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Plants you don’t like...

oursteelers 8B PNW
January 26, 2019

There was an earlier thread about experimenting with plants and within that thread someone commented on their dislike of daylilies. Now I’m a fan of daylilies but it did make me think about what I didn’t like.

And honestly there’s not much.

Not a huge fan of evergreen trees but I’m happy my neighbors have them, I just wouldn’t waste my garden space on them. I have a LOT of old, big leaf maples and that is enough for me.

Don‘t love tulips but not because of how they look more to the fact that they dwindle over time and I like plants that get better with age.

I guess I would pass on most succulents and sedums but I do have one; Ogon that I wouldn’t be without!

Otherwise I’m pretty much a plant addict.... I want it all!!!!!


Comments (145)

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Sultry it’s a bummer they eat all your passiflora but I bet they look stunning fluttering around your garden. I love butterflies!

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    I’m with Bruce in that I think peonies are gorgeous, lush, sumptuous...I don’t care how short their bloom season is I will always have them.

    Having said that, Mens Tortuosa, if you are both working in the garden together compromise is good!

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Skip, When life gives you Japanese Honeysuckle, make Honeysuckle Jelly "D

    When we first moved here I found honeysuckle growing wild everywhere in the woods. So I had to try making jelly lol.

  • ophoenix

    Not sure 'hate' is the right word, but I have pulled out all of my hostas - planted right after we moved back to PNW. Could not grow them in N CA and I got carried away - probably 20 - 24 different varieties. Way too many slugs and they take up too much real estate. Same for red photinia hedge, some rhodies - especially the bright Barbie pink blossom with the gold leaves and red fuzzy undersides. Yuck! As far as I am concerned - roses are not worth the effort in my garden. Planted one year and pulled 3 years later. Day lilies? been there done that! Too much uninteresting foliage for short lived blossoms. But I really dislike dahlias. All colors, all sizes and cultivars. To me they are just too - in your face! The huge flowers are beautiful to some, but to me they are just awful and out of scale in garden settings.

    All of the flowers in my garden have to dance. They have to move to the changes in the wind, reach to the sun and be beautiful in direct sun and more so in the back lighting of the sun filtering through the trees. That is my goal, not quite there yet but I have only been in this house for 12 years. Still working on it! And still loving the process.

  • susanzone5 (NY)

    Any plant that's host to the red lily beetle and its feces-covered larva. A nightmare.

    Valerian- it stinks up the whole garden.

    Houtuynnia, horribly invasive groundcover and hard to kill

    Barberry, FYI, is host to disease-carrying ticks.

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Ophoenix, the first plant that came to mind after I read your post was columbine. Can I assume you have that in your yard? And thalictrum? That one dances to me also :)

  • ophoenix

    oursteelers, Columbine has been pulled out but a few managed to survive, it became a horrible invasive here! Thalictrum is alive and well including a small variety that was a gift and a beautiful light purple. I should also include all the different varieties of Saxifraga and Vancouveria with their beautiful blossoms that remind me of zillions of ballet dancers in their white tutus. My other corps of ballet dancers are the hardy fuchsias, some trailing and some uprights. Standing quietly with them and the humming birds will add to the magic. Oops - this is supposed to be plants that we hate! lol I drifted a bit.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    Don't really like balsam impatiens? Too clunky and just kept coming back. So many seeds.

  • violetsnapdragon

    Roses--not the flower, but the foliage---just ugly. Don't think the flowers are worth having to look at that ugly foliage when not in bloom. Peonies, on the other hand--nice cabbage rose-like flower and the foliage is pretty--I haven't had issues with the foliage getting the black crud for a number of years (can't say why, but I appreciate that). Also--any flower the color of Stella D'Oro lilies. Soft yellow are nice, orange is nice, but I'm really not a fan of LOUD yellow flowers.

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Violetsnapdragon, I used to feel like that about roses too but then I started pairing clematis with them and it made me so much happier.

    And I 100% agree about peony foliage-so pretty!

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il

    My thoughts are a little more basic, I don’t like plants that have to be fussed over or cause injury, that means roses and barberry and anything else with thorns. Anything that Is prone to mildew and like maladies won’t be in my gardens. Peony aren’t worth the valuable space they take for their short and usually messy bloom period. I don’t care for the common orange ditch daylily or Stella d’oros, they are boring and overdone. I do have daylilies that bloom for six weeks and love them. It’s hard for me to understand why daylilies are considered gaudy by some and roses aren’t. They both have big shows of blooms and need an occasional foliage cleanup. Roses and peony are great in someone else’s yard space, not mine.


