Awesome Plants with a Flaw (industry mislabeling on purpose?)

As a landscape designer, I plant a lot of awesome plants, and over time it had become aware to me that the nursery industry seems to have a knack for mislabeling.  Their sole motivating for this is to cover up the fact that most plants are bought with the notion that that plant is to be self-contained.  Consumers do not expect a plant to grow out of bounds nor do they envision their new plant creeping throughout their bed turning into that unruly plant in the yard that so many homeowners hate.  It is here that I wanted to start by sharing some of the most notorious of the list.  Take a peek.  There is a good chance you have one of these in your yard.

Good Plants but They Fill a Certain Niche….

Black Lace Elderberry.  This is a fantastic replacement for Japanese Maple.  Unfortunately, after 3 years it becomes very unruly and doubles in size beyond what the tag says.  Stay away!


Sumac.  This fantastic naturalizing plant should stay in nature.  It’ll take over entire areas of the yard if happy and left unchecked.


Dwarf Arctic Blueleaf Willow.  A lovely blue-green leaf begs to be planted alongside other landscape plants.  Even more so inviting is the word Dwarf, but I’ll caution you on this one:  It’ll grow 10-15 easily, dwarfing all other things in the area.


Snow on the Mountian.  This once magnificent groundcover is cancer.  Do not plant.  I’m not even sure why it is in the plant catalog anymore.  The concept is like planting a Buckthorn for fun.


Ligularia Desdemona.  One of my favorite plants for its burgundy leaf color.  In general, it is an awesome landscape plant.  The problem is that is will self-seed and you will have little ones popping up randomly all over your yard.  These puppies are hard to pull so its best to use a little trowel to remove them.  Use this plant, but know that is can become uncontained.