Twining vines of the Asiatic bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus

PRISM is targeting common invasive plants in the Blue Ridge. More than 90 nonnative plants are listed as invasive by the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation – these plants are established in many areas throughout the Commonwealth and clearly have the potential to become established in other areas.

Click on the name of an invasive plant to go to a detailed downloadable fact sheet. Each fact sheet contains information about the plant including habitat preferences, identification, and control options. 


Also, see our information on Spotted Lanternfly which prefers the tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus altissima

For information on selecting a herbicide, timing, and concentration to use, refer to the invasive plant management guidelines from the Virginia Department of Forestry below:


Many of the worst invasive plants plaguing our natural and agricultural areas began their careers in home gardens or landscape settings. Some were – and most still are – sold in nurseries and garden centers.  This fact sheet discusses the problem of garden plants going wild and lists the most common invasive plants that we recommend you remove from your garden and/or do not plant.


Manual Control

Manual control (no herbicide) is a great option in many cases.  The guide from the California Invasive Plant Council details 21 commonly used non-chemical weed control techniques and biological control agents for 18 weed species/species groups.

Hack and Squirt Technique
Hack and Squirt Control Technique

Chemical Control

If you are unfamiliar with a control method mentioned in an invasive plant fact sheet, you’ll find it described in detail in one of the three fact sheets listed below. The fact sheets on using herbicides are helpful when it comes to understanding how herbicides work and how to use them safely.  Use these three fact sheets in conjunction with PRISM’s invasive plant fact sheets.

NOTE: PRISM does not recommend specific herbicides. Instead, we worked with the Virginia Department of Forestry to create an easy-to-use chart that includes their herbicide recommendations. Use this chart in conjunction with the invasive species fact sheets. Click here to download the chart: Virginia Department of Forestry Herbicide Recommendation Chart

None of us like to use herbicides more than necessary, but when you have to use them, here is a great summary that will answer many of your questions. Forest Herbicide Characteristics – IFAS Extension – University of Florida