Wingecarribee Shire Council is calling on home owners with Agapanthus plants to remove the seed heads before they open and release their potentially invasive seeds.
A native plant of southern Africa, Agapanthus have become one of the Highlands' favourite garden plants, enjoyed by keen gardeners for their pretty white and purple flowers and year-round green foliage.
However, at this time of year when the flowers die back, the plant has the potential to spread beyond the neighbourhood garden and threaten the shire's diverse bushland, wetlands and other natural areas.
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Council's waste education Officer and policy officer, Phoebe Ward said now was the perfect time for gardeners to prune the popular plant.
"The seeds of the Agapanthus plant are very robust," Ms Ward said.
"When green waste is received at the Resource Recovery Centre it's sorted, shredded, pasteurised and monitored for many months before being reused."
"Despite all these processes, there is still a chance that some Agapanthus seeds will survive.
"It's for this reason we recommend residents do not place Agapanthus seeds in their green garden organics bin."
Council recommends residents bag the spent seed heads and dispose of them in their red-lidded domestic waste bin.
Landscape contractors are also asked to separate the Agapanthus heads when dropping off green waste at the Resource Recovery Centre (RRC). The RRC has a separate bin located in the green waste area to dispose of Agapanthus heads.
"If gardeners are trimming or removing an entire Agapanthus plant, the leaves and stems can still be placed in the green organics bin," Ms Ward said.
"It's really important however that the seed pods aren't placed in the green organics bin."
Ms Ward also dispelled the myth that the plant requires no maintenance.
"This perception couldn't be further from the truth," she said. "It's really important that owners get out into the garden and cut the seed heads off before they open, and the seeds get blown around in our autumn winds or make their way into the local waterways."
Agapanthus is listed by Wingecarribee Shire Council as an environmental weed that has the potential to spread readily into bushland and along creeks, together with the likes of English ivy, privet and willow trees.
For more information on Agapanthus plants and other weeds, visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Environment/Environmental-Information/Weeds or speak to your local Bushcare Group at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Environment/Bushcare-and-Rivercare/Bushcare.
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