The notorious moth plant is in flower. The good news is that this makes it much easier to see. The bad news: flowers turn into pods, and pods burst, each sending hundreds of seeds flying into the breeze to invade your backyard and our native bush to produce more baby moth plants. What is so bad about moth plant? The flowers are pretty enough. But butterflies, moths and bees are attracted to the flowers and become trapped in them. Worse, moth plant is a killer vine. It grows up and over everything in its path, smothering and strangling as it goes. Restore Hibiscus & Bays (RHB) is encouraging everyone to look around their local patch now during the flowering season. Getting rid of moth plant in flower is straightforward and RHB can help by giving advice and lending tools and herbicide from their tool library. Small seedlings can be hand-pulled, and more mature vines can be cut near the ground and the stump pasted with herbicide gel. Once pods have formed, however, the job is much bigger because all the pods need to be collected and sent to landfill – the pods will still burst and release their seeds even if left on a dead vine or loose on the ground. A word of warning: the white sap from cut stems can irritate skin and eyes and stain clothes, so take care.

For more information on this pest plant or to borrow tools and herbicide from RHB’s tool library, go here: https://restorehb.org.nz/resources-pest-plants/

You can also download a flyer to pop in a letterbox if you spot moth plant on someone else’s property. For more advice from RHB, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit https://www.facebook.com/RestoreHB/