberries and also barberries and pyracantha. Except roses, but I know how to live with them. I do have a gunnera manicata, but it's not "ouch" great guyly.
Why not nasturtiums? I know they happily reseed, but if they get carried away, they're easily pulled up, and I like to nibble on them. I like the round shape of the leaves.
I had eucalypts when I lived in Arizona, and never had a problem with them falling over (I had probably between 50 and 100 of them). I never had any come up from seed or roots. You must live in eucalyptus heaven if they're that happy!
Of course, Scotch broom is a noxious weed here, I don't know if you can even buy it.
I'm curious to know not only what someone doesn't like but why they don't like it.
"A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do."
- P. J. O'Rourke.
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 2:19pm
I don't know if I have a top 5, but definitely a top 3!
1. Hyacinthoides hispanica (bluebells) because they are everywhere in my garden and it is difficult to get rid of them.They spread by seed and by division of the bulb. Attempting to dig in the area often creates more bulbs by slicing them in half. The pieces will grow a new plant.
2. English ivy is also a major pain. I pull it up but it keeps coming back!
3. Houttuynia cordata (Chameleon Plant). Although it is beautiful, I can't stand the smell of it when I pull it. Which I do whenever I can. It spreads by runners and it can take over the beds in no time. What really gripes me is that I planted just a couple of small pieces, now it's everywhere! I thought it was pretty so I let it grow for one season. Big mistake!
About Eucalyptus. I have not heard that it was invasive here. Most of the species can't survive the winter. Anybody have any more info on this?
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 2:49pm
Pelargoniums and Zantedeschia. My reasons for not liking them are totally ridiculous: my mother disliked them and I can't get her disdainful comments out of my head. I guess she programmed me, she thought they looked trashy. Of course there are a lot of attractive hybrids now, but even when I look at a lovely one, I hear this little arrogant voice in my head: "How Common!".
But the callas can really be a problem to get rid of as the smallest bits of bulb (or rhizome?) grow back. You can leave them laying on the ground all summer and they'll still sprout.
Screaming Eagle, horsetail is on my list, too. Never had it before but do now at the new place. One of my favorite magazines, Gardens West, had an article that said the best way to get rid of horsetail is to decrease the acidity and increase the drainage of the problem area(s). Apparently this doesn't have to be a drastic change in pH, so you can do it even in areas with acid-loving plants.
Even worse are Hyacinthoides Hispanica . So far, I have dug four 5-gallon buckets full of them out of the area where my new terraced beds are going. I'm sure I'll be digging them for the next ten years--or until we move, whichever comes first! (taking no bets on that one!)
I'll chime in also on ivy, scotch broom, and blackberries.
HarleyLady zoning out in 10
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 4:09pm
I hate the nasturtiums just because they are my current biggest pest. As far as edibility, boy you can pull some good food out of em. I used to blanch the big leaves and pack em in oil and use em like grape leaves...just wrap things with em. And my favorite of all was to take the little buds and seed pods (while new and still real soft) and pickle em or pack em in salt to use like capers.
I haven't seen any big eucalyptus problems since I moved up here from the bay area...but down there, the golden gate national recreation area on the marin side has big euc problems.
As far as calla's go, there is a little section of my 2' x 40' patch of dirt that is just infested. No way you are gonna dig em all out. Forget it. So I relocated every bit of calla from the rest of the strip to that little confined area, flush cut everything (previous tenant didn't care for the yard), gave em a big big drink, and let em have it. Everything is back up to about a foot tall right now and the new growth is actually quite pretty.
AHS 1 + 2
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 5:02pm
It's a no brainer for me to include *anything* that is classified as a noxious weed, including Scotch Broom, Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and more. These are the ones that I hate with a passion, not so much because I fight them in my garden but because of the damage they do to the fantastic biodiversity of the PNW and the costly expense to control them.
There are plants that I wish I'd never bought and planted or weeds that floated in and refuse to realize they've overstayed and it's time to move on.
The 1st of my top 5 is Japanese anemone 'Honorine Jobert.' I love the flowers, hate the way this plant has crept through my front bed, overtaking less robust plants and refusing to be dug out once and for all; any bit of root left will regrow. I am resorting to Round-up, a rare thing for me to do, but I have no other choice. I have been told the pink forms aren't as aggressive; wish I'd known that before I bought my lovely white form. I also know others who grow this without any problems. I guess I'm just lucky.
