Bad Seed

What is a Bad Seed

A "bad seed", known more formally as an invasive plant, is a non-native plant that was introduced to our environment through seeds, cuttings, garden plants, etc. that spreads aggressively and takes over the natural environment. Bad seeds out-compete native plants, including endangered species, and destroy habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife. Invasive plants can also cause erosion and silt problems in creeks and impact aquatic creatures. Invasive plants are expensive to control and eradicate. Some, like Giant Hogweed, are even dangerous to human health.

Prevent the Spread of Bad Seeds

  • Avoid buying plants promoted as fast spreaders or vigorous self-seeders as they are often invasive.
  • Contain or remove invasive plants on your property to prevent them from spreading to other properties.
  • Dispose of invasive plant material in your Green Cart instead of your backyard compost (see below for hogweed disposal requirements).
  • Never dump garden waste, hanging baskets or anything else into natural areas.
  • Refer to the Invasive Species Council of BC's Grow me Instead Guide and visit the Native Plant Society of British Columbia's website to learn about BC's "most wanted" plants, along with recommended alternatives.
  • Use caution when ordering plant seeds over the Internet or through catalogues. Introducing foreign seeds are a key way that invasive plants find their way into our community.

Common Bad Seeds

Commonly sold as an easy and fast grower that can tolerate shade, English ivy (Hedera helix) smothers vegetation and can eventually kill trees.

English ivy is identified by dull, green, lobed leaves with a thick, waxy coating that stay green all year long. It grows as a small to large woody vine that clings to surfaces such as trees, buildings and rocks.

View the Metro Vancouver Best Management Practices for English and Irish Ivies (PDF).

English Ivy

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in becoming a Bad Seed volunteer? 

If you have a group interested in organizing an invasive plant pull with the City, please email the Natural Areas team. If you are an individual looking to join a scheduled invasive plant pull, register with Better Impact and watch for upcoming Bad Seed events.

For more information about our weed pull events, contact us by email.

For more volunteer opportunities, contact local community groups: