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Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden

Updated: Feb. 28, 2023

How to keep spreading plants under control.

planting potFamily Handyman
Control aggressive plants that have spreading root systems with a simple plastic container.

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Problem: Invasive plants

Photo 1: Remove the pot bottom

Make sure your plastic pot or pail is at least 10-in. deep. Then, cut the bottom off a plastic pot or pail.

Photo 2: Plant the pot

Set the container in the ground. Replant spreading plants inside it to hold in the roots.

If you love lilies and black-eyed Susans, but hate the way they’re taking over your garden and choking out other plants, here’s what you can do:

Many plants multiply by dropping seeds and by sending out roots that establish new plants. A layer of mulch will prevent the seeds from taking root. But to stop those aggressive roots, you need a solid barrier. Replant the spreading plants inside underground “corrals.” The plastic corrals should extend at least 10 in. below ground to prevent the roots from sneaking under them. This trick won’t work with plants such as strawberries or mint that spread above ground.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Spade
  • Utility knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Plastic Pot