Size: 8-10 inches tall, 12 inches wide
Type: Broadleaf annual
Test Garden Tip: This plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental in shade gardens.
Control: Mulch your garden to prevent bindweed. Repeatedly pull or cut down growing bindweed plants and/or spot treat with a nonselective herbicide ($10, The Home Depot) designed to kill roots, not just above-ground growth.
Appearance: Identify this garden weed by its light green leaves, clusters of white flowers, and dark purple berries.
Description: A clumping perennial plant with long, arching, spined stems covered with small, bright green, needle-like leaves giving the plant a fern-like appearance. It produces spires of white, perfumed flowers from spring to autumn followed by berries that ripen to red. Once grown as an ornamental, it is now an invasive weed.
Description: A small, soft-stemmed, annual creeping weed most often found in damp, moist gardens or lawns. It has bright green leaves, tiny white flowers and weak stems.
Asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
Description: A small, annual, bright green grass with fine seed heads. Found in lawns in winter and early spring.
Life cycle and reproduction strategies: This long-lived shrub spreads by seed, but branches can also form roots allowing this weed to form dense thickets that choke out other plants. Seeds remain viable in the soil for many years.
Description: Ground-hugging, weak-stemmed perennial creeper with narrow shiny green leaves and fleshy, semi-succulent stems. White three-petalled flowers. Carpeting growth that invades other plants. Usually found in shady spots. Causes skin irritation in dogs.
Lunaria, Silver Dollar: The Pilgrims brought them to the colonies on the Mayflower. Thomas Jefferson grew them in the famous gardens of Monticello and mentioned them in his letters. Today, if you look up money plant care, instructions are scarce. Perhaps this is because many gardeners consider caring for a money plant the same as caring for a weed.
Maybe those gardeners who consider the flower to be a pest have a valid argument. Once you learn how to grow money plants, they tend to become permanent additions to the landscape and pop up anywhere except where you wanted them. Even some experts refer to them in their money plant growing info as weeds. Shame on them! They certainly aren’t suitable for more formal gardens, but they can be a delight elsewhere.
Money Plant Growing Info
Once it germinates, caring for a money plant is just that simple. If the weather becomes too dry, they appreciate a little water, but not too much. About the only thing a Lunaria silver dollar objects to is soggy feet.
The dried stalks of the Lunaria silver dollar plant makes excellent additions to dried flower arrangements created from your landscape either in conjunction with other plants, such as grasses, or alone clustered in a vase.
Care instructions usually include at least one dose of general use fertilizer per year, but again, they’ll accept whatever you offer surrounding plants.