Not as striking as a horror movie perhaps, but Japanese Knotweed, to give it its English name, is a much more frightening prospect. This herbaceous perennial, similar in appearance to bamboo, was first introduced by the Victorians as an ornamental plant.
There are two main difficulties with this plant. In purely gardening terms, it takes over by forcing out virtually every other plant. Whilst this would be annoying, the second problem is infinitely more serious. As it spreads, it can cause widespread destruction to house foundations, boundary walls, and even cavity wall spaces. Away from the home, roads, pavements, drains and sewers have also suffered severe damage.
If you have growing children, you will occasionally measure their height and be pleased if they have gain a centimetre or two each time. Japanese knotweed can grow by ten centimetres in a single day! It is spread, not by seed, but by either cut stems or their roots (known as rhizomes). Just 1cm is enough to root a new plant. These rhizomes can grow 3 metres down and seven across, causing the damage mentioned earlier.
What you should never do!
Unlike the clearance of other weeds from your garden, you should never try and dig up this ferocious pest on your own. As we’ve just discovered, cut stems and rhizomes are an agent for spreading the knotweed. Besides, so serious is this problem, there are now legal requirements for dealing with it should you find it on your land.
What you should always do!
The answer is to gain professional help, and there is none better than that available from Japanese Knotweed Specialists – who offer expert advice and solutions to homes throughout the UK. They will start by conducting a professional survey to assess the extent of the infestation. From there, they can provide a range of solutions, including herbicide spraying, stem injection, creating vertical and horizontal protective membranes and, in the most serious of situations, complete excavation.
None of these solutions sound pleasant, but, if you have Japanese Knotweed in your garden, you have to take action. Apart from any other reason, if you allow it to spread (and it will) beyond your property, serious legal implications and costs can quickly follow; so don’t fall behind like these fellas in one of our previous articles who did not treat knotweed and could face fines up to £2,500.
However, don’t panic. The starting point is to find out if you have a problem, and if you have to what extent.