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Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production: Alternative Options for Invasive Landscape Plants

April 30, 2015
Publication ID-464-W

Ornamental plants provide many environmental and ecological benefits to landscapes and urban areas. They can be aesthetically pleasing, reduce stormwater runoff, lower carbon dioxide and pollutants, alleviate the urban “heat island” effect, and provide habitats to pollinators, birds, and mammals. And in the last 20 years, consumers and the general public have become much more aware of these benefits.

The urban environment is different than most locations in a plant’s native range. It is an ecosystem unlike any other due to extreme environmental pressures. So landscapers and homeowners must use a wide range of plant material that will survive in these unique and often harsh environments. Horticulturalists have continued to discover and introduce plants to broaden the plant palette. Unfortunately, a few of these landscape species can escape into wild areas and create ecological problems in unintended areas such as forests and woodlands. In Indiana, a few frequently used landscape plant species have invaded these natural areas and are displacing native species.

For these reasons, the green industry must begin to produce and use different landscape plants that can replace the invasive species. This publication lists potential alternatives to some of the most notorious and damaging invasive plants in Indiana.

For free download of the full publication view Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production: Alternative Options for Invasive Landscape Plants.

Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store-your Purdue Extension resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest: Identification, Wildlife Values, and Landscaping Use, The Education Store
Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Burning Bush and Multiflora Rose, Purdue FNR YouTube Video Playlist 
Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory (PPDL), send in samples or photos

Lindsey Purcell​, Urban Forestry Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulturist
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue Univeristy

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