Plants Behaving Badly

Some plants don't stay where they are planted. It is disappointing, but there are some plants that come from other countries that have adapted too well to our local environments and take over if they get out of our gardens. 

Some like holly and ivy, produce berries that attract birds and foxes. The birds and other animals eat the berries and drop the seed in other gardens or in local bushland and forest. Some plants are better not planted in our gardens in the first place. They make extra work for us if we have to remove berries or cut off seed heads (agapanthus) to stop them spreading. Plants like agapanthus are attractive but do get into local bushland and are hard to remove.

Why are some plants regarded as environmental weeds?

What can we do as gardeners?

Here is a link to a brochure on some of the weeds found in Moorabool Shire

Plants to plan to remove

Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Holly forms dense stands, excludes native plants and changes the environment where it grows. It is a large shrub /small tree and may grow to more than 3m high. It produces deep shade and likes to grow in mosit areas near waterways but will survive in drier areas. The attract red berries are spread widely mainly by Blackbirds, foxes and Currawongs.  The leaves are dark green and very prickly.

It also forms a prickly impenetrable barrier especially when growing with blackberry in our forests. It favours areas in Wombat State Forest around Blackwood, Trentham, Bullarto with some patches also found in Mt Egerton bushland. These would all have come from plants grown in local gardens. Holly provides shelter for rabbits and foxes and reduces the area available for native plants that provived habitat for local wildlife. 

Another plantwith berries that should be removed is Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus

You may choose to plant  rhododendrons, camellias & sasanquas instead or the native Rough Coprosma which has a small red fruit.

We are supporting Blackwood & Barry's Reef Landcare in their project to remove holly and other woody weeds to protect the ecological values and habitat of the Wombat State Forest. Here is link to the group's weed brochure

Photos below are of Holly (Ilex aquifolium) - the berries,  a seedling and a mature large shrub.

Some other weedy plants we see in gardens and invading local bushland and forest

Blue Periwinkle

Spanish Heath




English Ivy

English Broom

Flax-leaf Broom


Cape Broom

Portugese Laurel

Cape Ivy

Cape Honeysuckle

Serrated Tussock



Himalyan Honeysuckle


Forget me not

English Daisy