Like it or not, many Australian backyards are home to a medley of common weeds that are often mistaken for plants – so what are they, and how do you identify them?
In Queensland alone, weeds cost us an estimated $600 million annually, and have significant impacts on primary industries, natural ecosystems, and human and animal health – without even mentioning the many inconveniences and general irritation that they cause the average Australian gardener.
On a smaller scale, weeds can easily get comfortable in our gardens, backyards and lawns. Once established, some can be almost impossible to eradicate – but what happens if you’re accidentally encouraging common weeds to grow without realising that your garden has become a home to a medley of Trojan Horses?
How To Avoid Cultivating Common Weeds
As a general rule, a weed is any plant that colonises and persists in an ecosystem in which it did not previously exist. They may affect the economy, the environment and even human health. Many plants introduced into Australia in the last two hundred years are now classified as weeds. Despite this, many gardeners now consciously grow them without realising their origins.
As such, our homes now have many common weeds present and even feature them as much loved additions to the garden. While growing these types of weeds isn’t always a bad thing, it’s important to identify them early if you intend on keeping their growth habits under control.
English Ivy – Now regarded as one of the most popular varieties of house plant thanks to its hardiness, it’s that same durability that sees English Ivy as a plant to watch when left unattended outdoors. As a fast growing evergreen creeper, it can quickly get out of control and strangle nearby trees, so keep an eye on any new shoots near the base of them.
Agapanthus – Although these pretty purple blooms make popular additions to residential gardens, in some regions, agapanthus has been known to take over bushland and other sensitive areas, out-competing local flora for resources and unbalancing the surrounding ecosystem. To avoid this, be sure to cut any spent flowers to avoid seeds spreading.
Arum Lilies – Originally native to South Africa, arum lilies were brought to Australia as an attractive plant for domestic gardens. Today, that trend has continued, but the plant is now classed as an environmental weed throughout Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and South East Queensland.
Foxglove – Although foxgloves are a stunning tall annual plant that can provide a sea of colour, they are also regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria and Tasmania. This garden escapee has invaded moist and wet sclerophyll forest, riparian areas and rainforests in both of these states, and can be poisonous to touch.
Watsonia – Wild watsonia is mainly a weed of roadsides, railway reserves, the edges of water courses, open woodland, unimproved pastures and neglected areas, but it is also suspected to be poisonous to stock. While they are drought tolerant and extremely difficult to kill, much like agapanthus, avoid seed distribution by cleaning up any spent flowers.
Freesias – Freesias are great bulbs for naturalising as they are well suited to Australian conditions, but when left unattended, these species can form dense infestations that compete with native vegetation, particularly native ground orchids and grasses. As such, freesias are now classed as invasive weeds in many states and territories.
While you might be accidentally growing common weeds such as the above varieties, others are far less desirable than others. The thing about weeds is that when you find one, there’s sure to be others. This is commonly why most people get overwhelmed by the task at hand, and allow the invaders to get comfortable in their garden – but what can you do to safely remove them?
Introducing A Safer Way To Spray
Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife.
The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a pet friendly weed killer, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely – check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.