That dang weedy purple-leaved annual oxalis is definitely a hated plant. Tiny, tenacious and a prolific seeder that loves to entangle itself among my desirable plants, making it very difficult to pull out.
Another love/hate plant is Verbena bonariensis. Love the way the tall purple flowers weave through plants, love their vanilla smell; hate their prolific seeding nature. Even if they are easy to pull, there are so dang many of them and the seeds remain viable for a long time. I pulled my mother plant 4 or 5 years ago; I cleared a garden area this spring to prepare it for new plantings but before I could, dozens and dozens of V. b. seedlings sprouted and took over! I admit to enjoying the flowers at the moment but I know I'll pay for this indulgence if I don't get out there and cut off their pretty heads.
I won't give the common prostrate juniper, so abundantly planted in the '70's and '80's a second look. Have you ever tried to weed among these junipers? OUCH!
And for my last of my 5 . . . any plant, no matter how lovely, that is planted in soldier rows (A-ten-shun! Chin up, chest out!), pruned into a meatball shape because the homeowner didn't know how to prune it or is trying to keep a large plant ridiculously small or planted inappropriately, such as a shade plant in full baking sun, so that the plant will never look good or do well. I don't include formal plantings, where straight-line plantings and formally shaped shrubs are the goal or bonsai pruning. I'm talking a row of a dozen lovely red tulips, spaced 18" apart, along the front walk. Their impact is completely lost - imagine them planted in a stunning mass at a strategic point along the front walk - and it looks like the homeowner tried to stretch the bulb budget a little too far.
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 9:05pm
Plants I hate:
Laurel (English and Otto Luyken, and probably all the others, too--except Laurus nobilis). The blossoms stink, berries drop, they get spread by birds, and they're all ugly--except for L. nobilis.
Poplars--shallow roots, they blow over too easily for my liking.
Holly--should be listed as a noxious weed.
Poison oak--I'm allergic.
Yucca--it doesn't look right in the PNW--it belongs in the desert, for pete's sake. It's nearly impossible to get rid of, as any little piece of root grows a whole new plant. And of course, it was planted nearly everywhere in my yard.
And I agree with others on squill (hyacinthoides) and the oxalis--I'm fighting those, too. And English ivy.
Posted: Aug-23-2004 at 10:37pm
Matthew--can you explain the arundo donax, this is one grass I've been looking at and thinking I'd like.
No experience with it, this is the variegated one if there happens to be more than one type, but it looks good.
Give me all the dirt on this plant before I pay $ for one!
Posted: Aug-24-2004 at 7:24am
The Arundo that I am speaking of is the REALLY big stuff. And it will take over big-time. Just treat it like bamboo to be on the safe side.
AHS 1 + 2
Posted: Aug-24-2004 at 4:33pm
My nemesis, (is plural "nemi"?)
1. tansey or Tanacetum vulgare
4. pink violet or viola that spreads everywhere-- behavior is like oxalis
5. oxalis, holly, black& Himalayan berries, and ivy.
Posted: Aug-25-2004 at 11:07pm
1) ditto on the tansy (i pulled tons of this out of our fields when I was a kid)
2) And for the same reason I also hate thistles
3) Worst of all Moonvine. I am forever watchfull when I get plants from other people. Funny thing is I love the annual stuff!! I weeded that at home as a kid too. My mom still has it. ICK!!!
4) My foremost hated plant right now is VIOLETS. I spent months redoing my front beds. I have three beds left to rid myself of this darn weed. I am just grrrrrrrr on weeding it out of the moss patio that sits between the beds yet to do and the ones I've got done.
5) I also hate dandelions. I don't want to kill them- I just want my honey to mow more often. LOL - and yes I can mow- but if I do we will have a lot less lawn!
I love foxgloves and nasturtiums- but then again I love the english garden cottage look. Not to say thats what I have. I don't know what I'd call it. Blackberries LOL, for sure- a love/hate relationship with them. I won't let my husband clear them all out, but then again he probably couldn't if he really wanted to- without stripping the property. Yummy to blackberry jelly and pie. I burnt the only holly and scotch bloom on the place. Never had ivy and a lot of the others and I am glad!
