Gardeners can make a difference


purple loosestrife

The majority of non-native garden plants are not invasive. However, it only takes a few to invade your garden and cause extra work. Seedlings must be weeded out before they take over and displace plants which you painstakingly planted. Plants can spread quickly from your garden onto other people's property, decreasing both their enjoyment of their property and their enjoyment of you as a neighbor. Even plants which seem manageable in your garden may be spreading seeds into natural areas. The fruits on many plants are eaten and spread by birds, causing infestations many miles away. Some of the plants which imperil Oregon's natural areas have gained a foothold because they were first planted in gardens. 


The showy purple flowers of purple loosetrife made it a popular garden plant. We know however that this vigorous plant crowds out marsh vegetation required by wildlife for food and shelter.



Steps Gardeners Can Take to Protect Oregon from Invasive Garden Plants

  • Remove plants that are invasive and dispose of your yard debris responsibly. 

  • Recognize the plants in your garden and nearby natural areas. Report plants that look out of place at

  • Be careful to not purchase weedy plants at the nursery. If the plant is described as "easily propagated", "spreads readily" or "self sower," beware. Often this means the plant will take over. 
  • If you really want to have plants which are known to spread (such as mint), consider containing them in pots. 
  • Don't share weedy plants with your neighbors and fellow gardeners. Grow native plants.
  • Consider growing native plants. There is a wide variety of beautiful, easy-to-care for native plants available. They provide ideal habitat for Oregon's birds and butterflies. 
  • If you see a neighbor is gardening with an invasive plant (purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris, butterfly bush), they may not be aware of the issue. Consider starting a friendly chat. 
  • Learn about invasive plants in your area. Here are some resources: 
  • GardenSmart Oregon Guide (PDF)
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Noxious Weed Control
  • Center for Invasive Plant Management
  • Metro Garbage and Recycling Page