Of all the ways to protect ourselves against Lyme disease, planting “this” instead of “that” isn’t usually part of the conversation. And yet, knowing which plants attract disease-carrying ticks can make a difference. Japanese barberry, a non-native ornamental shrub that’s popular for its deer resistance, became established on New England’s post-agricultural lands in the early 1900s. It has invaded our forests, stifling native tree and wildflower regeneration and altering soil chemistry. Extensive research has revealed there is a link between Japanese barberry infestations and blacklegged (aka “deer”) ticks and the causal agent of Lyme disease with which they are infected.