Mark, there could be a thread for Muddy’s most Notorious Mistakes, since I’ve probably made just about every common one, plus managed to create a few less common headaches.
Those in parts of the southeast will understand when I say that most growing things will either struggle to survive well here or have a tendency to grow uncontrollably rampant. Only a small minority will grow at an acceptable rate and produce reliably with minimal care.
Like many, I enjoy watching hummingbirds, and plant things to attract them. We have pine trees throughout the property. Bit by bit, as finances have allowed, I’ve had the most threatening ones removed. Some are very large. Within my view, there stands an annoying pine with a girth of about 3 feet.
Trumpet vine grows wild. Trumpet vine is a climber. Hummers flock to and feed on trumpet vine. Yes! I planted some at the base of that huge pine. Hummers were happy. I was happy - for about two years.
Trumpet vines produce, not only thick vines which attach strongly to the trees. The also push out myriad roots which spread, even through clay, at least as far away as the vine can grow tall. New vines spring up along the roots. They are a struggle to remove, and seemingly impossible to eliminate completely, each piece of remaining root determined to create more vines. The seed pods scatter, as well, although the young vines produced are easier to eliminate.
I planted those seventeen years ago. Fifteen years later, the vines are still persisting, although in recent years I seem to be finally making some headway. In a smaller yard, it may not have been so long term troublesome. But mine is large, a mix of wild and tame, a happy habitat for invasive vines.
I’ve had other spreading plants that have gotten out of hand, but none as pernicious as trumpet vine. Now that I’ve experienced the consequences, I’ll never again plant anything here that has a reputation for being invasive. There are too many wild ones that find their way here on their own.
That, I believe, qualifies as a major mistake.