Some of the following plants are sold as ornamental plants. Some of them are native to one region, but are considered invasive in others. Some are just totally invasive imports. If you see one of your backyard favorites on this list, don't let them get out of control.

1. Bamboo


Photo: cozyta/Shutterstock

2. Chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata)

chameleon plant

Photo: Andesine/Flickr

3. Gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides)

gooseneck loosestrife

Photo: lovesuep/Flickr

4. Soapwort or "bouncing bet"


Photo: patrick_standish/Flickr

5. Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Japanese honeysuckle

Photo: Tomwsulcer/Wikimedia Commons

6. Snow on the mountain

snow on the mountain

Photo: Funki Sock Munki/Flickr

7. Balsam

Himalayan Balsam

Photo: E. Dronkert/Flickr

8. Moon flower


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

9. Creeping jenny

creeping jenny

Photo: RecoilRick/Flickr

10. Goldflame spirea

goldflame spirea

Photo: patrick_standish/Flickr

11. St. John's wort

St. Johns wort

Photo: No:veau/Shutterstock

12. Lemon balm

lemon balm

Photo: Richard Peterson/Shutterstock

13. Vinca, or periwinkle vine


Photo: Forestwander Nature Photography/Wikimedia Commons

14. Trumpet vine

trumpet vine

Photo: Thanamat Somwan/Shutterstock

15. Scotch broom

scotch broom

Photo: Henry Huey/Flickr

16. Wild violet

wild violet

Photo: The Montessorian Librarian/Flickr

17. Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper

Photo: Chris_Samuel/Flickr

18. English ivy

english ivy

Photo: Monika Olszewska/Shutterstock

19. Milkweed


Photo: wattsup/

20. Elephant ear

elephant ear

Photo: tammykayphoto/Shutterstock

For a full discussion of invasive plants, visit, where over 100 homeowners and gardeners shared their invasive plant horror stories.

Chaya Kurtz originally wrote this story for It is reprinted with permission here.

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