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Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plant Species Away From Your Cannabis

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Cannabis

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plant Species Away From Your Cannabis

Invasive plant species can make it a pain to grow weed. These are plants that are not native to the landscape that can interfere with the growth of the original plant and reduce wildlife biodiversity.

With just a few weeks into spring, be mindful of what you may be planting along with your weed. Some invasive plants can make it particularly tough to grow cannabis plants. We’ve listed a few below.

Invasive Plant Species to Watch Out For

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

English ivy plants have the power to spread horizontally and climb to 50 feet or more. In North America, most people aren’t growing them anymore; they’re just trying to get rid of this invasive plant species.

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Kudzu is an invasive plant species made up of semi-woody vines that can grow out of control rather quickly. Once this species has set in, kudzu can grow at the rate of one foot per day, with vines as long as 100 feet. Maybe that’s where it got the nickname “mile-a-minute.”

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Wintercreeper is an extremely aggressive perennial woody vine that can climb over rocks and trees, while spreading over the ground, as well. Wintercreeper tolerates all types of temperatures, ranging from full sun to heavy shade and most types of soil moisture conditions, except extremely wet ones

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Japanese honeysuckle is one of the most invasive varieties of honeysuckle in the United States, with the ability to destroy neighboring plants.

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Purple loosestrife can produce as many as 2 million wind-dispersed seeds per year. Underground stems can also grow at a rate of up to a foot per year.

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Tree-of-Heaven can be found in most of the United States and is a fast-growing, exotic invasive tree.

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Winged burning bush remains popular despite the fact that it threatens a variety of habitats, from forests to coastal scrublands and prairies. It’s a native woody and herbaceous plant species with red leaves that are typically planted along roadways and residential landscapes.

Why These Plants Are Bad News For Your Plants

English Ivy

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

This invasive plant species can thrive even in the shade. It’s traditionally used as a ground cover when planting under trees, and unfortunately, this often prevents grass from growing and crowds out weeds. On top of everything else, English ivy is also poisonous.

Kudzu

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Kudzu can easily overtake surrounding plant life–including any weed you want to grow–and even crawl over or into abandoned homes.

Wintercreeper

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Wintercreeper spreads by vine growth and may also spread by birds that eat its seeds. Due to the plant’s aggressive nature, wintercreeper can cover the ground and vegetation, eliminating ground cover plant species. That’s particularly bad news for the weed you’re planting outside because of wintercreeper’s ability to take over in just about any environmental condition.

Japanese Honeysuckle

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Its aggressive vine smothers and shades other competing vegetation, which makes it next to impossible to grow marijuana. To make matters worse, it’s also easy for birds to spread honeysuckle seeds, easily moving the plant species to other areas.

Purple Loosestrife

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

This plant species can rapidly degrade wetlands, not only harm hundreds of species of plants, but also birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fish, and amphibians that rely upon it for their survival. And of course, this also makes it makes the survival of your weed next to nothing.

Tree-of-Heaven

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

This plant species can germinate and grow in many types of soil, destroying certain plants in the area–including any pot you’re planning on growing.

Winged Burning Bush

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Don’t plant winged burning bush near any weed you’re growing as the plant species can displace any native plants in the area.

How To Stop Their Spread/Growth

English Ivy

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

To remove English ivy, make sure to first cover up your skin with gloves. This invasive plant species can cause skin irritation. To remove ivy, you can do one of several options: you can pull out English ivy roots, while periodically checking the area for leftover plants or new growths; you can use white vinegar as an alternative to herbicides to remove English ivy, or you can place an ivy ground cover over the plant and mow it down several times a year to slowly kill any spreading vine.

Kudzu

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

To make sure kudzu doesn’t ruin native plants in the area, particularly that cannabis you’ve wanted to grow, continuous mowing and grazing can help. More good news is that cattle and goats also eat kudzu, which helps weaken and control the plant’s growth. A variety of herbicides can also be used to kill this invasive plant species.

Wintercreeper

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Fortunately, there are ways to control this plant. Its vines should be cut, and its stems should be sprayed with a herbicide.

Japanese Honeysuckle

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

To control Japanese honeysuckle, mowing and grazing the area can help, as well as burning and using herbicides to control its spread.

Purple Loosestrife

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

Cutting, pulling, or digging plants in more manageable infestation areas can help to control the spread of purple loosestrife.

Tree-of-Heaven

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

To control Tree-of-Heaven, this invasive plant species can be pulled, dug, or cut from the ground to start. Introducing some types of insects to the plant may also help to slow growth. Also, using herbicides before the plant flowers can serve as a chemical control.

Winged Burning Bush

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

To prevent the spread or growth of winged burning bush, you can pull seedlings by hand and shrubs can repeatedly be cut to the ground to control re-sprouts. Certain herbicides, such as glyphosate and triclopyr, can also be used.

Keeping Your Plants Happy

Weed Control: How To Keep Invasive Plants Away From Your Cannabis

While it’s true that not all invasive plant species cause ecological harm, it’s just best not to breed these guys near or with your marijuana.

Kathleen Lees

Kathleen Lees is a Brooklyn-based writer and medical copy-editor who bounces between Portland and St. Louis. She’s particularly passionate about medical marijuana access for patients with seizure disorder.

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