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Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is quick growing weed that spreads and is a threat to other plants. On this page you will find out how to identify the weed and how to get rid of it in the right way.
Japanese Knotweed

Identifying Japanese knotweed

It is important that you can identify Japanese knotweed on your land. This will allow you to manage and deal with it in the right way.

Japanese knotweed begins to grow in early spring and can grow in any type of soil, no matter how poor. It can grow as much as 20 centimetres per day and can reach a height of three metres in June.

The weed:
  • produces fleshy red tinged shoots when it first breaks through the ground
  • has large, heart or spade-shaped green leaves
  • has leaves arranged in a zig-zag pattern along the stem has a hollow stem, like bamboo
  • can form dense clumps that can be several meters deep
  • produces clusters of cream flowers towards the end of July
  • dies back between September and November, leaving brown stems.

Getting rid of Japanese knotweed

If it is on your land

We do not collect Japanese knotweed. You must not put Japanese knotweed in your rubbish bin or include it in a green waste collection.
You do not have to remove Japanese Knotweed from your land. However you could be prosecuted or given a community protection notice if you allow it to spread onto someone else's property.

Do not try to cut the weed down, mow or strim it. This will just make it spread.

We suggest that you:
You could be fined up to £5,000 or sent to prison for up to two years if you cause Japanese Knotweed to spread into the wild by moving contaminated soil or plants.

If you are a tenant

If you are a tenant, you must tell your landlord. If you are a council tenant, you must call us on 020 8430 2000.

If it is on a neighbour's land

If Japanese knotweed is growing on neighbouring land, you should try to speak to the owner. You can make them aware of the weed and tell them what they can do to control it.

If your neighbour does not do anything to control the weed, we can help. Simply report the problem using our online form and we will take enforcement action.

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