Tuesday 30 May 2023

Goutweed: Invasive Plant

    Above is one of my early paintings of Hostas that I had planted that grew in the small garden by our deck.  Those variegated leaves around the edges of the painting are Goutweed.  At first, I just had the hostas in the garden, then the Goutweed somehow spread into it from another garden on the other side of the house.  I didn’t mind, because the variegated Goutweed leaves were attractive.

    The other day, I was surprised read an article that said that goutweed was a terribly invasive plant.  “One of the worst garden plants.”   While I didn’t know it was “Invasive”, I did know that it spread like crazy and choked out other plants.  In fact, those Hostas have been totally wiped out by the Goutweed.  Below is a photo showing the same “garden” as the painting, but how it looked like last week.  As you can see, the Hostas are gone, starved out by the variegated Goutweed which mutated to a plain-leaved Goutweed, and the garden just became just a thick clump of green leaves.

    I hate invasive plants, so I am working to get rid of the Goutweed.  First I pulled out the plants, (of course the roots are still in the ground), then I covered the area with sheets of metal roofing that will block out the sunlight and hopefully eventually kill the roots.  I will leave the roofing on the area all year.  See the photo at the very bottom of the page.

    Goutweed was introduced to the US in 1860.  It was soon recognized as being invasive.  For some reason, plant stores were not prevented from selling it, and still sell it today, even though it is a terrible thing to plant in a garden.  I sure didn’t know it was so invasive when we first bought some.  It should be banned.

View my paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca


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