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Novice gardener seeks advice after innocent purchase causes 'never-ending fight': 'Is this gardening!?'

"Welcome to [your] new second life long job."

"Welcome to [your] new second life long job."

Photo Credit: iStock

There's nothing more frustrating than watching a supposed invasive plant take over, especially if you're new to gardening. You want your plants to flourish, but non-native species can smother the root systems of nearby vegetation. 

That's why a novice gardener took to the r/GardeningUK subreddit for advice after a plant they bought started spreading beyond its container. The Redditor posted two photos of an unnamed plant growing in two separate planters, much to their dismay. 

"Welcome to [your] new second life long job."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"Welcome to [your] new second life long job."
Photo Credit: Reddit

They then asked the community if they should throw everything out and start from scratch or if there was a way to salvage the plants.

"Just pull up the bits you don't want, including any roots," one commenter suggested

"I should've said, I have done that but they just keep coming back again and again. Is that normal? Is this gardening!?" the exasperated OP replied.

The commenter said that, yes, if you have a garden, regularly pulling up weeds and roots just comes with the territory. 

However, it can get pretty old having to constantly dig up new shoots from the soil. The site Week& recommends digging up roots at least six inches below the soil to prevent plants from resprouting.

Even though gardening is certainly a labor of love, it's well worth the benefits. If you have a native-plant lawn instead of a typical grass lawn, for example, you can save time on maintenance and roughly $275 on water, $50 on fertilizer, and $50 on pesticides and weed control each year. 

Rewilding your yard can reduce your annual water consumption by a whopping 175,000 gallons since native plants are meant to grow in local climates, and even a partial lawn replacement can make a big difference. 

You'll also attract bees and butterflies to your yard, which benefits everyone since animal pollinators support about 35% of the world's food crops, such as apples, bananas, potatoes, and coffee. 

Commenters in r/GardeningUK seemed to agree that pulling up the shoots and roots was the best option.

One commenter identified the plant — surprisingly, a native species — writing: "It's a variegated Glechoma hederacea — ground ivy. It's native but mat-forming, so just keep pulling out bits and it'll be kept in check / gotten rid of."

Another suggested a more community-oriented solution: "You could always put the bits in yoghurt pots of soil and give them to friends to spread the joy."

"The never-ending fight against nature doing what it wants, not what we want, yep that's normal, welcome to [your] new second life long job," one person joked.

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