Weed Management for Home Gardens

One of the largest problems in our gardens in the rainy season is the explosion of weeds. In a large garden, this can be a really serious problem, especially in potted plants. Weeds can out-compete the valuable plants for water and nutrients, and in some cases weeds can choke a valuable plant to death. Oddly, one of our native fern species is skilled at doing just this kind of dirty work. The Golden Bear-Paw fern can quickly grow so densely in hanging baskets, potted plants and mounted plants that the fern overcomes the desired plant. Some ornamental plants can be weeds as well. Many Boston Ferns varieties can grow very densely as well as many vine species.

Many of the most aggressive weeds are introduced plants, and one in particular poses a serious threat to our local ecologies. Old World Climbing Fern can kill small forests, and is one of the most durable and nearly-intelligent weeds I've ever seen. Wood-rose is also an introduced species, and can grow 3 feet a day. The best advice is to be diligent in removing weeds in your garden by way of mulching, chemical weed preventatives, or by hand-pulling to reduce the size of weed populations. Be careful when bringing a plant home from overseas, especially flowering vines and aquatic plants. We have tremendous garden resources in our collections, let's not jeopardize them with aggressive weed species. A few minutes of weeding can save your garden plants as well as our native habitats.

Craig Morell

Pinecrest Gardens

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