Wedelia = Caution

“Wedelia = Caution”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

We all read those cautions about invasive plants, but how many of us (esp. new gardeners) really take heed.  Often, we are given plants by other people who do not know how invasive a plant can be under the right growing conditions.

This is how I came to have wedelia in my garden.  It was given to me by a friend who purchased it in a hanging basket.  Since I have a lot of shade in my garden, she gave me some cuttings saying that it did well in her basket that was placed in a very shady spot.  I took the cuttings and also put it in a hanging basket where it did very well.  It is a pretty plant with dark green leaves and bright yellow daisy-like flowers.

It did well in the hanging basket.  During the winter, I placed that basket and others I was overwintering in an area of the garden that was bare.  The wedelia roots where nodes come in contact with the ground, and sure enough, it rooted in this area.  Because this was an area of hard, clay soil, the wedelia took a while to get established.

Since it did well there, I foolishly decided to place it in the circle garden with the other yellow blooming plants.  Well, in good soil and sunlight, this plant takes off.  In one growing season, it started covering up everything else.  Because it can root at each nodule, it is very difficult to take up.  This plant would be great for erosion control because its roots dig into the ground and really holds on.  The next spring when I started taking it out, it was a struggle.  Just about every piece had to be dug out, and if even a tiny piece of root was left, it came back.  All last summer, I was pulling this stuff out, and even this summer, I have found a few places where it is showing up again.  Thank goodness it doesn’t root by underground stolons.

I still have a small patch in the original spot, and it seems to be under control in the hard, clay soil.  The roots do not seem to get such a firm hold, and the plant does not spread as rapidly.  This would be a great ground cover plant in a confined area (surrounded by a sidewalk or driveway), esp. one that is in the shade or has poor soil.  But this is a lesson in remembering to research an unfamiliar plant before putting it in the garden.  I know I do that now so there are no more unpleasant surprises.


  1. Nancy Bond said,

    June 20, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Wow. This reminds me of the purple loosestrife that was introduced in NS a few years ago — it completely takes over fields, meadows, farmland, etc. Though beautiful, it’s so invasive that at one point, people were asked to pull up any they happened to see. ( I hope you get your “invader” under control.

  2. Jan said,

    June 21, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Nancy, I know Florida is having some problems with this plant esp. getting into lawns. I haven’t seen it for sale around here, so maybe it isn’t as popular. I was lucky in pulling it up after only one growing season. I would hate to think what it would be like if it had been growing for several years. I know I will never pass it along to anyone.

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