The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Lythrum

Question: I have some beautiful purple lythrum that I planted four years ago and since it is no longer available for sale in ND or MN. I would like to give some to a friend of mine. When is the best time to dig it up for her?

Answer: Lythrum, or Purple Loosestrife, has escaped cultivation and become an invasive weed in many parts of the country. While it's pretty in the garden, Lythrum scatters seeds quite readily. Unless controlled by cutting back the flower spikes before seed formation, Lythrum has the potential to spread, displacing natural vegetation. Many states and counties forbid planting Lythrum, so make sure it's okay for your friend to plant it before you divide your plant or give her seeds. Since the seeds germinate so readily, it might be easiest just to collect seeds for her. Otherwise, divide the clump in the fall or early in the spring and replant the divisions.

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