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Invasive Shrubs: Fast Growers You Shouldn't Plant

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Burning bush picture.

Burning bush: fast grower, invasive shrub

David Beaulieu

Some shrubs that are fast growers are too good at what they do. Dubbed "invasive" shrubs, these are the cheaters: their progeny tends to escape cultivation and exploit an unfair advantage to out-compete native species.

The following plants, popular because they are fast growers, are deemed invasive shrubs in North America:

Burning Bush: Fast Growers, Invasive Shrubs

Burning bush is a fast grower with terrific fall color. Its fall foliage color ranges from red to pinkish-red. Burning bush also produces reddish-orange berries in fall. But this invasive shrub is one of the most hated plants among gardeners "in the know." To learn more about burning bush, click the link below:

Burning Bush

Barberry: Fast Growers, Invasive Shrubs

As widely despised as an invasive shrub as burning bush is, I have more of a bone to pick with barberry, myself. Barberry spreads like wildfire in the forests of the Northeastern U.S., forming large stands in some areas. And try walking through a stand of these barbed bushes when you're out hiking -- it's not a pleasant experience! To learn more about barberry, click the link below:

Barberry

Butterfly Bush: Fast Growers, Invasive Shrubs

In the Pacific Northwest, it's butterfly bush that's drawing people's ire as an invasive shrub. There are plenty of other bushes that attract butterflies, so finding a substitute "butterfly magnet" shouldn't be a problem. To learn more about butterfly bush, click the link below:

Butterfly Bush

Lantana: Fast Growers, Invasive Shrubs

Northerners, who know it as a plant sold in hanging pots at nurseries, may be scratching their heads over the inclusion of lantana in this list. But in the Southeastern U.S., lantana is considered an invasive shrub. To learn more about lantana, click the link below:

Lantana

Privet: Fast Growers, Invasive Shrubs

Here's another plant whose inclusion here among invasive shrubs may strike some as odd. What's more familiar than a privet hedge? If I were writing a dictionary entry for "privacy hedge," I might well accompany it with a picture of privet. In this case, familiarity breeds not contempt, but acceptance; yet this fast grower is, indeed, considered an invasive shrub in North America. To learn more about privet, click the link below:

Privet

Did You Know?

Articles such as this one on fast growers are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the free resources available on this Landscaping site, which include:

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