Many gardeners use exotic plants to bring originality to the design of the garden space. Plants that are not native to the area can bring rewards, but are not without problems.
The U.S. National Park Service defines an exotic plant as a plant living in an area as the result of human actions.
An exotic plant may not be suited to the type of soil, moisture and climate conditions of its new location, and amendments and protections must be provided.
Predators and Disease
Over time, plants evolve to withstand attacks by insects and disease the native habitat presents. When the plant is moved to a new location, it is often exposed to insects that it is unable to withstand without human intervention.
The introduction of an exotic plant to an area with compatible growing conditions can grow unchecked and soon overgrow its intended environment. When an exotic plant threatens native areas, it is classified as noxious.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, about 42 percent of endangered plant species in the United States are due to encroachment of exotic plants. Many areas now have ordinances regulating the planting of some exotic plants.
- U.S. National Park Service: Exotic Plants
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Controlling Invasive Exotic Plants in North Florida Forests
exotic plants, exotic plant problems, growing exotic plants
About this Author
Patrice Campbell, a graduate of Skagit Valley College, has more than 20 years of writing experience including working as a news reporter and features writer for the Florence Mining News and the Wild Rivers Guide, contributing writer for Suite 101 and Helium, and promotional writing for various businesses and charities.