Invasive plants can take over gardens and kill off native species. Usually planted unintentionally, these should be replaced with plants native to Florida to ensure a healthy local environment.

 

Lantana

 

Lantana flowers in clusters of pink, yellow and white blooms and they feed many different insects. However, this Lantana is insistent and hard to get rid of. It displaces and may interbreed with the native Buttonsage, and pushes out natives, gets weedy and grows leggy with woody stems. If cut to the ground, it will regrow and spread. The native Lantana is harder to find, and the white flowers are not as large, but it will not harm other plants.

 

Snake Plants

 

These African succulents are very popular because they are tough. It is this toughness that makes them aggressive and invasive. While they will flower and produce seeds, they spread easily via underground rhizomes. Sansevieria Hyacinthoides is listed as a Category II invasive plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. These plants will quickly create a monoculture and take over large sections of your garden, not to mention the damage they do to wild areas.

 

Umbrella Tree

 

This tree, which is from Australia and environs, is another fast grower that flowers and fruits profusely. It’s a beautiful plant, but invasive in Central and South Florida, Hawaii and possibly Puerto Rico. This tree is very common in south Florida and grows aggressively. Often used by landscapers, these trees can grow large and become hazardous during a hurricane.