Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Plant Smart--Avoiding Invasives

Tubers from Parrot Lily

One of the things I say too often is, "I shoulda listened."  The year my mother-in-law decided to help us plant a bodacious Iris bed with prize-winning Irises, she took me to an Iris specialist--Mrs. Hydie.  While Mrs. Hydie dug up Iris rhizomes-a-plenty, I spotted some other plants I wanted to add to our yard.  One was Turk's Cap and the other was Parrot Lilies.

Mrs. Hydie said, "Oh, you don't want those."  Some people in my family claim I'm hard-headed.  Maybe it's more along the lines of selectively deaf.  Either way, I came home with Irises and Turk's Cap and Parrot Lilies.  The Irises and Turk's Cap have done quite well and I am very happy with those.  However, not so much with the Parrot Lilies.  I do think Parrot Lilies are a lovely plant.  The problem is, as Mrs. Hydie warned, they are invasive in Texas.  I wanted them to stay in one certain spot in my "circle" garden out front.  But they had plans of their own.  They spread themselves in, through, about, and underneath my salvias, daisies, and other little tidbit plants I have there, and they didn't even have the nerve to bloom appropriately!  The only thing they did was sprout their green foliage and stay compact.  They behaved more like a ground cover than a lily.  I most likely do not have them planted in the right spot.  As I type this post, I'm thinking of another spot in the yard they could go.  But I'm still afraid that they'll make a run for it and get out of control.

So a couple of weekends ago, prior to the big freeze, I got out there and dug up all I could.  I didn't even put them in the compost!  I wanted to make certain those babies were gone for good.  Now Pat, on the other hand, couldn't stand to see all those tubers go into the trash can.  So he saved a few and stuck them in a pot.  We'll see if they bloom or not! 

Below is a picture of what a Parrot Lily should look like.  The picture comes from the website Strange Wonderful Things.  Click on the link for a history of the Parrot Lilies.  You know...I think the next time someone says, "You don't want those...."  Nah, I probably won't listen!
Picture from Strange Wonderful Things

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