The EU is banning some invasive garden plants from the beginning of next year, to stop them ‘jumping the garden fence’ to become established in the wild where they outcompete native flowers and endanger wildlife.
There are 37 non-native invasive species on the EU’s hit list: they include the huge yellow-flowered bog plant American skunk cabbage, plus invasive pond dwellers like curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major) and water hyacinth. All these have escaped into the wild with devastating effect on native fish, wildlife and plants. They join water primrose, floating pennywort and parrot’s feather, banned last year from sale to gardeners in the UK because of the impact they have when they get out into wider waterways.
So from the beginning of next year these plants will no longer be available from garden centres. If you already have them in your garden, there’s no need to rip them up. But you should take steps to make sure they don’t spread: don’t give them to other gardeners, and dispose of any removed plants responsibly. There are lots of alternative non-invasive plants to grow in their place: pop down to our garden centre here in Bitton and Warminster and our knowledgeable staff can suggest replacements you’ll enjoy just as much without harming your environment.