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Gardener shares regrets over planting mistake made with seemingly innocent store purchase: 'I'm at a loss for what to do'

"I don't want to spend years battling them in my yard or causing issues for my neighbors."

"I don't want to spend years battling them in my yard or causing issues for my neighbors."

Photo Credit: iStock

A gardener demonstrated just how important it is to double-check the name on seed packets before planting. 

"I picked up morning glory seeds and started them a few weeks ago," they wrote in the subreddit r/Gardening. "However, I was today years old when I learned how invasive and aggressive they can be. While they are beautiful flowers, I don't want to spend years battling them in my yard or causing issues for my neighbors. I'm at a loss for what to do."

Commenters were quick to jump in with thoughts and advice. "Morning Glory and Hedge Bindweed are different plants but both get commonly called Morning Glory," one person wrote, saying that bindweed "is a gift from the devil himself and once infesting a garden is practically impossible to get rid of."

"We need a bindweed support group," another joked.

But true morning glory, the first continued, "is easy to get rid of if you want it gone. If you bought seeds from a reliable source you are fine to plant them in your garden."

Another agreed. "Check your packages to be sure, but I really don't think you should pull up your lil plants unless you know for sure that they're specifically [bindweed]," they advised.

The debate emphasizes why it's so critical for gardeners to double-check what they're planting —  especially if a harmful invasive species and a benign native species share a common name. 

Invasive plants monopolize resources and generally cause the destruction of local habitats (and occasionally even buildings). Some invasive species are so difficult to control once they've spread that certain states have mandated that people must obtain a special permit to plant them. Others are even considering banning their use altogether.

On the other hand, native plants are highly beneficial for their native ecosystems, serving as habitats and food sources for pollinators. Native plants are also easier to maintain, having evolved to thrive in the environment in which they're planted. In fact, rewilding the lawn generally cuts a home's water bill by 30%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

"If you're in their native range (and you're sure you have sourced native seed), embrace it." one person advised.

If, however, the original poster realizes that they did accidentally purchase the invasive bindweed, somebody still had advice: "Put them in a large flower pot or a few and enjoy them in a container."

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