Gardener or Landscaper
If you are a gardener or a landscaper, you may encounter a wide variety of invasive plants, such as butterfly bush, common reed, Dalmatian toadflax, English ivy, garlic mustard, giant hogweed, giant reed, hawkweeds, or kudzu. In water gardens, you may find bullfrogs, Brazilian elodea, hydrilla, or variable-leaf milfoil, among others. And trees you purchase from a nursery could be a temporary home for invasive insects such as exotic apple fruit pests or various wood-boring insects.
What can you do to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species?
Don't purchase, sell, trade, plant, or release invasive species.
- Take care not to purchase plants that are quarantined in Washington, meaning that their sale or trade is illegal. Internet sites may be based in other states without the same quarantines.
- Ask for only non-invasive species when you acquire plants.
- You may need to carry a list of invasive species, such as this list of species listed as noxious weeds in Washington.
- You can also consult publications on alternatives to popular invasive species, such as the Garden Wise guidance, tailored for eastern and western Washington.
- Remember to check the Latin (scientific) name of the plants you are purchasing, and to check the composition of seed packs, such as wildflower seed mixes.
- When purchasing live plants, particularly shrubs and trees, inspect them for any unusual insects.
- Help educate your community, whether by inviting invasive species experts to speak to community groups or professional associations, asking garden writers to address invasive species, or discussing the issue with other gardeners or landscapers.
Report and help eradicate invasive species and promote native and desired species.
- Report invasive species online.
- Learn to identify invasive species, using resources by the Washington Noxious Weed Control Board.
- Eradicate populations on your own property as soon as they are observed, and replace them with non-invasive, native species suited to your site and needs. You may wish to contact your county noxious weed coordinator for assistance.
- Cultivate and protect native plants to reduce opportunities for invasive species to establish. See the Garden Wise guidance, tailored for Eastern and Western Washington, or contact a Master Gardener.
- Join in local weed pulls and volunteer to monitor for these species. For example, you could volunteer:
For more information:
- The Habitattitude program
- You can help prevent the spread of invasive plants: What every plant enthusiast needs to know
- The Plant Smart campaign
- The California “Plant Right” campaign