Attack of the killer plants


Missouri is home to lots of beautiful native wildlife. The growth and care of these natives species can sometimes be challenged. Exotic invasive species are plants that have been manually planted in the area that cause harm to the environment and the plants around it.
One of the biggest current predators is Kudzu. This is an invasive vine that grows at an uncontrollable and smothering rate. If not eradicated, it can cause other growth in the area to decrease greatly. A good way to combat the growth of these vines is by pulling them out from the ground or grazing of animals, as it is edible.
Though it isn’t often seen as a part of the plants in Missouri, algae is a growing problem in our lakes and streams. Algae blooms cause drinking water to become toxic and even cause species in the water to die due to the lack of free oxygen. You can even help with the removal of algae by using a rake or wire screen to pull the mass of invasive algae out of the water.
Bush Honeysuckle is a sweet smelling plant that you may be familiar after a rainstorm or a walk in the spring. But what you might not know is the ruthless nature of this species of honeysuckle. They are often the last green to fade and the first to sprout. This is so they are able to take away the nutrients in the ground from other native plants in order to breed and spread. The seedlings and bushes must be uprooted from the base, removing it entirely.
A good and natural way to remove most invasive plants is a spray made from one part baking soda, two parts vinegar. This mixture helps effectively kill unwanted weeds while keeping other organisms in the environment safe.
The Missouri Department of Conservation offers lots of additional information about these plants that are free to the public online and at their centers.