Japanese Knotweed is not something you want to discover in your garden as it can be extremely difficult to remove and control. It’s worth knowing what to look for so that you can act quickly if you discover it growing on your land or on your neighbour’s property. A recent court case between Network Rail and homeowners in South Wales who claimed their properties were being adversely affected by the plant resulted in Network Rail being ordered to pay compensation to the householders, although this is currently being reviewed.
The plants can grow extremely quickly, up to 30 cm in 14 days reaching a height of 7.1 m. The shoots appear in the spring and die back in the autumn. It spreads rapidly and overwhelms other plants, the root system can spread up to 7m and 3m deep. Controlling the plant can be difficult and lengthy. Care should be taken if digging out the plant as the smallest piece of rhizome left will take root and thrive and it is illegal to add any roots or cuttings to your garden waste collection. The plants need to be disposed of by a licensed waste carrier. Professional companies such as Gardenscapes offer landscaping throughout West Sussex and are well aware of the drawbacks of this particular plant and can advise you on the best method of removal.