  • ophoenix

    Sherry.... My son, the one with the Hort degree agrees with you completely. He calls it diaper changing! If a plant requires hands on more that a few time a year - if at all - he pulls them. lol with discussion of course. Any plant that requires too much diaper changing is gone.

  • mariannese

    A fun thread with so many strong and different opinions from different climates. I grow most types of plants that will thrive in my clay soil and harsh climate and in every colour, not together though. I don't remember everybody's pet hates but some have struck me. My little Crimson Queen maple is a nice ground cover plant and hasn't grown much in many years. It matches its hellebore neighbour with its muddy pinkish colour well, I think. My two seedling bamboos, gifts from a friend, are never more than one feet tall and make a nice green patch in a dark corner. Apart from invasive weeds my most troublesome plant is woodbine, the common honeysuckle, when it got away from its proper place where I like it well enough. I like my native junipers as well as all other native evergreens or I would have very little winter interest. Our junipers are not blue but dark green like the Scots pines above them. We all garden under different conditions.

  • bluesanne

    Lesson to be learned from this thread:

    You hate it but someone else will love it, so don't toss any plant in the dumpster without offering it to others.

    For the most part, my attitude is that there's a place for every plant, even if that place is not my garden.

    Three of my personal dislikes: Photinia, Juniper, St. John's Wort (I mortally offended several naturopathic medicine friends with this last one, but we once rented a house with it run wild, and trying to plant anything else was like digging into a wood pile).

  • posierosie_zone7a

    Great point. Except for plants that are "invasive" or badly behaved, I have taken items that no longer work for my garden. I couldn't keep up a good spraying schedule in the back for deer so I gave away all my hosta except a few that I just couldn't give away. It was nice to think of them possibly thriving in others garden and bringing joy.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    life is too short to have a plant that doesn't make you totally happy when you see it..posie - I love giving away unwanted plants too..

  • bella rosa

    Karen, what is the name of the daylily in your 3rd pic? It's pretty!

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    There are plants that even though I may really like them if their Bloom time is really short I wont spend the space or the money on plants that don't Bloom for most of the season.

    The exception to that are lilies and irises

  • ophoenix

    I think that it is the responsibility of experienced gardeners to be selective with plants that are given away or sold at local plant sales. If I have a plant that I have pulled because it is invasive or a total thug - and there are several in our PNW climate - they are trashed and not shared with unsuspecting beginning gardeners. Mint is one example. We do sell our propagated starts, but warn people to keep it in a pot and not plant it in the garden or they will have to pull out runners for years to come. I cringe when I see mint for sale in nurseries with directions to plant in garden in full or partial sun.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    ophoenix..good point..I would never pass along a problem plant..some plants poison ivy, stinging nettle, kudzu etc deserve to be trashed..

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il

    Ophoenix, I’ve been a victim of a neighbor planting mint in their garden. I can’t begin to tell you what a pain in the butt it was getting it out of the backyard turf......argh.


  • titian1 10b Sydney

    Speaking of neighbours - my neighbour's monstera deliciosa (a plant I think hideous anywhere) on my balcony.

  • SoFL Rose z10

    I don’t like anything that doesn’t flower. It it doesn’t bloom it’s not for me.

  • Embothrium

    So you think that Monstera is monstrous?

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    It looks like the Monstera likes you Trish.

  • Campanula UK Z8

    I can see at least 4 of those monstrous leaves which would be making an acquaintance with the secateurs. An odd aspect of English law insists any arisings from a property-line pruning are handed back to the plant's owners.

  • HalloBlondie (zone5a) Ontario, Canada
    @Trish- I love that Monstera plant. It's probably because I can't grow it here. I love the look of tropical plants, but obviously they don't work in our climate.

    I love all kinds of plants, almost anything can look nice given the right climate, design, space & colour palettes. There are plants I like, but not enough to grow in my smaller yard. When space of a suburban yard is at a premium; every plant has to be one I love. Obviously, as each season passes my opinion on a "good" plant changes. If it requires to much care or looks messy once done flowering it will be a goner.