Great post Matthew!
Posted: Aug-26-2004 at 7:00am
Another vote for Poison Oak. Especially when dogs...share it.
All other plants are wonderful for making oxygen for me to breathe, and for planting in neighbors' yards. If the world lets me live here, I guess plants can too.
Favorite Tool: Potato Hook
Posted: Aug-26-2004 at 12:34pm
I'd have to top my list with...MINT! Argh...my arch nemesis in my first garden. I'll never plant it in my current one...except for the small bit of catmint that the kitties keep mowed down. After that I'd have to go with blue bells, dandelions, clover and grass (yeah, it drives me crazy the way it feels the need to run itself all through my beds). I made the mistake of letting some clover creep into one of my beds. BIG mistake it was. I know I'm going to hate digging that up. I'll also follow suit with the standards - blackberries, ivy, scotch broom...I don't have any of these pests, and I'm really glad...
Posted: Aug-26-2004 at 8:45pm
I LOVE Mint! I love the smell, the taste, the flowers . . . but yes, it is a pest, once it gets going (and it gets going fast!). I have some chocolate mint in a container with some perennials and a dwarf evergreen, and it's trying to take over that, even. I know it won't survive the winter, so I'm letting it go. Nest year, I'll put another mint in a container by itself, and let it spread and sprawl and take up as much room as it likes.
When I finally get my kitchen herb garden in, I'm going to leave space for a container of mint.
Posted: Aug-26-2004 at 10:09pm
In the wild - I like even stinging nettles if I don't touch one. Even poison oak has a lovely late summer and fall color. But from a landscape point of view, in no particular order, I'll say - lombardy poplar, tam juniper, crab grass, autumn Higan cherry, honey locust
Posted: Aug-27-2004 at 10:43am
I love mint too - in it's place. I love making tea with the chocolate mint I have in a container. I just hate when it gets loose in the garden...
Posted: Aug-27-2004 at 12:02pm
You really know how to catch attention even if your reader is so slow she has to read it twice, mdvaden!
Some of your choices I could say... "well maybe", as there are things about them that could annoy you, for example, if a daylily could become a weeklily, I would like them better--deadheading is so, so very daily! That is,if you really do deadheading as is recommended! But, how could you not love daphne?!
Are you telling us, Mr. Landscaper, that you are crazy about all plants? Sneaky but acceptable!
Posted: Aug-29-2004 at 12:54pm
cjmiller - I edited my post! It was a figure of speech - disclosed by the words that followed "ARE NOT". I was mainly kidding with Salvia Guy if he popped in
The first 5 were ones I like. So I edited out to just what I don't like now.
Posted: Aug-29-2004 at 11:26pm
I think we all at one time or another have had a problem with each one of the plants mentioned so far. My daughter has moon-vine, grape hyacinth, butter-cup and a holly tree that I would take an ax to if it was in my yard.
I've gotten rid of most of the PESTS that I've had over the years, (when you've lived in the same place for 32 years there's a lot you can get rid of) and planted some I wish I hadn't, like lily of the valley and sweet woodruff which I'm still pulling up.
It also depends on how much room you have to let things grow, like Sydnie, the berry vines can be a long ways away from the house and flower beds so she can have her berries and eat-em too!
I saw a farmer clear his place of berry vines with first, goats which don't mind the thorns to much I guess. Then he put in pigs to root out the roots. He ended up with a nice looking grass field. (And ham in his freezer),lol But, It worked!!
My Garden, My Haven.
Posted: Aug-30-2004 at 11:48am
Crab Grass- good one md- Ewwwww. Forgot about that one. How do you get rid of it without using anything BAD??? Dig it until the end of time???
CJ MdVaden got my attention, too. LOL. Daphine and Hydrania's are two of my favorites!
CREEPING JENNY !!!! YUCK! I love her in pots. When I had no computer and no experience at gardening a woman gave it to me for the rock wall. It did well. Even tho' it stayed too dry and it looked like crud! After about three yrs of pulling it- I am still finding it! But I think I have just about done her in. I read it was good in and around ponds. Even tho' she would look good there because of the moisture- I didn't use any because I was afraid she would do way too good and it may be all the ground cover I'd have!!!
