Friday, January 11, 2008

A Nuisance of a Plant

If you garden in Mexico, or anywhere for that matter, you may know this plant. I do not know the scientific name nor the common name. I call it the Nuisance Plant. With good reason. It is a fast grower and gets about three feet tall, almost a meter. A great filler plant in the garden. Or so we thought.

But take a closer look at these leaves.

See all those little "bumps" along the edges? Those are actually seeds being developed. Lots of seeds. Tons of seeds. Each one will eventually drop off, creating a new little Nuisance plant. And the seeds don't all mature at the same time either. Thus spreading its' reproduction time over a larger span of time.

These seeds land everywhere. Any crack, crevice or pot is a suitable home for a new plant. Are you getting the idea yet? This plant is hugely INVASIVE! It gets into everything and is almost impossible to get rid of. It will choke out any plant you have in a pot and will take over any garden bed in a matter of weeks.

We keep these two plants pictured above, well, because we like the look of it. But every so often we walk by and strip off any seeds we can. Thus cutting down somewhat on its' ability to invade our other plants.

If we find tiny plants starting in the pots, we yank them out and throw them into the little walkway between our patio wall and the cabana wall. Thus creating a blockade of sorts for cats and other unwanted two-legged critters. The chicken wire at the back helps too!

So if you see this plant for sale in a nursery, I would give it a pass. Unless you want a garden made up solely of these plants!

1 comment:

wayne said...

A reader in Canada sent me an email that he knows this as a houseplant called "Mother of Millions". It was known to invade house plants across the room! He said the only way to get rid of it was to kill it.