Nothing says that an invader plant can’t be pretty, but the problems they create may reach much further than just the garden you are working on. Birds and wind help to spread seeds far and wide, so even if you’re happy with a mixture of indigenous and exotic plants, make sure that none of the species are invasive aliens. Look out for Lantana, get stuck into the sword-ferns (try to get rid of all the little ‘balls’ they make underground and fell those wattles and pines!)
Avoid using pesticides
Sometimes, you’re just going to have to turn a blind eye when caterpillars start devouring your garden shrubs. You could try using organic methods to control them, but caterpillars are food for birds and they’re as important to biodiversity as your plants. Of course, if the species is an alien one, you can eliminate them with a clear conscience, but use an environmentally friendly option.
However, plants that naturally occur in an environment are quite often able to overcome setbacks and survive problems. Our Rhus glauca was eaten till it was nearly leafless, but it produced spectacular flowers and sprouted vigorously after that. It was almost as if it had been stimulated by the attack!
May you have a super week!
The New Plant Team