Phlox lots of room is a plus. I wouldn't have blackberries at all otherwise! My grape hyacinth and buttercups I take with a grain of salt, just like dandelions. LOL. But wasn't it Debbie who wrote something about the plants we have been brainwashed into thinking were baaaaaad? That really was a good thing to ponder. Certainly made me rethink the dandelion thing. Esp. since I have read that some butterflies like them. LOL. Hmmm.
Posted: Aug-31-2004 at 2:15pm
Sydnie, I'm glad you posted that about dandelions--that some butterflies love them. Now I have a reason to stop bucking the tide in trying to eradicate them--they're part of a habitat! If I took them out, it could upset the whole ecological balance of my yard.
Posted: Sep-06-2004 at 1:00pm
Okay why is foxglove and calla on the list?
Dandelions I only hate when they get in my garden but I like them in the grass, the first flower of spring for all those wonderful bugs. Have you watched birds flit from dandy to dandy eating them?
Okay, okay this is supposed to be a hate list.
Oxalis and there is another weed here that is a pain. In Mi it was purslane and chickweed, although they are interesting in a salad (just don't tell people what they are eating wait until they are done).
Oddly enough purple coneflower seedlings I dislike. They come up everywhere and I end up feeling guilty for pulling them up cause they are such wonderful flowers.
Asters in Mi were a huge weed too so it is odd to see them for sell here.
Ok, so do I hate any plants? I have a love/hate relationship with blackberries!
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 9:19am
I have to agree with you, Bakingbarb, callas are gorgeous. One of my favorite flowers. Most of the country can't grow them. But why is oxalis a weed? Oxalis has a pretty little white flower and beautiful leaves, one of our best native ground covers.
LOL! To each her own! Any plant that is in the "wrong" place is a weed!
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 9:45am
Jeanne - the Oxalis that everybody hates is the tiny, tiny weed Oxalis that has red stems and tiny 4-leaf-clover leaves. The plant is only about 1/4" high and spreads. It sends down a tiny wire-like tap root that is hard to pull out of unimproved ground so it breaks off (which doesn't kill the plant). It has tiny yellow star flowers that are kind of cute in their own way.
Actually, there is a mat-type weed I hate more than the Oxalis but I don't know it's name.
I love Callas, too. Am I missing something?
The worst for me is stinging nettles. Ouch!
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 9:51am
Oh, yeah, forgot about that one, Wanda. I have that too but its not so bad. That's what happens when the full latin name is not used!LOL. Stinging nettle, that's a bad one. Ouch. I don't think there is any redeeming qualities!
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 11:58am
Believe it or not JeanneK, I've seen it for sale at the Native plant sales at Bellevue Botanical Gardens, and I believe it's in their perineal border--I'll have to double check that. It is a food source for the larve of the Red Admiral Butterflies and apparently has medicinal and food value to humans. Who da thunk?
We've taught our girls from a young age to avoid it since it can be nasty to get into and we see it a lot where we hike and run trails.
My husband said if I buy one more plant, he is going to leave me. Boy, am I going to miss that man!
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 1:28pm
Guess I will start loving stinging nettles (outside of the yard) if the red admirals love them-
Have to use Barb's/Garden Spider dandelion philosophy on them!!! Jeanne- for sure 'who'd of thunk' !!!
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 2:02pm
Oh, yes, stinging nettle is a wonderful butterfly larvae food! IIRC, there are several species that rely completely on this "weed." Kinda puts it in a different light, doesn't it? I know some people who plant it on purpose in their garden but I'm not quite that dedicated a butterfly gardener.
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 9:27pm
One summer in college, I worked at a summer camp in Oregon. One of the counsellors noticed stinging nettles growing along the creek, so she carefully gathered a bunch and made us nettle iced tea. I remember it was pale yellow, mild tasting, and refreshing.
Posted: Sep-07-2004 at 10:38pm
I haven't had nettle tea but I have eaten it steamed. It's similar in taste to spinach and is supposedly loaded with all kinds of good-for-you-stuff. I have a friend who loves to eat it (maybe she's a caterpillar preparing for transformation?). She's the ones who taught me how to gather it. It's more than just "very carefully" - LOL - you fold the leaves down over the spines that are under the leaves and along the stems (they deliver formic acid and other fun stuff). I doubted her at first until I tried it. Kind of amazing.