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Readers Respond: Plants I Regret Planting in My Garden

Responses: 216


Gardeners are very generous passing along plants to novice gardeners. When we first start gardening, every plant is a treasure and the fast growing plants are a way to get your garden going faster.

A few years down the line, you wonder what you were thinking. Lily of the Valley is popping up everywhere, Datura seeded so thickly you need a fork to dig it out and your Obedient Plant is no longer deserving of its name. Some things we only learn with experience.

Today, instead of passing along a plant, pass along your wisdom and tell us what plant or plants you wish you had never planted in your garden. What Not to Grow


If you plant it in the ground don't forget that when it starts going to seed you will have enough oregano to give a plant to every one in the world.

Lily of the Valley

I agree they are beautiful and have lovely scent BUT they just keep growing everywhere I would rather they wouldn't.

Chameleon plant. Gout weed

If it says "good ground over" on the tag--run before it runs over you!
—Guest C

Plants I wish I'd never planted

Houyttunia Chordata or chameleon plant, Brunnera, English ivy, Joe Pye, -- if you are content to have a mono-culture, plant any of these and within 4 years, every other plant will have been suffocated!
—Guest Hostasrus


I live in zone 4. There are no plants that I can't seem to be able to control. I know my neighbor has had a hard time with bamboo, but I find it easy to take out anything that wants to take over the yard.
—Guest diane

Artemisia variegata

Once established there is no removing this 'nice background plant' but it will spread and spread with a tangle of roots.
—Guest BA


It's pretty and variegated and comes up everywhere, and is hard to pull up. And then there is snow in the summer. Seems that every slug in the neighborhood likes it under this stuff and it becomes ugly after it grows too long, for it needs to be chopped I guess. But that's how we all learn. Besides, how would you know if you didn't try it, right? Well good gardening to everyone.
—Guest margie


All of you must live in a zone 5 or higher. I love anything that grows! (zone 4) Except for that EVIL BAMBOO. not even attractive!
—Guest diane

Chameleon Plant

I could've written schmerb's post! I am also dealing with a Rose-of-Sharon invasion, but they're pretty and attract hummingbirds, so it's a problem I can live with. Then there's Chameleon Plant, which I usually refer to by names not appropriate for use here. When I planted this in 2 different areas about 6 years ago, little did I know that their scent would trigger migraines. After monumental eradication efforts, it seemed they were gone for good...until this summer. I think there is a backhoe in my future...

Bleeding Heart Vine

I have never hated a plant before, but Bleeding Heart Vine is truly horrendous! It is really beautiful, but it WILL take over your yard. Climbs everywhere, sends out runners underground, and pops up everywhere. I regret ever having laid eyes on this plant!! Can't get rid of it! Anyone know of a solution?
—Guest Margie

Ivy takes over the world

I'm opposed to Round-up, but I believe I'll have the Use it on the English Ivy I planted. It went from 1 tiny plant to choking out my shrubs and climbing all over my trees.
—Guest pj2y


This grows huge with lovely big white, lacy flower heads but when it goes to seed and scatters everywhere it is invasive. Angelica is commonly candied and used to decorate English Trifle and Christmas Cake. I tried unsuccessfully to candy it! I successfully removed it after several years.
—Guest Eddie

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a pretty plant, but after a few years it becomes a nuisance. It is used to make perfume - and the bees really love it, but invasive plants are best grown in containers or confined to certain areas. Placing a strong barrier in the ground, deep enough to contain and control the roots should prevent the spreading of their overwhelming nuisances, and still allow you to enjoy the plants and flowers, etc.
—Guest Evelyn

Invasive plant - Horse Tail

Don't ever plant horse tail........Terribly invasive. It's a horrible plant.
—Guest littlewass

Ditch the Dogwood Bush

I planted a few stringy Dogwood Bushes to hide the power boxes that were behind out lot. They have beautiful leaves and red stems for winter interest. Those bushes grew into enormous tree-like structures. Not only did it resist being trimmed, but then I would find Dogwood springing up across the yard (I have no idea how that could happen) not just one or two, but several. So, six years later, the kind neighbor who bought the property behind us asked if we wouldn't mind if they cut it down. I was jumping for joy. I am constantly cutting down Dogwood that is springing up in random places in my yard.
—Guest Merci Me

What Not to Grow

Plants I Regret Planting in My Garden

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