What are weeds?
Many of the weeds growing in natural areas are ornamental plants. These plants were valued for their looks. But over time they ‘jumped the garden fence’ and went wild.
Many of these plants are still being grown in gardens.
Where do weeds come from?
Most of New Zealand’s weeds were brought in to New Zealand as garden plants. There are over 24,000 introduced plants growing in gardens and nurseries in New Zealand.
Most of the spread of weeds in New Zealand is because of people. They bring in new plants that escape and dump garden waste in bush reserves.
Why worry about weeds?
Weeds threaten the long-term survival of some native animals by:
- changing or destroying their habitat
- reducing their food or breeding sites
- influencing the way native and introduced animals behave.
Weeds threaten our natural areas. They displace native vegetation and change ecosystems.
What can you do?
A good place to start is to find out what weeds are in your area. You can then start to look at replacing these problem plants.
Talk to your friends, family, neighbours and classmates about the work you are doing in your own backyard. Encourage them to do the same.
Join community groups who are getting rid of weeds in your local area. Any help you can give will make a big difference.
The links below will give you some starting points for how to get involved: