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Gardener warns about risky product found on shelves in most big-box stores: 'This is very wrong'

"I didn't even know this."

"I didn't even know this."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Most gardeners avoid invasive species like the plague since they outcompete other plants and spread prolifically. However, big-box home improvement retailers still sell some of these problematic plants, which can damage ecosystems, to unwitting customers.

TikToker Invasive Species Guy (@invasivespeciesguy) warned about one common store-bought plant that can wreak havoc on people's yards. 

"This is very wrong, and here's why: Being marketed and sold as "tropical" or "indoor" plants, English ivy — a known invasive species in many areas of North America, especially in the Pacific Northwest — continues to be unregulated and spread," the creator says. 

"While invasive species like English Ivy can be regulated at the municipal level in British Columbia, for example, it just isn't happening," they wrote in the caption.

The video shows the nuisance plant sitting on a shelf at an unnamed store. It then shows footage of the plant creeping up several large trees towering over a riverbank to warn viewers how easily it can take over everything in sight

@invasivespeciesguy This is a collaboration with @wilderrestoration! The link for the petition can be found in our Linktrees! While invasive species like English Ivy can be regulated at the municipal level in British Columbia for example, it just isn't happening. Finally, note that we did not create this petition, we simply aim to amplify it, especially on the local level. Please share far and wide! Thank you! #invasivespecies #awareness #speakup #petition #calltoaction #plants ♬ Inspiring Emotional Piano - Metrow Ar

"So, even if it's a house plant, sometimes when they die, people will put them out in their compost, and then they will take over the area because they weren't actually dead," a woman says in the video while holding an English ivy plant. 

"Once established in an area, unless heavily managed, it is essentially biodiversity game over," the creator says as they walk through a forest overrun by the aggressive plant. 

However, they also noted that not one store in particular contributes to the issue. Many garden centers and retailers that sell plants —- such as Home Depot, Lowe's, and others — sell various invasive plants, not just English ivy. 

"But it is all the same: It's profit over the environment," they added. 

Researching invasive plants before buying new ones is always a good idea. There are many online resources to learn about non-native plants, such as the U.S. Forest Service website

Some invasive species hide in plain sight, like in wildflower mixes the creator showed in the video. For instance, bachelor's button (cornflower) — popular throughout the United States — is invasive but widely available at big-box stores. 

"The people that owned this house before me planted this and Holly. I have not been able to eradicate either," one person commented on the video. 

"I didn't even know this but always made it a point not to buy plants that I can find for free in the wild. Glad I take that stand now," another added.

"Thanks for sharing - this is so important!!" another grateful viewer said.

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