This is a tiny list of non-native invasive plants that are in my garden or surrounding neighborhood. Keep in mind that there are many more invasives that are not listed here in this list. This is mostly for my personal reference, but you are welcome to learn from it too.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about invasives of the northeast US:

Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species


Scientific name: Artemisia vulgaris

It smells like sage, but I am also highly allergic to it.  I love the smell, but will usually start to sneeze right after brushing against it.  Pulling it will send my sinuses into an unpleasant day-long battle.  You can probably tell what it is by the smell – you can also flip over a leaf, and the underside will be very light-colored.

Highly invasive.  I don’t want my entire yard to be covered in it, so I must pull it.

Black Medick

Scientific name: Medicago lupulina

This is the 5th clover lookalike I’ve discovered in the yard. I wasn’t sure what this was until it flowered. It’s not native, considered “naturalized”, but it behaves invasively in my yard.


Scientific name: Trifolium repens

This stuff is really hard to pull out. It will come back and crowd out your plantings, so you’ll need to make it a regular part of your weeding routine. This might be a plant that you should accept you won’t be able to completely eradicate. I think it fixes nitrogen in the soil too, but you’ll need to do your own research on that one.


Scientific name: pachysandra terminalis

This plant is a bully. It will ruin your day if you let it. Don’t let this plant ruin your day. It pulls out with relative ease, and you’ll need to keep on top of it to prevent a resurgence. I would say this one is not quite as easy to eradicate by hand as is English Ivy, but not nearly as challenging as clover.

Common Ivy

Scientific name: Hedera helix

One of the worst offenders. It will kill your trees long before their natural lifespan. Luckily, it’s super easy to eradicate from a small garden, or even a larger plot of land. I find that it pulls up easily from the ground, and you can twist it into a ball and dump it in a pile so it can dry and die. Don’t rip it from your trees, however, you may damage the bark on your tree or brink a branch down onto yourself. Cut windows into the vines growing up trees. There are lots of different places that will teach you this skill – I encourage you to google that skill if you need it.

Sow Thistle

I’m pretty sure I have this one lurking in the neighbor’s yard and attempting to spring up in my own. They look a bit like mutant dandelion on stilts.