Self-seeding plants can be a blessing or a curse. Those I put in the latter category are usually considered weeds (and we have several varieties of them!), but those that I’m happy to see are “useful”.
Take our roselle plants for example. I started growing them from cuttings given by another gardener way back in 2010. From there, I harvested seeds, and grew more plants. In time, though, I grew more callous towards the plants, and wasn’t as attentive about collecting seeds or harvesting fruits. In fact, a few of the plants eventually died off with the dried fruits still on them, and seeds escaped from the dried pods. allowing new plants to spring up on their own. This has been a blessing in disguise, because it’s been some time since I last saved seeds from the roselle plant, and I doubt they are still viable. I guess this spot is now designated for these plants, since they keep growing here.
The alder flower family seems to love the conditions in our garden. Or perhaps they are not fussy flowers. We bought the sulphur alder flowers and got the yellow alder flowers from cuttings from my sister’s garden. I can tell you that these plants disperse their seeds very effectively – the sulphur alders were in a patch in one area, and the yellow ones in another. Yet, over time, they have met and merged and spread to all areas of the garden. I only consider them a nuisance if they interfere with other, favoured, plants. However, it’s visually appealing to see them sharing space with some of the other plants. They’d better keep propagating themselves because I haven’t done anything to keep them around.
In terms of veggies, I’m glad that jicama plants produce so many bean pods because I think we have just one plant left – and it’s thankfully just produced some clusters of seed pods. I usually snip off the pods when the flowers finish blooming because I prefer the plants to spend energy on developing their roots, but am making an exception in this case because I need to grow new plants as the pumpkin plants stifled the other jicama plants without my noticing…
Sadly, not all plants – although they can self-seed – will keep growing where you originally planted them. These are a couple of plants that we used to have, that I now miss a lot:
Ah, I miss these flowers! However, I’ve learned from experience and from the wisdom of other gardeners that you should focus on growing the things that grow well in your garden. Goodness knows that I’ve experimented with different plants over time and worked hard to keep them happy. It would be better to choose plants that are more fuss-free and suited to the conditions here. Right?