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Aggressive, Noxious and Invasive Weeds

Aggressive, invasive, noxious or weedy - what do all these terms mean?

These words are often used interchangeably, but knowing the difference may help reduce your workload and improve the environment.

Weed usually refers to a plant out of place. This could be a dandelion in the lawn or a coneflower that seeded into the middle of your daylilies.

Aggressive plants are bullies that crowd out their timid neighbors. They’ll take over the entire garden bed if left unchecked. 

Invasive plants do the same but also leave the garden and invade our natural eco-systems. They crowd out native plants that birds, insects and wildlife depend upon. Do not purchase and consider removing invasive plants from your landscape.

Noxious weeds are plants that have been identified as harmful to people, animals, crops, livestock and the environment and should be removed.

A bit more information: As you have guessed, some plants fit all these categories. Knowing a plant’s growth habit, rate of growth and invasive potential can help you make better plant purchases and prioritize removal of less desirable plants. Invasive plants can vary from region to region. Visit USDA National Invasive Species Information Center and Invasive Plant Atlas to find out more about invasive plants in your area.


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