Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is quick growing plant that spreads rapidly 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.

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 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 2.1 metres (7ft) in June.

Japanese Knotweed:

  • Produces fleshy reddish purple tinged shoots when it first breaks through the ground
  • Has large, heart or spade-shaped green leaves up to 14cm (5 ½ in) in length
  • 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 creamy-white flowers produced in late summer and early autumn
  • Dies back to ground level in the winter, leaving dry, brown stems.

You can find out more about Japanese Knotweed and how to identify it on the government website.

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. Due to the nature of Japanese Knotweed and how damaging it can be, you do have a responsibility to remove it from your property as 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. The Government have valuable advice on how to prevent the spread of Japanese Knotweed 

Alternatively, you can ask for specialist help to treat it.

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

If you are a tenant in a property with Japanese Knotweed

If you are a tenant, you must tell your landlord so that they can deal with it responsibly. If you are a council tenant, you must call us on 020 8430 2000.

If one of your neighbours has Japanese Knotweed

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 if necessary we can take enforcement action.