Q. Aren’t there commercially sold garden plants that actually should be discouraged because they are considered invasives in our area?

A. Avoiding invasives is complicated because plants of concern vary across regions and can change–for example, when an invasive moves into an area where it hadn’t been seen previously. As a result, the restrictions on commercial sale are a patchwork of community, state, and federal legislation. It is difficult for local growers to stay abreast, and mail-order vendors sell everywhere.

For a good source of local information, check out the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (misin.msu.edu). They also have a phone app that makes it easy to report your own observations of invasive species to the MISIN database.

Got a question? Email question@aaobserver.com.