    As for the hating roses comments above, perhaps that would be too much of a generalized comment. There are a lot of roses that do very well in different areas. And even though I love roses overall; there are many individual roses that I do not like. Whether, it's bloom colour, size, plant shape or is a disease magnet. Same goes for many other general plant groups. I like daylillies, but I don't like the orange ditch lillies ones. Some hydrangeas look amazing to me and certain ones make me go, meh!

    A plant I really detest here is spirea. It works well in a commercial setting, but in a residential garden I just think how bland. Which makes me think it's not the plant itself that I dislike, but the use of certain plants in certain settings. In my neighbourhood, almost every garden has the same plants in the same configurations and it's just boring to walk by house after house of the same look. It's a configuration of lawn, city tree, small front porch bed of bland plantings & a costco planter flanking a garage door. So if I come by a house with unique plantings or large areas done, I really stop to appreciate it.
  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    titian1..I saw the pic of monstera days ago..I thought "I love it" but I never made a comment..to each his own is so true..if you pruned it would you hate it less?..

    HalloBlondie..in MY shade spireas have bare interiors with dead, dry, fragile stems..so I ripped them out and will never buy them again..for people with sunny gardens they're prettier..

  • alenm3

    Sherrygirl, I love daylilies, but the ones I have only bloom for a short period. What daylilies do you have that bloom for six weeks? Yours sound like a daylily lover's dream. I would love some in my garden!

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il

    I have a big clump of Moonlit Masquerade, it blooms for six weeks. It has been in my garden about six years, so time to mature. It is also categorized as an extended bloomer. That means it puts up new flower scapes after it starts blooming. It blooms early here, one of the first to start. I also have an oldie, Autumn Minaret, it’s scapes are about five feet tall and my mature clumps will bloom for six weeks also. Autumn Minaret starts in August here. Depending on the weather my clumps have anywhere from 400 to 800 blooms per season. I have several daylilies that bloom for four weeks each season.


  • alenm3

    Wow, Sherrygirl, that's impressive! They're gorgeous! I've had Autumn Minaret in my garden for 3 years and it only blooms for about 2-3 weeks. Mine is in part shade and I never add fertilizer or compost, just water if too hot and dry. Maybe I should move it to full shade? Do you add fertilizers to them? You certainly have a very green thumb with daylilies!

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il

    Alenm3, your AM needs a few more years to mature to get maximum bloom time. With this one more sun is better. Daylilies are drought tolerant but like any plant, extra water and mulch is always beneficial for maximum bloom. Actually fertilizer isn’t necessary for daylilies. I have three clumps of AM in my gardens, the ones with the most sun do best here.


  • deannatoby

    Spireas--haven't seen one I liked...until 'Ogon,' which I hope to buy this summer. Ageratum--is it possible for major retailers to take up any more space with those each summer? Same with standard begonia. Dayliles used to be on my list but they're growing on me. Plants I used to hate but now really like (maybe even love. There. I've said it)--hostas, astilbe.

  • alenm3

    Sherry, with those pictures I think you've inspired me to treat my daylilies with a bit more TLC. I'm a plant and forget them type of gardener. I know daylilies are almost indestructible (that's why I have them), but I can see how a little love can make such a huge difference. Yours are lovely. I'm going to try watering mine a bit more this Summer, and adding some mulch as well.

  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada

    Sherry (Karen & others) I hope your gorgeous photos have made some Daylily converts here!

    alenm3 if you have a spot for a dwarf Daylily, 'Penny's Worth' is just 10" tall and blooms all summer long starting in June. It is still blooming after the first snow has come. It will take a break a couple of times a season for about 4 days to recuperate and then start blooming all over again. What a blooming machine it is.

    Penny's Worth

  • titian1 10b Sydney

    Campanula, we have the same law here, and while it is tempting to throw them down on the land below - some of which is mine - I won't. Her garage is right on the property line, so actually all the plant in that photo is on my property. As for secateurs - those leaves require a saw!

    HalloBlondie, it's good to see you posting again. And I do agree with your comment about design etc.

    nicholsworth, I have to cut it back every so often, especially as it would set down roots on the balcony railing, given half a chance.

    sherrygirl, I like daylilies, and have several, but I particularly like your Autumn Minaret. I had a similar one decades ago, and it worked in so much better with other plants. The flowers were less showy, and the whole plant less stiff. I feel the many of the modern ones look best if given an area to themselves.

