Getting Rid of Lenten Roses

Q: The Lenten roses in my backyard have become invasive! How do I get rid of some of them?

A: I recognize that you may have more plants than you expected but I wouldn’t call them “invasive”. Lenten rose is pollinated by insects. They find the blooms irresistible since they are oftentimes the only flowers open in winter. Lenten rose readily sets seed and they geminate easily. You will often see a patch of small plants under a mature Lenten rose. These little plants do not move away by themselves so they can’t be invasive. Over several years you may have a patch of Lenten rose plants where there was once only one or two but I wouldn’t call that “invasive”. It’s easy to control excess plants. Just tell your friends they can have the seedlings and to bring a trowel and a plastic bag. I think you’ll soon be at peace with your “invaders”.

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