invasive flowers in md? (bethesda)

Asked April 30, 2019, 8:48 AM EDT

hi, i'm new at gardening, but my children are super excited about planting flowers. they have chosen a million seeds, and i am having trouble sorting out information that i find regarding invasiveness. in particular, i'm having trouble figuring out whether they fall in the following categories (particularly specific for our location) 1) don't plant (not even in a container), you'll regret it because it will spread/reseed all over 2) keep the plant in a container and you'll be fine 3) will spread a little but manageable by digging some up every year In particular, the list includes: poppies morning glories moonflower lupine chamomile snow-in-summer forget me not chinese lantern clematis bachelor buttons jasmine black eyed susan china asters gazania Is there a good way to research? I have been trying to read about the different varieties, and get such conflicting information. For example, I'll read that something is crazy invasive, but then a friend will tell me that she has it planted in her garden, and it never comes back (e.g. morning glory). Thanks in advance--trying to do the right thing but I also want to encourage my kids' interest in gardening/flowers by allowing them the biggest variety possible. If something is considered invasive, can we simply plant it in a container on our deck?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

It is wonderful that your children are excited about gardening and your concern about introducing a problem plant into the environment is admirable.

Let me begin by defining what an invasive plant is. Invasive plants when introduced into an ecosystem have the ability to outcompete native species. As our wild native plant populations succumb to invasive plants pollinators and other creatures that rely upon them also disappear. Invasives are difficult and expensive to control and as mentioned are environmentally destructive.

There are also plants that are considered aggressive growers. They can spread laterally because they have above or underground stems or they return year to year from seed and can spread to other parts of your yard. They typically do not cause environmental destruction but can be challenging to manage sometimes.

Some of the flowers you mention like poppies, morning glory, chamomile, Chinese lantern, bachelor buttons, and even black-eyed Susan can come back year after year but that is not a reason not to plant them if you desire. You can go into this knowing some of these can become weedy.
The following are some resources for you. The following is a spreadsheet you can use to search if a plant is invasive,
List of invasive plants in Maryland