  • alenm3

    Peren.all, I've never seen that one. What a cutie, I think I need one!

  • Deb

    Purple rain roses were a disappointment for me. Small blooms, black spot.

  • alenm3

    I hate aggressive vines that want to take over the garden and house, especially Chinese Wisteria. I had one of those planted at my last house and getting rid of it was impossible. I got rid of that house and I now only have well behaved clematis and native honeysuckle.

  • Embothrium

    Many spireas planted these days are Spiraea japonica cultivars. This summer blooming species is actually best pruned down low (early in the year) on an annual basis. And all spireas like a moist soil, whether spring or summer blooming.

  • deannatoby

    Embothrium, does it dependably regrow off of old wood when pruned? Wondering if there’s a point at which low is too low. The few I have are old as they were planted by the previous owner. Could use a pruning for sure!

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il

    Prune away, eight inches from the ground has worked here. They benefit tremendously. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. If you prune in the spring you won’t get bloom, may get bloom later in the season. I’m adding a photo taken in fall, these spirea got a haircut after they bloomed in the spring.


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I grow spiraeas more for foliage effect than for the flowers (I dislike pink and only allow white flowered forms to actually bloom) and so they get pruned back routinely, sometimes several times a season, depending on how rapidly they push new flower buds. IME, these shrubs will very easily tolerate hard pruning - almost to the ground - and will respond quickly. And at least an annual hard pruning helps to keep size in check. In my climate, some cultivars can get massive!!

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Sherry, that picture is so pretty-I love it with the clematis

  • cecily 7A

    Sweet autumn clematis is on the evil list in Virginia so I'm obligated to detest it, but that is an awfully nice photo. The weather was blech - icy, slushy- last week & school was cancelled so I checked out an armful of gardening books from the library. Such a disappointment, the content is much better on Garden Web. You guys have spoiled me.

  • deannatoby

    Well, sherry, you've gone and done it. You should be ashamed, making me look so wishy-washy...because after seeing your photo I might love spireas.

    Seriously, that is the first photo of a non-Ogon spirea that I can honestly say is gorgeous. Gorgeous. Most of the ones I've seen have dull color, almost as if they were a survivor of the mauve paisley trends of the 80s. I like the pink in that photo. I think I'll have to open my heart to them. Sweet autumn clematis is not invasive here, apparently. I have tried to grow its native cousin, Clematis virginiana, from seed without luck. I will have to keep the above photo in mind and try again!

  • sherrygirl zone5 N il

    Sweet Autumn clematis is not on the evil list in here in zone 5a. I do find a stray SA seedling here occasionally. I do have another variety of spirea that I grow for the foliage, it get pruned in the spring because I think the pale blooms are blah...and these also reseed if I let them have a spring bloom.

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    As I was out doing a bit of clean up I was reminded of my neighbors blackberries. Their whole yard is a mess ( he works as a landscaper lol ) a muddy overgrown mess and those blackberries are out of control and the end up growing over my fence

    The other surrounding neighbors share their ivy and trailing vinca grrrrr .

  • buyorsell888

    I hate lily of the valley, grape hyacinths and Spanish bluebells because they are invasive in my garden despite battling them over twenty years. I hate arborvitae, photinia, and most of all seeing butchered trees out in public. I planted too many daylilies with great flowers but ratty stringy foliage but can't seem to shovel prune them. I like barberries, black mondo, and bright pink. I love Japanese maples, but hate seeing badly pruned and poorly situated ones around town. I need to seriously edit my garden, I have too many plants that need annual pruning (50 Clematis at least and 30 ornamental grasses) my job last six years has taken way too much time and it's a real mess.

  • Embothrium

    One manual (link below) recommends cutting normal vigor Spiraea japonica forms down to within 4-5 in. of the ground right before spring growth starts. With the dwarf versions of this particular species instead being clipped over in spring without getting down into the old wood, as is done with Calluna and Lavandula.

    The Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers has always recommended the best possible pruning techniques and practices to gardeners. Now thoroughly revised and substantially expanded by Tony Kirkham, George Brown's classic work will continue to be trusted and respected as the essential pruning reference for years to come


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