Over 80% of invasive terrestrial plants started out as garden flowers, shrubs, and trees. Be a responsible gardener and purchase plants that are native, or known to be safe and not spread. Encourage fellow gardeners, garden clubs, and your local nursery to use only non-invasives.
- Select native plants over non-natives. Some species, such as burning bush have been safe for decades before turning into a problem plant. NEW! Plant natives and you’ll support native insects and birds!
- Read Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy for tips on going native. The Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Project Native!, The New England Wildflower Society, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology also have excellent resources.
- View our list of safe alternatives to commonly used invasive plants.
- Visit Be Plant Wise for good suggestions for safe alternatives in your region, as well as a wonderful set of photos that you can use for educational purposes.
- Tell your neighbors about invasives! Share copies of the Wise on Weeds! gardening brochure. Download it here, or contact Lynn McNamara for a copy.
- Ask your local nurseries and landscapers to stop using and selling invasives, learn more about the quarantine rule.
- Contact GreenWorks, and let them know that you support their efforts to promote safe alternatives.
Support Additions toThe Quarantine Rule
Many of today's invasive plants were brought to the United States from Europe or Asia, propagated and sold through nurseries. Purple loosestrife got its start this way. Unfortunately, there are no regulations that require a plant to be ‘tested’ for its invasive tendencies. Nurseries may not know that a plant is invasive, or they may continue to sell a known invasive plant until a law makes it illegal to sell. Vermont has a quarantine rule that currently lists over a dozen species. More will be added in the future. It takes time, however, for the Rule to accurately reflect what is happening on the landscape. Japanese barberry and Norway maple, for example, are quite a problem in much of the state, but it will be a few more years before they are illegal to sell.