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Containing Aggressive Plants

Mint, bee balm, and purple coneflower are garden favorites that often get out of hand.  Tame these and other garden bullies with a few planting and maintenance strategies. 

Grow mint in containers on your patio and deck where it can flourish without taking over your landscape.  Some gardeners sink the pot in the ground.  Just make sure the lip of the container is above the soil surface and watch for escapees.

Bee balm, coneflowers and Rudbeckias reseed readily and as long as you have the space, they are not a real problem.  Simply weed out unwanted seedlings as your plants emerge in spring.  Bee balm’s fragrance makes the job enjoyable and you can use the leaves for tea and flavoring dishes.

You may choose to remove their bird-attracting seedheads if you are tired of weeding out the unwanted seedlings.  Consider placing the seeds in a feeder with a catch tray for the birds and you to enjoy.

A bit more information: Match plants to their growing conditions and use equally assertive plants together in planting beds. This reduces the risk of the garden bully engulfing its neighbors into oblivion.  Contain aggressive plants within walks or mown lawn.

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Ixonia, WI

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