Controlling Backyard Invaders

What are Invasive Plants?

Invasive plants quickly overwhelm and displace existing native plants by reducing the availability of light, water, nutrients and space. They have few, if any, natural controls to keep them in check. Ecologists now rank invasion by exotic plants,
animals, and pathogens second only to habitat loss as a major threat to local biodiversity.

Invasive plants may be introduced by accident or intentionally to control erosion, provide wildlife food and habitat, or for ornamental value in gardens. Accidental introductions occur when people and goods travel worldwide. Packing material can harbor seeds or plant parts. Japanese stilt grass, now a widely escaped groundcover in woodland edges, is a prime example.

Invasive plants can be divided into two categories—(1) plants that were introduced either intentionally or accidentally but are no longer sold (i.e. multiflora rose, stilt grass) and (2) ornamental plants still grown and sold.

This brochure focuses primarily on invasive plants no longer sold. The goal is to guide home and property owners in the identification and control of aggressive invasive plants. Not only will control improve the diversity of native and non-invasive plants, but it will also improve habitat and help prevent the spread of invasive plants to neighboring areas.

For more information and a link to the complete brochure, click here >>

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

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