Many people move here from out of state, bringing their houseplants with them. When the plants get too large, people plant them outdoors. This is where our story begins............
In my standard dogma, I suggest you research plants a bit before you plant them. One of the biggest ironies I see is people who want a fast-growing hedge, choose Weeping Fig for the hedge, then complain for years about the costs of trimming it. I never met a hedge that would accept the command "stop growing at six feet, please". A better choice would have been some of the native shrubs like White Indigoberry or Simpson Stopper. Some people plant a lovely patch of Wild Petunia ( Ruellia brittoniana) only to find that it spreads everywhere, and pops up in flower pots 100 feet away. Here at Pinecrest Gardens we have been "managing" the burgeoning populations of pothos, Syngonium, Trema, Leucaena ( Lead Tree), and African Tulip Tree for several years.Many of these were planted as ornamentals decades ago. Melaleuca trees were planted here about 40 years ago, since they were fast-growing and durable trees. We spent a lot of time removing them, since they get out of hand rather fast.
|Adult Syngonium podophyllum|
Many houseplants have turned into serious weeds, and one in particular, Wood Rose, is commonly brought back from Hawaii as a novelty. It is one of the most aggressive weeds in the state, and similarly for Old World Climbing Fern. Both of these were ornamental species, but both can overcome forests in a hurry. You can get excellent information about weed potentials from the University Extension Office, or from plant societies. Both offer free information, and both are excellent plant information resources.
Be judicious in planting new or little-known plants. You are unlikely to endanger the world by planting a palm or Cassia tree, but be extra careful about bringing home a piece of that beautiful vine you saw at the hotel in Costa Rica, or the groundcover at the airport in Thailand. Some of these plants can grow here at astonishing speed, and your "little introduction" can make a really major impact. If you are skeptical, ask the people who introduced Kudzu Vine, Melaleuca Trees, Asian Cycad Scale, African Giant Snails, Walking Catfish, Green Iguanas, Burmese Pythons, and others into our local environments.
|African Tulip Tree-Spathodea campanulata|
|Lead Tree- Leucaena diversifolia|
|Wild Petunia-Ruellia brittoniana|