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Learn about the PlantWise Program, a voluntary certification program for the horticulture industry and consumers. You can help—become a PlantWise Ambassador PW-VLogo-RGB

The horticulture industry is a known pathway of spread for invasive plants; about 58% of invasive plants arrived in Canada as agricultural crops, landscape plants, ornamentals, and plants for medicinal and research purposes.

Invasive plants continue to be sold in many nursery and gardening outlets across BC, and are traded as seeds, transplants or starter plants by gardening and landscaping enthusiasts.

To address this known pathway, the ISC and its Horticulture Advisory Committee began working (2008 onwards) closely with industry representatives, landscape architects, gardening enthusiasts, regional coordinators, and nurseries to address horticulture as a pathway of invasion for invasive plants.

Unfortunately, these unwanted invaders jump the garden fence and cause long-lasting changes to nearby ecosystems, including negatively impacting wildlife habitat and species-at-risk. They also impact human healthy and safety, and economies.

Gardeners and landscapers have a key role in helping to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants—individuals can make a powerful difference! By following best management practices and using alternatives suggested in the Grow Me Instead booklet, you can achieve a vibrant and dynamic garden while contributing toward the most important part of invasive plant management: prevention.

Thank you for taking steps towards practicing responsible gardening to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants!


With input from the Horticulture Advisory Committee, the ISC has developed a Grow Me Instead booklet and several Targeted Invasive Plant Solutions (TIPS) fact sheets that are available for download. Articles on seed mixtures and the impacts of invasive plants in horticulture can also be found under Resources. Hard copies can be ordered through the ISC office or through the online store. Please check out our store for a complete list of publications and descriptions.

Successful Collaborations in Horticulture

The Council’s partnership with the BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) has been integral in fostering best management options that address horticulture and invasive plants. One result of this successful collaboration is the addition of invasive plants in the BC Landscape and Nursery Standards. Thank you to the BCLNA for continuing to work with us!

Relationships with organizations and individuals involved in horticulture are making a difference in BC. In 2010, two Lower Mainland businesses, N.A.T.S. Nursery and GardenWorks, received special recognition awards during the IPCBC’s Public Forum, “Unique Habitats, Unique Challenges” for voluntarily committing to stop growing and selling invasive plants—even popular sellers—to help prevent their spread, while offering non-invasive exotic and native alternatives.

Gardenworks, one of BC’s major nursery retailers, agreed to discontinue the sale of ten invasive plants from their shelves in 2009 as a key step to mentor responsible gardening. N.A.T.S. Nursery, an international grower and distributor, works to ensure that customers find the ‘right plant for the right place,’ and not contribute to the dispersal of invasive plants. This demonstration of industry leadership is a great example of individuals making a powerful difference!

The ISC continues to work closely with the horticulture industry, gardening groups, and individuals across BC to address the problem of invasive plants. Call 1-888-933-3722 to find out how to get involved and volunteer in your community, or check out the 'You Can Help' section. Your actions can help prevent the spread of invasive plants!

In Your Words...

  • “Thank you for orchestrating access to the Hot Spots crew for GINPR.  This crew allowed us to move the restoration project on Princess Margaret ahead by months if not by years.”

    Wayne Bourque, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Parks Canada

  • “Parks Canada and Canadians have benefited from the partnership to have on-the-ground Hot Spots crews, and we would be happy to work with a crew in the future at one of our many national parks and national historic sites that are in need of invasive plant management.”

    Brian Reader, Species at Risk Manager, Parks Canada

  • "We had a great hike at Kenna Cartwright Park. The kids built a snowman and we all enjoyed the views. The outreach worker showed us some plants that don't belong in the park, gave us info about them and what to do about them, and gave us all some cool gifts from the Invasive Plant Council. Thank you!"

    Susan Hammond, Kamloops Young Naturalist Club

  • “I am impressed with the coverage of the GIS mapping data now available. I will be developing an Invasive Species Management Plan for Pacific Spirit over the next several years and these maps will help as a coarse indication of current conditions, and in guiding initial inventory and monitoring efforts.”

    Markus Merkens, Pacific Spirit Park area manager, Metro Vancouver

  • “Working with the Hot Spots crew in Saanich in 2010, we practiced different methods to treat knotweed with glyphosate using the injection gun on several sites. With these skills I was able to implement Saanich's first knotweed eradication pesticide treatment program for private properties.”

    Donna Wong, Environmental Stewardship Officer, District of Saanich

  • “Our crew has finished their work at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. I want to thank you, on behalf of Parks Canada, for providing the crew to us. They were well-trained and got a lot of important restoration work done in our nationally-important heritage areas.”

    Brian Reader, Species at Risk Manager, Parks Canada

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