Now that spring is finally here, many of us are thinking about gardening. Is this the year you put in a water garden? Or do you already have a water garden, and plan to add new plants? Well, before you head out to the garden center, you should know that water gardening is one way that invasive aquatic plants can spread into new waterways. When introduced into local waters, these plants can displace native ones, which are sources of food and shelter for native wildlife. Because they grow so prolifically, invasive plants can also clog drainage pipes, impede navigation, and make fishing difficult.
Does this make water gardening a bad idea? Not at all. It means you should be careful to choose plants that are native or non-invasive. It also means you should be careful how you get rid of plants you no longer want or need. For instance, do not release them into natural waterways.
IISG has a 4-page brochure, Invasive Aquatic Plants: What every Plant Enthusiast needs to Know, that provides tips on how best to situate your water garden and how to choose plants carefully. You might want to take the “Most Wanted List,” included in the brochure, with you to the garden center. These are the baddest of the bad invasive plants.