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Planning for Beauty – Banish Beastly Invasives from Your Landscape

May 04, 2023 08:00 AM

Planning your spring garden or landscaping project? Thoughtful planning can create a beautiful landscape for you and your family, while welcoming pollinators and protecting your property and the environment from invasive plants and noxious weeds. Introducing invasive plants into your garden or landscape can be a costly decision since many of these plants are aggressive, difficult to control and may harm your property, family, pets, or wildlife. Invasive and noxious weeds also harm Pennsylvania's environment and economy, damaging farms and forests and crowding out native plants, pollinators, and wildlife. 

Recognizing the harm they inflict, the following commercially available plants have been identified as noxious weeds.They can no longer be legally sold or propagated in Pennsylvania or have a grace period with an end date for when they can no longer be sold or propagated in Pennsylvania:

Chocolate vine (Akebia quinata)

Ravenna grass (Tripidium ravennae)

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) Grace period until October 8, 2023

Exempted varieties of barberry, which can be sold because they will not reproduce, include:

  • Crimson Cutie®
  • Lemon Cutie®
  • Lemon Glow®
  • Mr. GreenGenes®

Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) Grace period until February 10, 2024

These plants cannot be sold or propagated after a grace period ending January 10, 2025

Burning bush (Euonymus alatus)

Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum)

Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense)

European privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

Border Privet (Ligustrum obtusifolium) What does this mean for you, the homeowner of landowner? Is there a way to manage or eradicate those invasive and noxious weeds on your property? There is an abundance of information online on how to effectively control many invasive and noxious weeds.  Contacting your local Penn State Extension office is another option for management recommendations if you are having trouble with a particular plant.  Eradication usually takes several seasons, depending on how long the plants have been present, so be persistent in your efforts.  If you have multiple invasive and noxious weeds, start small and concentrate on eradicating one at a time. 

Talk to your local nursery or greenhouse to find native or non-invasive plants that suit your property. Visit Penn State Extension's website for articles on choosing native or non-invasive perennials, where to find them, and how to maintain them, along with many other articles on plants and gardening, and pollinator-friendly plants. 

You can also find experts at a Penn State Master Gardener event or home show in your area. Planning can be daunting, but local experts can help you avoid making costly garden mistakes.

Being aware of invasive plants and noxious weeds, learning how to identify and control them, and planting non-invasive or native plants in their place on your property will mean less work for you, and a more welcoming landscape for your family and friends, pets, wildlife, and the pollinators our food supply relies on.

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