May is Invasive Plants Month in Nanaimo. This special month is meant to raise awareness of invasive plant species and their effects on our local environment.
Nanaimo enjoys an amazingly diverse natural setting however; plants brought here from other areas have a negative effect on this diversity.
This year, we are focusing on two particularly widespread invasive plants in the area: English Ivy and Scotch Broom.
English Ivy is particularly destructive; in its juvenile form it spreads out over the forest floor, shading and smothering plants underneath it. In its adult stage ivy wraps itself around trees and can topple them in wind storms due to its heavy weight.
Especially when in bloom, Scotch Broom looks like a delicate shrub but it is very aggressive. It was originally brought here from Scotland as a garden ornamental. Broom easily spreads to other areas and suppresses native plant growth.
When removing invasive plants from your garden, it's best to avoid putting them in your compost as the plant can spread from there. Take them to the regional landfill or, during Invasive Plants Month, you can take them to the DROP ZONE at the Wall Street entrance to Bowen Park on May 8 and May 31 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.