As a gardener, you wouldn’t knowingly plant invasive species. Unfortunately, invasive plants are probably on the shelf at your favorite nursery—and despite your best efforts, they may wind up in your yard.
The good news is that it’s easy to avoid these garden thugs in favor of plants that are just as pretty and better behaved, and even offer food for insects and wildlife.
If you already have an invasive plant, get rid of it or control its spread. Don’t allow it to set seed. Birds eat the berries and can poop out the seeds miles away. Some seeds remain viable for years or even decades.
Here are five of the worst invaders—some of which are still being sold around the country as ornamentals—and their look-alike alternatives.
Photos by Rob Cardillo