Every year we are pleased to hear from our customers how well our plants are doing in their yards. However, there are times when a cherished plant may grow too well in your garden setting. All the money and hard work spent getting it to grow can make many people reluctant to intervene.
The "landscaping with native plant movement" blurs the lines between cultivation and naturalization. Many residential gardeners struggle to find the right balance. Keep in mind that gardening with native plants is not the same as utilizing these plants to naturalize large areas of your property. In nature an ever-changing environment acts as the great equalizer. Don't forget, in the garden you are the equalizer so do not be afraid to impose your will by removing some of the opportunistic species that may out compete other beloved garden plants.
Here are a few tips for handling the overachievers in your garden:
Remove flowers before they go to seed - Simply remove those plants that have grown beyond the space you have allocated for them. If you cannot bear to see these wonderful native plants wilt on the compost pile, spread the wealth and give some to your friends.
Change the environment - Many opportunistic species flourish with frequent disturbance such as cultivation. Some of these species will be subdued by mulch or creating shadier conditions. Others can be kept in balance by increased competition, decreasing the amount of water or lowering fertility.
Gardens come in all shapes, sizes and forms but common to all is the human hand. So don't be afraid to unceremoniously bend down and rip the aggressing plants out of the ground. This simple activity can bear great dividends.