February 3, 2012

My favorite Invasive Herbs & How to Contain Them.

Honestly, my very favorite fragrant herbs are in the mint family. These will take over your yard if you let them! My friend asked me for a start of my Chocolate Flavored Mint because she loves the way it smells when she mows the yard. She lives in the country with no close neighbors so I gave it to her with a warning that she may not have grass in a couple of years.

I grow several mints around my pond; all in containers and I watch them to be sure no stray shoots escape. I have Chocolate (my favorite) Pineapple, Lemon, Orange and Grapefruit (above). I have heavy clay soil so I have planted Cat Mint and Apple Mint to disguise my pond pump and wiring. Even in the clay I still have to pull it up when it creeps out of bounds.

Lemon Balm smells wonderful! I have let it escape in a couple of flower beds so I spend lots of time in summer pulling it up. If I had it to do over I would put it in a big tall pot and place it near my back door so I could smell it as I brush by.

When I was a child my Nanny's yard was totally covered by something she called Ground Ivy. It smelled so good and had pretty little blue flowers in spring and summer. It was evergreen too. Well, I have it in my back garden now and no, I didn't plant it. It grows wild here in Tennessee and is a real pest. I have a love/hate relationship with Ground Ivy. I still love the fragrance and the pretty flowers but I hate pulling it out every time I walk down the garden path and trying to keep it from smothering out my Creeping Red Fescue. You guessed it -mint family!

One other "could be" pest is a beautiful ornamental grass called Moudry. It is only about 2 feet tall and has wonderful dark purple blooms in fall and is in the Pennisetum family of fountain grasses - perfect for a small garden - not! It reseeds everywhere! Those flowers drop their seeds. The only place for it is a section of garden that you don't mind being covered with Moudry. I actually put it way in the back corner of my yard where I couldn't get grass to grow and had difficulty getting in with the mower. Perfect!

Post a comment and tell us about your favorite (or not so favorite) invasive plants.


  1. I love the invasive herbs. So I plant with care and barriers
    Your blog is great.