Non-invasive shrubs

Asked January 14, 2015, 5:42 PM EST

Years ago, when I lived in Hampton I had a great hedge of ligstrum. I now live in Stafford County and was considering planting ligustrum here until I read that it is an invasive species. In Hampton, there was no where for it to go hemmed in by lawns and roads, but in Stafford there is plenty of woodlands for it to get loose in. I have enough trouble with Kudzu so definitely don't want to add another plant gone wild. All that said, I was hoping you might point me to a list of shrub species that would not be invasive in Virginia. A recommendation for a shrub similar in character and size to Ligustrum would be most welcome if you care to take it that far.

Stafford County Virginia trees and shrubs invasive species kudzu

1 Response

Great question and I'm so impressed by your chosen path to "do better".

There are a number of great alternatives and resources that summarize those.

Here is a link with the Mid-Atlantic area in mind that not only tells about Privet (which I have seen behaving badly in the wild) and 4 potential alternatives.
http://www.invasive.org/eastern/midatlantic/ligu.html

This VCE publication list other shrubs (many non-native) you may want to consider. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/450/450-236/450-236.html
Not all non-native are bad. One on this list that I know to be invasive is mahonia. The rest I think are ok but I would double check anything against the Virginia list of invasive species before finalizing the decision.
This list is here: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/invsppdflist.shtml
This is a newly updated list and excellent resource.

Finally, one other resource that comes to mind if screening is your primary objective: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/450/450-236/450-236.html

I hope this helps.

Please feel free to contact me for more assistance or the local Horticulture Extension agent for Stafford County, Guy Mussey.

Respectfully,
Adam