7 Shrubs You Will Regret Planting in New Zealand

Date: 7 Jun 2024

Some shrubs may look appealing, but they can turn into garden nightmares. Here are seven shrubs you should avoid planting in New Zealand.

1. Tansy

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), also known as common tansy, cow buttons, or bitter burrows, is native to Europe and Asia. While its tall reddish stalks and bright yellow, button-like flowers may catch your eye, this plant is highly toxic and can cause severe health issues if ingested, including liver and brain damage. Best to keep it out of your garden.

2. Privet

Pruning privet (Ligustrum spp.) is a never-ending task. This fast-growing shrub requires frequent trimming, about four to five times a year, to maintain its appearance. While it provides privacy, it demands high maintenance and can quickly become unkempt if neglected. Opt for lower-maintenance options for your garden.

3. Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is a relative of poison ivy, and those allergic to it will experience severe itching and blisters. Additionally, this shrub spreads aggressively by its roots, forming dense thickets. Avoid bringing this troublesome plant into your yard.

4. Japanese Barberry

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is drought-tolerant and available in various colorful cultivars. However, its thorny branches are a hassle, and it spreads rapidly, outcompeting native plants. It’s particularly invasive in the Northeast, Great Lakes area, and parts of the Northwest.

5. Burning Bush

Burning bush (Euonymus alatus) is known for its striking fall color and ease of growth. However, it grows quickly, reaching up to 4 meters in height, requiring regular pruning. It’s also invasive in woodlands North America and the Asia Pacific region.

6. Bush Honeysuckle

Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) may have fragrant flowers and bright berries, but it’s an aggressive spreader that outcompetes native vegetation. It thrives in various conditions, making it a persistent pest. Avoid this shrub to prevent it from taking over your garden.

7. Pyracantha

Pyracantha is a tough shrub with bright berries that can be shaped into topiary. However, it’s invasive in some areas and difficult to manage due to its thorny branches. Handling this shrub often results in dealing with painful thorns.

These shrubs may seem appealing at first glance, but their invasive nature and high maintenance needs can make them more trouble than they’re worth. Opt for more garden-friendly alternatives to avoid regret.

7 Shrubs You Will Regret Planting in New Zealand