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Readers Respond: Which of Common Plant Pests Most Deserve to Be Called Beneficial Weeds?

Responses: 30

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From the article: Goldenrod

Many weeds commonly found in the yard are considered beneficial. What constitutes a "beneficial weed" is a matter of opinion, and that's just what I'm asking you to type in below: an example of a common weed that merits the "beneficial" label, in your view.

Beneficial common weeds are grouped into a number of categories. For example, a weed may be judged to have some benefit because:

Do you have an example of a weed you allow to grow on your land because it's pretty or useful? Let us know!

Nominate a Deserving Weed

Drummond's Rockcress a Beneficial Weed

Turitis stricta (also known as Boechera stricta, common name "Drummond's rockcress" -- ed.) would be my choice, because it feeds an orange type of butterfly. Some few other plants feed this beauty also, but they prefer this species of plant.
—Guest vrana

Weeds With a Purpose

I allow henbit to grow in my yard. Like clover, it seems to help with nitrogen and gives spectacular purple mounds of flowers in spring. The bonus is, in zone 7, as soon as it gets hot, it dies off and you would never know it was there!
—Guest damon

Lyre-Leaf Salvia

It looks great in a woodland garden planted around tree trunks or near yellow-green and dark-green ferns.
—DeanaBaker

Dandelion My Favorite Common Weed

My first bouquet of flowers I received from my son was a handful of dandelions. He picked them everyday on his walk home from school and proudly gave them to me. He is 39 now and always brings me a bouquet of flowers on my birthday and Valentines Day!
—Guest Floy Calo

Creeping Charlie

Creeping charlie grows in my yard and in my meditation garden where grass will not grow. I want to transplant it to a hill side and am hoping it transplants well.
—Guest Ms. Cheryl Draeger

Plantago Major

This common weed is excellent for treatment of stinging nettle. I received my share of contact with a stinging nettle, I tore a Plantago major leaf and wrapped it around my sting, and within 5 minutes the stinging sensation was gone!
—Guest ptomim

Clover Beats All

Clover is such a useful "weed" that it used to be included in bags of grass seed. Clover is a legume, like beans. It fixes nitrogen into the soil, fertilizing it for other plants. Before people killed off weeds and tried to raise monocultural grass yards, they didn't have to worry about fertilization, and clover was one of the main reasons. But wait, there's more! Clover is a useful companion plant. If you are raising brassica (cabbage, broccoli, et cetera), cucurbits (cucumbers, squash, melons, et cetera), or a great many other plants, allow clover to grow among it as "green mulch". It will create a humid microclimate, keeping moisture in the soil and around the plant more stable. But, more importantly, it protects the plants from insect pests: Insects zoom in on crops surrounded by bare dirt, while the clover camouflages them. For example, a study says that clover nearby reduced cabbage moth success at finding a given plant from 36% to 7%.
—Guest Kaz

Achillea

Achillea has delicate fern-like leaves and white, heavily clustered florets. Although it's a prolific self-seeder, it doesn't spread by root shoots and it gives up easily if it's growing someplace you don't want it to be. With the right conditions, it can flower for a long time. I had one "volunteer" that bloomed all summer long.
—Guest Susan

Medical Cannabis

Finally legal in NJ for medical purposes as treatment of multiple sclerosis and depression. It cheers you up and has been so vilified because people abuse it. Should be legalized everywhere. Get stones to plant around the young shoots otherwise, may invade your garden.
—Guest Mohamed

Dandelions Vilified As "Common Weed"

Why do so many hate this incredible plant? Nice looking flower, leaves rich in vitamin c and the wine you can make!!Oh boy!!
—scottyblue

Black Eyed Susan As "Common Weeds"

I just love to see black eyed susan blooming in the tree lines or by the roadside. A lovely splash of color and great for cut flowers.
—Guest h in MS

Wild Carrot: Nice If Controlled

I transplanted a few Queen Anne's Lace that grows wild around here. I keep it under control. Just love the lacy white blooms.
—idajane

Drought-Tolerant Common Weed

Many folks in Texas consider Texas bluestem to be just a common weed. I have it in my yard and although its a pain to keep mowed, it doesn't require a whole lot of water, and when it does rain it greens up pretty good.
—Guest Justin

Common Weed Mullein an Impressive Plant

I love this plant, which is thought of as a weed by many. It produces an impressive flower that I use as a focal point in the driest part of my garden.
—edandmill

Most Deserving Common Weed

St. Johnswort -- because it's a medicinal herb used for wound care and depression.
—Guest Jan

Nominate a Deserving Weed

Which of Common Plant Pests Most Deserve to Be Called Beneficial Weeds?

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