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Homeowner issues warning about irrevocable gardening mistake: 'It knows no property lines and will take over'

"It'll kill any tree it climbs, eventually."

"It'll kill any tree it climbs, eventually."

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner issued a PSA in the r/homeowners subreddit about a gardening mishap that resulted in a nuisance plant consuming their yard and even their neighbors' properties.  

They started the post saying, "Next time you're thinking of planting an ivy in your garden - don't."

"Please for the sake of your neighbors and the next homeowner who will curse you in her sleep, resist the urge to plant an invasive demon ivy. It knows no property lines and will take over other plants, fences, siding, or anything slow moving in its path. Just don't," they continued. 

Many commenters shared their unpleasant experiences dealing with English ivy in their yards, with one writing: "As the 'next homeowner' in that situation, I completely agree. Been fighting ivy for a year with minimal success."

Another echoed the sentiment: "Ivy is a vampire. It'll kill any tree it climbs, eventually. [It's] pretty ugly to watch. A few homes near mine have trees that are being slooooowly devoured."

Indeed, English ivy is an aggressive invasive plant brought over by European colonists in 1727, as the City of Falls Church Habitat Restoration Team explained. It's considered invasive because it outcompetes other plants for resources and spreads prolifically throughout ecosystems. Ivy can grow up to 80 feet tall and 50 feet wide, creating a huge problem if allowed to reach its full potential. 

Unfortunately, this Redditor is far from the only unsuspecting homeowner who planted the destructive ivy or bought a property where the previous owner had planted it

But not all plants want to take over and destroy your yard (and possibly your neighbors' yards too). Native plants benefit local ecosystems because they're specially adapted to the environments and require much less water and fertilizers than traditional lawns or non-native species. As a result, they will save you tons of time and money on lawn upkeep, water bills, and chemical controls. 

In addition, pollinators will appreciate the biodiversity you've added to your yard, which will also help you and your fellow humans since we rely on these tiny heroes for our food supply. Even replacing part of your lawn with low-maintenance options such as clover or buffalo grass, or by xeriscaping, can provide benefits. 

Other commenters were quick to commiserate with the OP and share their struggles with invasive plants. 

"Or kudzu. I have 5 acres of kudzu. Soon it will take me too," one said

Another detailed their experience with invasives: "Suffering from a bad case of honeysuckle here. It keeps trying to take over all the fencing."

One Redditor offered advice on taming English ivy. "My strategy was to take a weed wacker with heavy duty string and just go to town all the way to the ground. After that I sprayed some ivy killer on the leftover stems," they said — though it's always best to go with natural options to eradicate unwanted plants.

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