The word invasive is the perfect way to describe some plants that you might find growing in your manicured garden. These weeds grow without any regard to your landscape or the “real” plants you are trying to grow. When you are trying to eliminate weeds, it is a good idea to know some of the most invasive plant types, so you can spot them before they do serious damage.
Giant Hogweed is the first type of weed you may see in your yard. It was introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the 19th century. The sap in the Hogweed can cause blisters and scars. Some severe cases have even reported blindness. Besides the noxious sap, the Giant Hogweed is bad for the environment. Wherever it colonizes, the Hogweed will deteriorate the growing process for other plants.
Ecosystems destabilize and bank erosion increases when giant Hogweed makes an appearance. If you choose to handle it yourself, then you need to wear gloves, long trousers, and long sleeves. However, it is best to hire a professional weed remover to get rid of the Giant Hogweed.
Rhododendrons are another kind of weed that actually look like beautiful flowers. They sprout in the spring, but have a vivacious autumn colour. Don’t let their beauty fool you, however. Rhododendrons grow in dense thickets and sap other plants around them of resources and sunlight.
Rhododendrons also have negative effects on fish and other invertebrate communities. You will have trouble with rhododendrons because they are massive and block paths to your gardening site. This makes it difficult to manage your garden.
The Himalayan Balsam was first introduced to the UK in 1839 as a tall growing annual plant. It can reach up to 3 metres in height. Between the months of June and October, it produces clusters of purple-pink helmet shaped flowers, producing up to 800 seeds. This is how the Himalayan Balsam spreads and grows. When the seedpods ripen, their seeds can spread up to 7 metres away.
Himalayan Balsam grows on riverbanks and waste places. During the summer months, pollinators flock to Himalayan Balsam and leave their native species. This is because of the high sugar nectar content that the weed produces. Since the weed’s flowers grow in vegetated areas and damp woodlands where the seed production spreads in places that do not often get that kind of seed.
Since the Himalayan Balsam grows so high, it creates a monoculture that shadows native plants and restricts the other plants’ access to the river. In the autumn, the plant dies, but it leaves the bank without any vegetation. This causes erosion. The dead plant also falls into the river and increases the risk of flooding in the area.
Ragwort, also known as Jacobaea vulgaris, is a plant commonly found in Eurasia. Most often ragwort is found in dry and open places. It is a huge problem weed because it has pyrrolizidene alkaloids that are highly toxic and permanently damage animal livers.
Horses are the most common animal that experiences the damaging effects of ragwort. They experience liver failure and some horses even experience death. Ragwort poisoning in both animals and humans can cause the loss of coordination and strange behaviour from those infected.
For each of these deadly weeds, there is a different way to remove them. An expert weed remover will be able to figure out which way of removal is best for the weed and surrounding vegetation with minimal damage to the existing plants and the soil.