We fill our yards with plants to surround our homes and yards with beauty. But sometimes, all that loveliness can turn into an ugly battle with aggressive, toxic, or messy plants we wish we had never planted. Here are 10 plants that — while they might look pretty — you should never bring into your yard.
Sure, it smells great and is useful for making teas or other flavorings, but mint has super aggressive roots that usually spread it like a weed. If you really want some, plant it in a container where it won’t spread.
Wisteria is a beautiful plant with gorgeous cascading flowers. However, it’s roots will send shoots up far away from the main plant, and it can live for centuries (no joke!) so it’s very hard to get rid of.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is known for it’s ability to help heal burns and abrasions, making it popular. However, the latex (just under the skin) is toxic and you wouldn’t want your pets getting into it. That part of the plant can cause severe nausea and stomach cramps. If you do plant some, make sure it’s out of reach of pets and kids.
This desert-hardy plant might be fine for a xeriscape, but they are nigh to impossible to get rid of. Yucca can also really hurt you with their spiky form if you happen to brush by. They’re well-known invaders of pasture land, where they’ll prevent grass from being able to grow.
5. Water Hyacinth
This is an aquatic plant, native to South America. Some like to plant it in their backyard water features because it’s a natural filter. Sadly though, this lovely plant is also very invasive, and is likely to overrun any pond or stream, choking out other vegetation and even fish.
6. Eucalyptus Tree
Eucalyptus trees will grow up to 10 feet per year, offering great shade. The problem is, it tends to have weak branches that can fall anytime, and the peeling bark, though it looks cool, makes for a lot of cleanup and maintenance.
7. Bradford Pear
The Bradford Pear is a pretty tree that grows quickly and blooms profusely. However, the flowers are downright stinky, and this weak tree tends to break in windy or stormy conditions.
8. Quaking Aspen
This beautiful tree is versatile and lovely, and does well in many areas. But the root system spreads, leaving you to dig out or cut off start after start, all over your property. In fact, the planet’s largest known living organism is a colony of quaking aspen in Utah, covering 106 acres on a single root system. Great in the wilderness, but not so great for your yard.
9. Lombardy Poplar
These trees reach 40-50 feet tall for great shade, but their root system tends to spread and is hard to control. They are also prone to disease and insects.
10. Russian Olive
The delicate flowers and sage-colored foliage of the Russian Olive may be intriguing, but it’s also highly invasive, drawing away water and nutrients from any surrounding vegetation.