Bachelor's button (Centaurea cyanus). Photo: Peter O'Connor (CC BY-SA 2.0).

In the Garden

“They may be beautiful in your garden, but be aware!”

  • Gardens can be a beautiful refuge; however, invasive species can quickly spread beyond your property to your neighbors’ and natural areas.
  • Yellow flag iris is an invasive plant that has “jumped the garden fence”. This beautiful yellow flower may seem harmless, but its aggressive nature is choking out wetlands and degrading native plant communities and wildlife habitat.
  • Horticulture is one of the main human pathways that causes the spread and introduction of invasive species.
Yellow flag iris in riparian area.
Yellow flag iris infestation in riparian area of pond.
Purple loosestrife.
Field infestation of purple loosestrife along lake shoreline.
Japanese butterbur.
Japanese butterbur encroaching into natural areas.
Yellow archangel.
Yellow archangel infestation expanding into riparian area.
Common toadflax, often admired for its beautiful snapdragon-like yellow flowers.
Toadflax infestation along forest edge.
Oxeye daisy.
Monoculture of oxeye daisy expanding into meadow.
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Not sure if you have an invasive species in your garden?
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How can YOU help?

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  • Ask your local greenhouse and gardening store to become PlantWise certified to ensure that they are not selling or displaying invasive species.

  • Avoid picking plants from roadsides, gravel pits, or other disturbed areas.
  • Learn how to identify invasive species in your region.
  • Control and dispose of invasive plants before flower or seed development. See below for disposal tips.

Disposal of Garden Waste Containing Invasive Species

  • Dead-head (remove flower heads) and properly dispose of invasive plant seeds, seed heads, or fruit before plants flower and seeds mature.
  • All landfills in the RDCK and RDKB accept invasive plant species for FREE. Use clear plastic bags to bag your material, and notify the attendant that you have invasive plants. Plants must be identifiable through the bag. For more information, please see the RDCK Resource Recovery Bylaw.

  • Do not dump garden waste in public parks, natural areas, and roadsides. It is ILLEGAL to do so, and is associated with hefty fines!
  • Avoid putting invasive plants in your compost, as they often quickly re-establish!

An Important Note about Knotweed!

Knotweed is often planted as an attractive ornamental.
Knotweed leaves
Bamboo-like stems of knotweed.
Knotweed patch behind fence line, spreading outwards.
Knotweed expanding beyond fence line.
Knotweed growing through pavement.
Knotweed expanding into natural areas.
Knotweed monoculture infestation along stream bank.
Knotweed infestation dominating the area.
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  • This plant can spread from very small fragments of its roots and stems, therefore mechanical control (e.g., digging, cutting, burning) is NOT recommended and can actually contribute to its spread!
  • Knotweed can only be effectively controlled using herbicide.
    For more information, please contact Kootenay Weed Control at (250)-512-7378.
  • Avoid knotweed disposal offsite, as there is an extremely high risk of spreading this plant during transport.
  • Knotweed canes that have been chemically treated using best management practices do not need to be disposed of and can be left on site (ISCMV 2021).
  • For more information on knotweed disposal using best management practices, click here.
  • For more information on knotweed in general, click here.
GrowMeInstead campaign suggesting the native Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) in place of the invasive Periwinkle (Vinca minor). Photo: Invasive Species Council.