15 Plants Never to Grow in Your Yard

Many plants are beautiful, but not all are beneficial in a garden. Some of the most eye-catching cultivars can be invasive, poisonous, or attractive to unwelcome insects—issues you probably don't want to deal with. Check this list for 15 trees, shrubs, and other plants you should think twice about before planting on your property.

Expanded View >
  1. Mint

    Growing_mint

    Mint is a wonderful herb to grow. It's a great addition to food and drink, and is beautifully aromatic in a vase with other flowers. But its roots are seriously invasive and can spread throughout your garden in a weed-like manner if not contained. Should you want to grow one or more of the delightful mint varieties, do yourself a favor and plant your mint in a container.


    Related:  12 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on a Tabletop

    fotosearch.com

  2. Aloe Vera

    Aloe

    Aloe vera is a succulent plant known for its healing properties, particularly for burned skin. If ingested by pets, however, it’s not so beneficial. The latex (aloe juice, just under the skin of the plant) is toxic and can cause major abdominal upset and cramping. For the sake of your pet's health, it's probably best to leave this botanical medical marvel out of your garden. 


    Related:  No More Mowing - 10 Grass-Free Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn

    fotosearch.com

  3. Belladonna

    Belladonna_plant_keep_out_of_yard

    Atropa belladonna’s common name, deadly nightshade, should be an immediate tip that this plant is perhaps better left out of the home garden. Don't let the lush green foliage, purplish bell-shaped flowers, and glossy black berries fool you—this plant is extremely toxic and should be kept away from any gardens where children or pets could accidentally ingest it. 


    Related:  11 Home Hazards to Know and Avoid

    fotosearch.com

  4. Bamboo

    Bamboo

    Bamboo's hardness and rapid growth characteristics make it one of the world’s most renewable building resources. But that doesn't necessarily make it a viable option for your garden. Before long, you'll find your yard—and quite possibly your neighbor's yard—overrun with a bamboo privacy screen that could take years to eradicate. If you must grow bamboo, do it in large landscaping planters.


    Related:  Living Fences - 11 Boundary-Setting Solutions

    flickr.com

  5. Mimosa Tree

    Mimosa_plant_keep_out_of_yard

    The mimosa family of shrubbery and silk trees, with their feathery, fern-like leaves and showy pink flowers, look both exotic and romantic. You will not cultivate love with your neighbors, however, if you plant one. It is incredibly invasive and will spawn seedlings everywhere in your yard and throughout the neighborhood. Once it has taken hold, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of.


    Related:  16 Ways to Use Salvaged Wood in Your Home

    fotosearch.com

  6. Japanese Barberry

    Barberry

    American landscapers seem to have an unquenchable love affair with Japanese barberry. It is drought and shade tolerant, and deer resistant. But studies have shown that it harbors black-legged ticks, which can carry Lyme disease. It is also invasive and covered with a thicket of sharp barbs to boot, making it unpleasant to manage, at best. Err on the side of caution and choose native alternatives over Japanese barberry for your landscaping


    Related:  The Invincible Yard - 12 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping

    flickr.com

  7. Wisteria

    Wisteria

    Wisteria, with its brilliant, cascading purple blooms, is tempting for a gardener who loves flowers—but beware! Its root system can send shoots popping up far away from the main plant, engulfing trees, shrubs, and anything else in its way. It can live hundreds of years, and requires serious pruning every year to keep it under control.


    Related:  Flowering Climbers - 8 Cures for the Common Garden

    flickr.com / via tanaka_juuyoh

  8. Amaranthus

    Ama

    Amaranthus can be a showstopper in the garden, but as a top pollen producer, it can also make allergy sufferers miserable. Skip amaranthus in your plant lineup, and you'll be able to enjoy your garden that much more during springtime


    Related:  Allergy-Proof Your Home in 7 Steps

    flickr.com / werms

  9. Castor Bean

    Castor

    Castor bean is a fast-growing and showy annual with large leaves and clustered flowers. All parts of this impressive plant are poisonous, though, especially the seed. It’s not a good candidate for a gardener who shares property with animals, as it’s toxic to not only small pets like dogs, cats, and rabbits, but also larger animals like cattle, sheep, and horses.


    Related:  10 Common Garden Problems—and How to Fix Them

    flickr.com / via wildlife_encounters

  10. Yucca

    Yucca

    A yucca plant in the yard can be a problem child, as it requires a lot of maintenance. Its sharp, pointy leaves need to be discarded after they’re spent, and stalks need to be chopped down. It blooms for only about a week, and yucca attracts lots of bugs. Its root system is pervasive and hard to kill. Should you want to remove it, you might have to dig up everything around it as well. This distinctive plant is best left in a pot indoors or on the porch.


    Related:  10 Inventive Ideas for a Perfect Porch

    fotosearch.com

  11. Bradford Pear

    Bradford_pear

    Bradford pears are a very popular choice for suburban front yards and commercial properties alike. They grow fast and flower profusely. Pretty as they are, their weak wood makes them easy targets for serious wind and storm damage. Not to mention, though their blooms are beautiful, they have a very unpleasant smell.


    Related: 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard

    © Tina Petiprin | dreamstime.com
  12. Himalayan Blackberry

    Himalayan_blackberry

    Planting a blackberry bush is a wonderful way to raise your own homegrown edibles, but be careful which variety you choose. The Himalayan blackberry is incredibly invasive, and once it takes hold, is difficult to root out and destroy. Purchase your plants from reputable nurseries, and select the upright, thornless varieties for home gardens.


    Related: The 12-Inch Farm: 10 Foods You Can Grow in Containers

    istockphoto.com

  13. Water Hyacinth

    Water_hyacinth

    Water hyacinth, an aquatic plant native to South America, has gained popularity as a natural filter for backyard koi ponds and water features. Unfortunately, this invasive plant does a lot more than clean impurities from water—it can actually take over a pond or stream, choking out fish and other plants. Resist adding these showy lavender flowers to your backyard water feature and opt for something else instead.


    Related: 10 Inventive Designs for a DIY Garden Fountain

    istockphoto.com

  14. Eucalyptus Tree

    Eucalyptus_tree

    A Eucalyptus tree will give you shade in a hurry—growing up to 10 feet a year. But the plant's weak branches are known to suddenly give way and fall. Its peeling bark is looks visually interesting, but in reality just makes for extra yard work every year.


    Related: 10 Plants for Where the Sun Don't Shine

    istockphoto.com

  15. Euphorbia

    Spurges

    Otherwise known as Spurges, Euphorbia is a plant genus that comprises many different species. The plants, though beautiful, contain a milky sap that will irritate the skin are are poisonous if ingested. Despite their handsome foliage and unique flowers, give these plants a miss.


    Related: 10 Pretty Plants You Didn't Know Were Poisonous

    istockphoto.com

  • Favorites Flipboard Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email AddThis
SEE MORE IN
Lawn & Garden

WHAT DO YOU NEED HELP WITH?

Don't Miss

x