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What It Is

Japanese knotweed is a problematic weed that has become the scourge of residents across the country. The weed has caused nothing but a headache to homeowners and gardeners who have attempted to fight its growth with all their strength, only to find out that the intrusive plant has refused to go away.

Japanese knotweed displays an undying resilience to survive, and it’s easily dispersed from one point to another, further frustrating the efforts made by locals and governments to manage it. It’s important for everyone to be up-to-date so that they are able to spot it and act immediately.

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The earlier you identify Japanese knotweed and start treatment, the safer your home and garden will be from its harmful effects. The roots of the weed are strong enough to push their way through weak areas of concrete, causing thousands of pounds’ worth of damage to the walls and foundations of buildings. Japanese knotweed also has the ability to sprout up through potholes in the yard and outgrow nearby plants and vegetables in the garden.

Even more damaging is the fact that homes found with Japanese knotweed growing on their property can be devalued in price and refused mortgages and planning permissions by authorities. The loss you will incur once the weed is discovered on your land will make it even harder to sell your home in an attempt to run away from it.

The physical characteristics of the plant can vary from season to season, so here are some of the key features that you should be looking out for at each stage of its life.


The plant will start to emerge from the ground presenting red and purple shoots that grow speedily due to the readily available nutrients in the stem. This affords it a look similar to that of asparagus spears. The leaves are normally rolled back.


The weed opens up into shovel shaped leaves that are a mild green in colour, growing at a rate of up to 10cm per day. Their tips are pointed and have a straightened edge. It is almost smooth in feel. The stems are greener with purple specks around them, resembling a bamboo stem. During summer, you’ll notice dense foliage, made up of small flowers that are white or cream in colour.



In Autumn, the leaves start to discolour, turning yellow and gradually wilting. The colder weather will cause the stems to dry up and turn into wood-like orange/brown canes. The best time to identify the weed would be during the summer season since its characteristics will be more visible.


During winter, the plant’s leaves dry up and fall away. The canes are still standing and have turned dark brown/maroon colour, although they may topple over in harsh weather. Stem and leaf material decomposes slowly leaving a deep layer of plant litter. If you were to dig approx. 2m deep, you’d find a dark brown knotted root, called rhizome. Inside will reveal an orange-yellow colour. Small white roots or buds are also noticeable around it. If the stem is fresh, you’ll be able to snap it.


Failure to identify Japanese knotweed could result in further spread and increased treatment costs, so you should always be on the lookout for it. If you or your neighbours discover the growth of Japanese knotweed, then the only way to remove it is by contacting experts, who will make sure that it’s properly eradicated. If you’ve discovered the growth of Japanese knotweed on your property, then get in touch with Japanese Knotweed Solutions Limited for professional eradication and control.


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