Why are we again seeing purple loosestrife in WNY?

purple loosestrife
Purple loosestrife. Photo courtesy Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

After not seeing purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in Western New York for many years, you may have noticed it making a comeback.

This invasive plant used to be common until certain insects were released to control it, according to an article by Lyn Chimera in the most recent edition of WNY Gardening Matters.

The insects were effective and loosestrife declined. But when the number of loosestrife plants declined, the number of insects also declined. This led to the return of purple loosestrife.

But don’t worry; as the plant spreads, the number of insects will increase and an element of control will follow. This is an example of nature controlling nature, Chimera said.

See more details here.

Other articles in this issue are:

WNY Gardening Matters is produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County.

2 Comments on “Why are we again seeing purple loosestrife in WNY?

  1. Sorry Connie,
    Unrelated question. I want to plant Garlic for the first time this year. Most of it I want to plant in containers (metal and plastic). I know how to plant it but how deep the soil have to be that is beneath the bulb? Can i get away with 10 inches to a foot for the roots.

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