Gardener issues warning about landscaping product found at local grocery store: 'That's so frustrating'

"Really, really bummed to see HEB selling this."

"Really, really bummed to see HEB selling this."

Photo Credit: iStock

While some of its common names are heavenly or sacred bamboo, the plant itself is anything but. Also known as nandina, the evergreen shrub is actually an invasive species.

So, you can imagine the surprise and disappointment of one Reddit user when they found the plant for sale at a local H-E-B grocery store.

The user shared pictures of the invasive plant in the subreddit r/AustinGardening, where nandina is known to be pervasive, per the Invasive Plant Atlas of the U.S.

"Really, really bummed to see HEB selling this."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Really, really bummed to see HEB selling this," the author of the post wrote

Like other invasive species, nandina is dangerous to ecosystems and native flora and fauna. When it is introduced to new environments, it has no natural predators and proliferates unchecked, crowding out native plant species and displacing native creatures.

Plus, according to the Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center, the berries of nandina contain the toxin cyanide, and bird species such as cedar waxwing, northern mockingbird, and American robin are known to consume the berry when no other food is available, killing them.

The disruptive and often deadly effects of nandina and other invasive species highlight the importance of researching plants before you plant them in your yard or garden, where they could then spread to other properties or landscapes and destroy even more ecosystems.

An easy way to avoid contributing to the spread of invasive species is by planting native species. Growing native plants, or rewilding your yard, helps to rebuild and strengthen local ecosystems and habitats. Native plants will also attract healthy pollinators — such as bees and bats — to your yard, where they will pollinate you and your neighbor's plants and eat pests including mosquitos.

Establishing native plants is better for the planet and your wallet, too. Native plants are adapted to thrive on local rainfall alone, so you won't have to worry about wasting water, time, and money on making sure they don't dry up.

With all the problems that invasive species can cause, you can understand why Reddit users were upset to hear nandina was being sold, without even a warning, to unsuspecting gardeners.

"Ugh, that's so frustrating," one user wrote.

"As someone who is currently trying to eradicate Nandina from the local green belt ... f*** that," another commented.

A third user chimed in with an idea to raise awareness: "Write to H-E-B and express this, it hurts the native Texas species. As a company with a Texas-centric practice, they should listen."

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