I’m a gardening expert – is Japanese knotweed illegal in your garden and what to do if you have it

We are all aware that weeds are an annoying addition to any garden as they are an eyesore and can cause a lot of damage to your patio.

But there’s a certain guy you should be on the lookout for—or else you’re in for a nightmare job and a hefty fine.

Experts recommend cutting out the perennial weeds – otherwise you could face a nightmare and a hefty fine


Experts recommend cutting out the perennial weeds – otherwise you could face a nightmare and a hefty finePhoto credit: Getty

Japanese knotweed, or Reynoutria japonica, is a fast-spreading weed that grows into bamboo-like stalks that can potentially reach 7 feet (2.10 m) in height.

This perennial weed is a well-known nuisance, not only because it stunts the growth of all other plants, but also because it is incredibly difficult to get rid of.

Elimination requires the help of a professional as its creeping roots make it difficult to remove by hand or with chemicals.

And if you leave even the tiniest amount in your soil, chances are it will grow back next spring.

So it’s important to catch it early – and here’s what to look out for.

In spring, reddish-purple, fleshy shoots sprout from crimson-pink buds near the ground. Once established, it can be recognized by its bamboo-like stems and small, white flowers.

You may also notice purple spots along the canes and heart- or shovel-shaped leaves.

Just don’t confuse it with Russian grapevine, Himalayan honeysuckle, or red dragon.

It is often found on roadsides, flower beds, along borders and between paving stones.

Not only is it a nightmare to tame, it can land you in legal trouble too – homeowners can be fined up to £34,000 if Japanese knotweed is spotted in their garden.

However, in a recent lawsuit, a seller was forced to pay £200,000 after his property was found to be overgrown with green stems.

Professionals explain why the system is such a problem financially Japanese knotweed expert said: “Japanese knotweed can reduce the value of a property by up to 20%. It can also be difficult to mortgage a property infested with Japanese knotweed.

“Also, once you’ve acquired the property, you may have to pay for the costs of remediating the Japanese knotweed.”

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emmajames@ustimespost.com.

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