Messy Trees and Untidy Plants

The Worst Messy Trees and Untidy Plants!

Plants and trees do require some work and all make some mess, but some are worse than others. 

As the title says, all the plants or trees listed below are shaggy, scraggy, messy or generally untidy plants  – if you leave them to do their own thing.

They can look good and many have pretty flowers, but you will need to keep them well preened and coiffured if you want to enjoy them as much as you should.

Also these plants or trees drop shed loads of stuff, or drop loads of fruit or drop loads of big leaves that are a pain to clear up in the autumn. So if all these should be avoided if you like you garden to look neat and well tended.

We have written an 11 page guide to making sure your garden works for you & best of all it’s absolutely free.

Download “Low Maintenance Garden Guide” Guide-how-to-get-a-low-maintenance-garden.pdf – Downloaded 216 times – 2 MB

Our list of the worst offenders! 

Bluebells – lovely until the leaves go all mushy

Bamboo – beautiful, but the leaves quickly shred in the wind. Best in a very sheltered spot

Buddleja – grows faster than your overdraft 

Campsis – this will grow about 3ft overnight and can pop up several feet away 

Chaenomeles – an ugly thorny tangled web but it does have pretty flowers

Cotoneaster – drops berries everywhere and always looks like a bad hair day!

Crataegus – Thorns, so it’s a killer to prune!

Fallopia – aka’ Mile-a-minute’ vine….actually it’s 2 miles a minute!

Fig trees – Big pink fig bombs, drunken wasps and the tree wood is easily broken

Hedera – Ivy, will cloak everything and then it drops leaves, berries and detritus

Humulus – Golden Hop, a pretty yellow vine….that swamps everything in it’s path

Jasmine – pretty flowers, the rest of the plant is really untidy & needs constant pruning

Lonicera – Honeysuckle, resembles a bowl of overcooked spaghetti after a couple of years

Lleylandii – big, dense, green, dark shrub/tree and it never stops growing

Mulberry – a very broad tree that drops millions of purple staining berries

Passiflora – A bit like Lonicera (honeysuckle)

Perovskia – A lovely plant but if you forget to ‘chelsea chop’ it flops everywhere

Phalaris – A very unattractive, scraggy and invasive ‘ornamental’ grasss

Philadelphus – A beautiful scent  but prone to looking leggy, woody and unattractive

Pryracantha – Lots of thorns & berries! 

Rubus – even more thorns and berries

Salix – A wild bad hair day of a plant that grows like wildfire. Needs a firm ‘talking to’ every year!

Solanum – Potato Vine it will end up a jumbled mess of tendrils and swamp lesser plants

Symphiocarpos – Snowberry this plant would survive the Apocaylpse it’s so hard to dig out

Vinca – a triffid of tangled tendrils collect around your feet and then trip you up

How to design a garden – 10 golden rules


In addition:

  • All tall deciduous trees – over 30ft require regular maintenance & drop lots of leaves.
  • Pine Trees  – not only do you have razor sharp (uncompostable needles) they ‘bomb’ you with pine cones!
  • All Fruit Trees – They require regular pruning and you have lots of fruit drop to contend with.
  • Birch Trees  – may be pretty but they drop thousands of seeds in spring and loads of twigs & leaves all year
  • Elderflower – Fast growing shrubs, and once you have berries you also have lots of purple bird poo!

Download our FREE guides to getting plants in places they will love to grow.

If you still aren’t quite sure what to plant with what or how to go about creating a garden, we can help. you can call me on 07985 917767 or email for some advice.


We do have some ready made garden border design ideas in the shop – all are just £3.99 each, take a look now; there are loads to choose from.

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Read more

Garden Design for Beginners

Solving Common Garden Problems 

The Plotting Shed – for tips and advice on all things plants 

Small Space Gardening

How to Restore Garden Borders

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