Sometimes, you need that person in your life who will be brutally honest with you when you’ve made a terrible mistake — and if you don’t have that friend, just get on Reddit.
One Redditor found those friends when they went to the r/gardening forum to ask about a new potted plant they had gotten.
“Got myself an English ivy (Hedera) plant in a pot, would like to naturalize it into my garden,” they captioned the post. “I would like to make it a permanent part of the garden to climb along a fence. Do I plant it into the ground next to the fence, or install a permanent hanging raised bed onto the fence, or…?”
Little did the OP know what a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea it was to plant English ivy.
“Don’t do it!!!” one person warned. “Use it inside. Very good for freshening the air or in a hanging basket outside. Just don’t put it in your garden. You will never be rid of it!”
Another said, “Either destroy it or use it as a houseplant inside.”
A third simply said, “Nooooooo! Just NO!”
This isn’t the first person to unknowingly make an invasive mistake and get a warning from other Redditors. For some reason, garden centers and big box stores still sell these ecosystem menaces, which can be confusing for novice gardeners.
Invasive species can wreak havoc on an ecosystem, out-competing native species for resources. The environmental and financial cost of invasives is monumental. According to a report from El País, invasives could be responsible for “multibillion-dollar losses and extinctions” globally, with economic costs going over $400 billion a year.
One adorable solution to pesky invasives like English ivy and kudzu is “goatscaping.” You can rent goats to gobble up any invasive plant that is running wild, even something as irritating as poison ivy.
One Redditor gave the OP a few suggestions of non-invasive vine options.
“There are plenty of other vines that are safer options for the outdoors! Morning glory, clematis, passion flower are a few I can think of,” they said.
Another commenter had a much more descriptive warning. “If you want to see a harmless bird in the cage turn into a wrecking dragon that [will] smash your kingdom then yes, go ahead,” they joked, followed by a laughing emoji.
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