How To Identify Japanese Knotweed

How To Identify Japanese Knotweed

We are often contacted by distressed individuals who are dealing with accusations and claims due to simply not knowing that they had Japanese Knotweed on their property. In the height of the growing season, Japanese Knotweed is generally an attractive plant and we have had stories of people watering and pruning it to suit to their garden. Of course, as the weed has spread and become harder to manage, it has raised concerns to both the owner and neighbour and with a click of the search tab – ‘Japanese Knotweed Claims! Claim your compensation today!’Before you know it, the neighbour has instructed solicitors and the owner is in distress.

This is just one example of how individuals can unknowingly land themselves in trouble for an innocent mistake. We are aiming to raise awareness of the plant and the implications it can have so this situation can possibly be avoided in the future, starting with how to identify Japanese Knotweed.

Japanese Knotweed Through The Seasons

Japanese Knotweed in the spring will appear in reddish shoots which resemble asparagus. These can then grow up to 2cm a day, formulating thick bamboo-like stems which will then start to develop smooth, green, heart-shaped leaves.

In the early summer, the stems are hollow which purple speckles. The leaves are bright green and appear to alternate along each side of the stem in a zig-zag pattern. The plant will now start to grow even more rapidly, reaching a maximum height of up to 3 metres!

By the late summer, clusters of creamy white flowers appear on the plant. These provide a great source of nectar for insects so look out for an influx of insects to your garden when identifying Japanese Knotweed in the summertime.

As we move into the winter, the leaves will fall from the plant and the canes will die. The canes turn brown and have a dark orange centre. Do not be fooled by dying appearance because without effective treatment, they will be back to invade your garden the following spring!

For photographic reference, check out our identification section on our website

Just by simply knowing how to spot Japanese Knotweed can save you a lot of hassle in the future. The earlier it is identified, the earlier licenced professionals such as ourselves can start to remediate the issue.

If you think you have Japanese Knotweed growing on your property, send a picture to our email for a free identification service.