Tammy tackles the problem of some of our beloved indoor plants becoming weeds when escaping into the wild, sharing tips to dispose of them responsibly. Subscribe http://ab.co/GA-subscribe
We love our indoor plants, but incorrect disposal can allow them to run rampant in our gardens or spoil the delicate ecosystems of our bush. Many common species are classified as environmental weeds in Australia. That means that they are known to cause serious problems, such as displacing native flora and fauna. And many weed populations originated from home gardens.
This includes things like Rubber Plant, Snake Plant, Devil’s Ivy and more. They have a few characteristics in common – they look great, grow in a range of soil and light conditions, are tough survivors and easy to propagate. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) for example, is from South Africa, growing in similar climactic conditions to parts of Australia, so it’s quite at home here. It spreads quickly by putting out pups that become new plants and has root tubers that keep them alive during times of drought.
Native plants can be environmental weeds too. Take the classic Queensland Umbrella Plant (Heptapleurum actinophyllum) – as an indoor plant it needs to be carefully controlled outside of its native range as it can grow into a 10m high tree, swamping smaller plants and spreading seeds far and wide. To keep it in a pot long-term, you can prune both the roots and the shoots and remove flowers before they form fruit and seeds.
To keep enjoying our indoor weeds along with our outdoor habitat, there are a few things you can do:
Stop the spread:
When pruning indoor plants, do not place leftover plant material in the garden, compost, or green waste bin. Instead, place them in a bag, tie it up and place into the general rubbish bin. Alternatively, place them in a bucket filled with water and leave them to ‘drown’ for a few months before disposing.
There are plenty of plants suitable for indoors that won’t become a problem if they escape. These are generally species that are slow growing, don’t spread lots of seeds, and are easy to remove if they end up in the wrong spot.
Some great options include cordylines, Zanzibar gem, and kentia palms. Kangaroo Vine is a native alternative to ivy or other trailing plants, great for hanging baskets. Though it can grow faster outside so it pays to remain cautious and keep it contained where it’s not supposed to grow.
We can all do our bit by keeping houseplants where we want them – indoors!
SPIDER PLANT – Chlorophytum comosum
INCH PLANT – Tradescantia zebrina cv.
ARROWHEAD – Syngonium cv.
RUBBER PLANT – Ficus elastica cv.
SNAKE PLANT – Dracaena trifasciata cv.
DEVIL’S IVY – Epipremnum aureum
UMBRELLA PLANT – Heptapleurum actinophyllum
CORDYLINE – Cordyline cv.
ZANZIBAR GEM – Zamioculcas zamiifolia
KENTIA PALM – Howea forsteriana
KANGAROO VINE – Cissus antarctica
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