Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 12:43 pm
Location: ohio

help to identify friend or foe plants


We just bought a house and it came with a flower garden and I know what a few of the plants that are supposed to be there, but otherwise I don't know which are "good" plants and which are weeds. I want to take good care of it (I was so happy it was there) but I am afraid to end up pulling the good stuff and missing the weeds. Any suggestions? I really know very little about flower gardening.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I always like to recommend that folks moving into a new home (for them) check with a local nursery or garden professional for plant identification and treament.

We had a prof. gardener walk around our yard with us soon after we moved here, identifying everything and its water requirements, and I felt very good about knowing how to move forward. The whole process took less than an hour (but our lot is only 50' x 100' and much of it is occupied by house/driveway/carport).

Cynthia H.
El Cerrito, CA
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

Senior Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:14 am
Location: Piedmont Area, Northern NJ

I was in the same situation when I moved to my house. I took that first growing season to mainly watch and wait to see what appeared in the garden. I used a few books to try and identify plants. Field guides for wild flower and weed identification and one for perennial plants helped. I asked neighbors and observed what was growing in their gardens as it was likely I had similar plants. I did locate a friendly neighbor avid gardener who was kind enough to help when I had questions and through her I found out about the local garden club. If there is a garden club that is a really good resource for you. They might have someone who can come out to look and see what you have or advise you who to call if you want to hire professional help as cynthia suggested. Just make sure it's a horticulturist and not a landscaper who will tell you to rip everything out and start with the same boring generic plants that are easy for them.
Ask everyone questions. Take pictures of the plants you're unfamiliar with or suspect are weeds and bring them to the local garden center, not the big box store. If you are buying plants they will usually be willing to help since you are a potential repeat customer. If you spend time walking around the local nurseries you will be able to recognize some plants yourself.
Post photos of plants you can't identify so we can help.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:50 pm
Location: England

Hi ebeth.

You can always post pictures on here if you are not sure about a plant.

Some weeds are very easy to identify others are more stealthy, doing their best to look like a nice plant for as long as possible but eventually they have to show their true colours (weedy, boring flowers or self seeding everywhere!) Just make sure you look after the soil which will keep your plants healthy and make your weeds easy to pull once you identify them.

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