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When Droppings Sprout

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - How’d that get there? You can find things growing in the strangest places sometimes – a cherry tree by a lamppost, or some vine winding up through an azalea. Ever wonder why? Often it’s because critters drop things by.

Lots of seeds need a little kickstart before they germinate, and being cleaned and digested by a bunny or bird helps seeds get going. That’s why you’ll often find odd plants springing up along a fence or under an unrelated tree branch where birds like to perch, and drop the seeds ofF they’ve eaten below.

Plenty of them are pretty plants; flowers that welcome more birds and butterflies to your garden, or a holly tree where you weren’t expecting one. If you keep a bird feeder full, you might evensee sunflowers and other birdseed sprouting up all over.

But you may also discover poison ivy, oriental bittersweet and other weedy things that you’ll want to get rid of before they take over. So, it’s up to you as a gardener to weed out what you don’t want to grow from all those seeds the birdies sow.