Invasive Plants You Love To Hate And Why They Are Such A Problem

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Invasive Plants You Love To Hate And Why They Are Such A Problem

Picture it: the rolling plains of Alberta, Canada. It is the Canadian answer to the U.S.'s Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Unfortunately, this province shares many of the same invasive plant species as these American states. The invasive plants are just as obnoxious, no matter where they take root. Here are some of the top invasive plants on the plains of Alberta, and why you love to hate them.

Flowering Rush

Most people see this water weed and think, "Oh, how pretty! Look at the little purple flowers in the water!" At least, that is what you might think until they absolutely pepper the waterways and clog drain pipes making it impossible to pass through by boat or you have to pull their matted roots from the drain pipe. Worse still, they choke the native species of water plants, which in turn completely alters the surrounding ecosystem. If you see this water weed, pull it out and burn it. Do not take it home to decorate your dinner table.

Spotted Knapweed

Another pretty, purpley-flowering weed, it is even worse than flowering rush. Its spiky-headed flowers look similar to purple thistles, except they do not have all of the prickles. The problem with this weed is that it grows in meadows and gives off a secretion that prevents all other meadow plants from growing. Ranchers are left with little to feed their cattle and horses because this weed destroys everything else. It is also extremely difficult to eradicate.


The yellow, or meadow, hawkweed looks like an overly tall dandelion. There is no mistaking this plant for anything else but a weed, given that its yellow flowering clusters look so much like the dandelion. Unfortunately it reproduces and spreads so quickly that any weed control products have a difficult time keeping up with the infestation. Likewise, the orange hawkweed is equally a problem, but this type looks a lot like orange marigolds instead. Do NOT transplant either of these flowers into your garden. They will kill your other flowering plants and spread all over your yard.

Dyer's Woad

This flower was imported from Russia with the intent of making indigo dye. The problem is that it spreads far too quickly, and makes land completely useless for growing food crops. Trying to cut it down and poison the life out of it proves to be too much once a single batch of the star-shaped flowers appear.

Contact a service, like Alberta Invasive Species Council, for more help.

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Avoiding Common Agricultural Mistakes A few months back, I realized that there were some serious problems with the way that I was choosing to garden. I knew that I had to do something to stop losing so may new plants, so I began reading everything I could find on basic agricultural principles. It was interesting to me to figure out why plants behaved like they did, and before I knew it, I was pleased with just how successfully the entire garden was growing. Although it might seem difficult, knowing how to identify and address certain gardening problems is crucial to your success. Check out this blog for great tips on avoiding common agricultural mistakes.