Green Thumb League
water hyacinth in bloom

6 Plants That Will Absolutely Take Over Your Garden

Beginning gardeners often worry about getting anything to grow, but they soon realize that they have the opposite problem. Certain plants will take over your garden if you let them, by self-seeding or sending out runners. Here are the worst offenders.


Bamboo has a lot of great features as a landscaping plant. It grows quickly, provides great cover and acts as a natural fence.

But it’s also extremely invasive and difficult to remove once it gets established. If you’ve ever tried to dig up bamboo, you know that the roots present a major challenge. Grow bamboo in landscaping planters rather than directly in the ground.


Considered a weed by many, wisteria is a vine that produces beautiful, grape-like clusters of flowers in the spring. It can be trained to grow up trellises and pergolas to stunning effect–if you’ve ever been to the Biltmore House in spring, then you’ll be treated the breathtaking sight of their wisteria in bloom.

But like the other plants on this list, it grows fast. If not carefully contained, it will take over and choke nearby trees and structures.

Morning Glories

As a general rule of thumb, if you can find a plant in a ditch on the side of the road, it’s going to be pretty tenacious.

Morning glories might seem like an easy way to get some nice greenery and flowers growing along a trellis or fence, but you’ll quickly discover that it has a tough root system and the ability to multiply the moment your back is turned.


One of the best-known offenders in the “how did this take over my life?” category of plants, mint is notorious for spreading like wildfire. That’s down to the roots, which send runners below the soil surface to create new plants in places you did not want them.

You are best off planting mint in containers; in fact, you can even place a pot in the ground to keep your mint in check.


While not all blackberries will devour your entire yard, some varieties create a thorn-covered bramble that is almost impossible to remove.

Look for thornless, bush-style blackberries instead. You’ll get all the fruit without the headache.

Water Hyacinth

Our list of invasive garden plants wouldn’t be complete without this aquatic beauty. Though water hyacinth is lovely and, in theory, a good way to filter the water in a backyard pond, it is also an aggressive grower.

Even worse, it’s been known to spread to nearby ponds and lakes, wreaking havoc with the ecosystem.

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton has always loved getting her hands dirty. Ever since she was a kid playing in her grandparents’ garden, Summer wanted to learn everything she could about plants. Now she wants to help you grow a bigger, better, greener garden.

Are you ready to join the League of Green Thumbs? Hit that subscribe button and never miss an update.

Add comment