Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.

Invasive, non-native species

In Britain approximately £1.7billion is spent every single year on trying to tackle the problem of invasive non-native species.

We believe the actual cost is far greater as the ‘indirect costs’, such as damage to ecosystem service provision, are not accounted for. And then there's the damage to our wildlife and waterways: millions of pounds are spent clearing them from congested ponds and rivers with delicate rare water flowers such as starfruit (Damasonium alisma) pushed to extinction. 

So why are certain species so harmful? 

  • They out-compete our native flora for light, space and nutrients.
  • They can reduce the light and heat reaching lower-growing plants
  • They alter rates of nutrient cycling, or (in freshwater habitats) cause large changes in the amount of oxygen available

All of which can be harmful to other plants and animals. Such damage can be irreversible and destroy many of our national natural treasures. In fact, 30% of the UK's Important Plant Areas have been found to have invasive species in them.

Stopping the sale of invasive water plants will end future infestations of garden ponds and the inevitable breakouts into our countryside.

Banned plants

As of January 2016, fourteen non-native, invasive plants were banned by the European Union. This means it is an offence to keep, cultivate, breed, transport, sell or exchange any one of these species, or release them, intentionally or unintentionally, into the environment anywhere within the EU. To find out more about these species, how to remove them if you have them and safe alternatives you can use in their stead, download our guide below:


Banned from sale in the UK

In 2014, five non-native, invasive aquatic plants were banned from sale. As such, anyone trying to sell you these plants is breaking the law. 


Plants we recommend avoiding

These twelve non-native, invasive plants are currently legal to grow in your garden, but cause damage to our countryside and native wildlife. 


Further advice