Japanese knotweed plants are pretty, like broom, but are just as relentlessly invasive. (Contributed)

Japanese knotweed plants are pretty, like broom, but are just as relentlessly invasive. (Contributed)

Online resources available to learn about invasive plants in Columbia Shuswap region

Knowledge is especially important for gardeners to ensure they're not planting invasives

Many people are using time stuck at home due to the COVID-19 virus as a chance to get to work on planting a garden.

According to the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS), a little knowledge acquired now as temperatures are warming will help gardeners ensure they are helping with the fight against invasive plants in B.C.

While CSISS will not be able to offer their in-person invasive plant ID and Management Workshops in person this May as they have in previous years, resources about invasive plants are available through their website www.columbiashuswapinvasives.org. The society also recommends choosing native and non-invasive species for gardens using information from the Plantwise program administered by the Invasive Species Council of B.C.

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CSSIS plans to either offer invasive plant workshops later in the year or online.

Until then, it is up to gardeners to ensure the varieties of plants they choose for their gardens are not invasive.

According to CSISS it is not illegal to import, buy or sell invasive plants in B.C. The society works closely with garden centres to help ensure they are not selling invasives; most plant nurseries and garden centres are doing their part to protect native biodiversity.

CSSIS recommends getting a head start on a vegetable garden by sprouting seeds inside.

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Outside the garden, knowledge of invasive species can be put to use on a walk around the neighbourhood. The B.C. government has an app available called Report Invasives BC which can be used to help identify any invasive plants growing in local neighbourhoods this spring.

Although in person education is limited, CSISS is still available to answer questions by email at info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org or through their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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