Gardening Answers

Being Held Hostage by a Plant

DrPulte_Moderator | Posted in Southeast Gardening on

I tell people all the time “never be held hostage by a plant.”  If you don’t like something – get rid of it! For the last several years I haven’t been taking my own advice.  For (at least) five years I’ve walked by a rose in my far border that just didn’t fit the home I had given it.  This past weekend I saw it had rose-rosette disease – and can you believe I was happy about it! I finally had an excuse to get rid of that thing.  

Anyone else out there ever have this experience – what plants are holding you hostage?


  1. AmyDering | | #1

    Yes!! Even now my front yard is overtaken by Rosa virginiana with its curved thorns and branches 7-8 feet tall and suckers pushing up everywhere! I keep a safe path out with long loppers and leather gloves but eventually I will have to make a hard decision. It is covered with so many happy critters. Oh how I wish I had put it down in back!

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #2

      R. virginiana is easy to grow and does provide for wildlife. But can get huge!

  2. User avater Moderator
    Chloe_Moderator | | #3

    I'm currently being held hostage by a hairy wood mint (blephilia hirsuta). I planted both native wood mints and the other, downy wood mint (blephilia ciliata) is quite garden worthy, its hairy sibling, not so much! I don't have the heart to straight up kill it, but I don't know where I'd move it! So for now, I keep cutting it down and turning my back on it.

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #4

      love this!

  3. fitgarden | | #5

    This summer I am being held hostage by squirrels digging up plants, and rabbits eating the tips of ferns, lower delicate limbs of Pollypetite 'Rose of Sharon', and various other goodies.

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #6

      Pollypetite is my top rose of sharon - at least one of my favorites!

  4. marlena | | #7

    I foolishly planted Japanese anemone YEARS ago. They have spread ferociously and yet I have not seen many blooms due to, I think, deer munching. So this fall I am covering the massive patch with cardboard and compost and hoping I will obliterate the patch. I hate doing this, but what's the sense having a plant where I don't ever see blooms!

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #8

      Agree! I have a big patch that does bloom but it spreads like crazy!

    2. User avater Moderator
      marti_n_midwest_moderator | | #16

      I am so sorry you are not able to enjoy your anemone in bloom. I too have planted Anemone and seen her travel around my garden. It doesn’t bother me too much as I see it as a laboratory of sorts. Here is a photo of mine in bloom.

      1. marlena | | #18

        So pretty. I have maybe two pink flowers and stems that look like sticks popping up all over the patch. If the flowers were atop the stems, it would be beautiful!

  5. user-7821942 | | #9

    Just today a friend of mine was hoping I would adopt the large, gangly night-blooming Cereus that she has to move outside in the spring and onto her enclosed porch in the fall. After years of this servitude, she concedes that the plant is ugly and forces you to stay up all night to see it bloom. She's ready to let go but doesn't have the heart to just let it die. (I declined to adopt it.)

    1. User avater Moderator
      Chloe_Moderator | | #10

      Ha! They are funky looking! So awkward. I have one and I put a low plant cage in the pot to keep the tentacles better controlled.

    2. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #11

      There are so many tropicals I dedicated garage space for every winter in the past! Now only the select few plants make it. This gives me a chance to try something new every year.

      1. User avater Moderator
        Chloe_Moderator | | #12

        I'm curious which made the cut, Dr Pulte.

        1. User avater Moderator
          DrPulte_Moderator | | #13

          Unique Colocasia are top choices for me!

        2. User avater Moderator
          DrPulte_Moderator | | #14

          @chloe what about you?

          1. User avater Moderator
            Chloe_Moderator | | #15

            My garage is filled with about 10 fig trees, a brugmansia, a cestrum nocturnum, and a tree tomato. Those are probably hardy for you!

  6. 5bee_gardener | | #17

    Yes! When I moved into my home (July 2020), it came with multiple barberry bushes - which I immediately didn't like, but they were so prickly and large, I thought I will never be able to dig them out to remove them. However, since that time, I have become quite an avid gardener, and now that I learned they're also invasive, I became more determined than ever to just get rid of them. So I pulled the chainsaw out of the shed, and within about 1 minutes time (per bush) - they have been cut down to the ground. How liberating! I should have done it long ago. Now I just have to somehow get the spiky skeletons into lawn bags, much easier said than done. Maybe I will just burn them.

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #19

      you are right! easier said than done! good luck! and thanks for sharing.

  7. User avater
    cleangreen | | #20

    We have a couple flowering quince and a mock orange holding us hostage. I love the early blooms and few weeks of fragrance in spring but neither are attractive the rest of the year. Similar position with a small stand of lilacs and they take up entirely too much room in our small backyard.

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #21

      I removed a quince two years ago and it is still sprouting!!!

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