If you came across a seed mixture in the store labeled “Wildflower Mix,” you might naturally assume that it was a mixture of wildflower species native to the region in which the product was being sold.
This is, unfortunately, not always the case, as one Redditor recently showed us.
Posting in the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit, the poster shares pictures of several wildflower mixes from the seed company Burpee Seeds.
“I spotted these and wanted to share,” the poster writes. “As native plants and the plight of pollinators become more mainstream, more people are trying to do their part, but some companies are willing to sell you things that they maybe shouldn’t.”
“Some of the seeds in these mixes are natives,” the Redditor continues, “but some are not and are borderline invasive! Warn your friends and family about big horticulture trying to make a buck and greenwashing while doing harm!”
The other members of r/NativePlantGardening shared the original poster’s frustration.
“This, plus seeing incredibly invasive plants such as English ivy readily available for purchase at hardware stores makes me feel immense anger,” writes one commenter. “How the H-e-double hockey sticks are these ecosystem destroying plants just casually advertised for purchase? Can we pass some restrictive legislation on planting non-native plants already?”
As the original poster mentions, native plant gardening is becoming increasingly popular as people are starting to realize how important it is. Focusing your gardening efforts on plants that naturally grow in your area is critical to supporting the local ecosystem.
And on the other side, introducing non-native, invasive plants can have a devastating effect on the surrounding wildlife, as plants end up fighting for resources that they are not adapted to. This is a problem that the seed companies, apparently, do not always care about solving.
“Got my mom interested in a native garden to replace wet turf,” one commenter writes. “She almost fell for that American meadows junk. Pisses me off they can call that stuff regional wildflowers.”
While there are some obstacles to growing native plant gardens — namely, rigid, inflexible HOAs — there are also ways around them. For instance, one gardener in Virginia recently got their garden officially designated as a bird sanctuary to protect it from the meddling HOA.
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