How to Keep Flowers From Naturalizing


When introducing new types of plants to your garden, care needs to be taken to keep non-native species from becoming naturalized. Invasive or non-native plants, if left to grow on their own, can choke out native plants, killing off food sources for birds and animals and stripping your soil of too many minerals. One of the most popular methods for preventing plants from naturalizing is setting up a root barrier for the most prolific spreading plants.

Step 1

Collect large, soft-sided plastic containers from your transplants or from a garden center. The softer plastic containers that plants come in are easier to cut with scissors. You'll want these containers to be larger than the ones you brought your perennials home in because the plant needs room to grow.

Step 2

Cut off the bottom of each pot. This leaves room for the roots to grow while preventing the rhizome from spreading.

Step 3

Dig a hole in your garden large enough for the pot to sit in. The top of the pot should be a bit higher than the ground.

Step 4

Water the plant to allow the soil to settle into any air pockets. Add soil as needed.

Step 5

Water and fertilize the garden as usual.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plants that spread through seed propagation are more difficult to keep under control. If the idea of constantly digging up seedlings is too much, you may want to stay away from plants such as Rose of Sharon and verbena.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic containers from garden centers or commercial rhizome barriers
  • Scissors
  • Spade
  • Water


  • Clemson University Extension: Dividing Perennials
  • Mr. Bamboo: Using Rhizome Barriers

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri Extension: Low-Maintenance Landscaping
Keywords: spreading perennials, bamboo, rhizome barrier

About this Author

Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University, studying education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills, re-using, recycling, and re-inventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.