My Japanese Knotweed Nightmare….


Greetings my fellow gardeners. Thirteen years ago I purchased a beautiful old home with a tiny yard full of miscellaneous shrubs and unusual mystery plants.  I had lovely thoughts of creating a private haven of flowering vines, small fruits trees and edibles, similar to my late grandmother’s garden. I had very little knowledge at that time about gardening, so I read hundreds of books, watched gardening videos and took various classes for over a year.

The following Spring, I emerged outside with my gardening gear, ready to clean up the yard when I noticed several tall, red stalks protruding from the ground next to a concrete pad where a garage once stood. Uncertain of it’s identity, I shrugged and continued my yard work. Two weeks later, my curiosity became relentless so I took of picture of the stalks…now a good 4 feet tall and looking a bit like bamboo and sent a picture to our local extension office. Soon I received bad news, it was Japanese Knotweed.

Thus, a 11 year battle has ensued and it is ongoing as you can see. Because of the concrete pad, it has remained in a small area. At the end of the summer, the bees descend on the tiny  flowers and the birds eat the seeds.

A few more facts about this invasive weed:

Japansese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

  • Originated from Asia and was introduced to the US in the 1800’s as a ornamental
  • Has rhizome runners that can extend 60 feet
  • Can grow under any conditions and is listed as one of the world’s most invasive species

I have tried nearly everything to combat it organically. Next Spring, I am going to try something new.  Because it is invasive, you have to be extremely careful handling it and with it’s disposal. I have included several links to provide you with more information.

Japanese Knotweed: Dreadable Edible








21 Comments Add yours

  1. jansweeps says:

    That sounds like a nightmare plant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s roots need to be excavated by specialists, you won’t get rid of it and it can grow through 4″ concrete so can cause a lot of damage to buildings. It’s not good news to have it in your garden at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I agree. Professional help is the next step.


  3. Sounds similar to bind weed, or garter weed here in Ireland.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is truly a monster weed.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We have it in Ireland, too. See my comment below (I’m in Mayo).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Noooo! That’s bad stuff. We have it in Ireland, too – and if it is on your property? Good luck selling it! We have a new county scheme to get rid of it, however. It involves injecting each stem with…something nasty. But at least they aren’t spraying chemicals around willy-nilly. They did a few test patches last year and they have NOT come back, so I guess it works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I realize I am going to need professional help getting rid of it. I am happy the injections worked in your region.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It must be a lot of work, making sure you poke every last stem. I’d rather like doing that!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I certainly will…LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Anna, Japanese knotweed is a persistent plant with rhizomes that can penetrate deep into the soil – on average 3m down and 7m around each plant, however to get rid of it you have to be more persistent than it is!! Organic control is hard – digging and pulling can weaken the plant but it is just a temp control measure. Herbicide or complete excavation are only real viable way to treat but make sure it is done correctly!! The damage is causes is over exaggerated. It can’t grow through thick concrete only where it is damaged. Tarmac is very weak so anything can grow through that! Mortgage lenders and insurance companies however are paranoid about it! And don’t worry about the seeds – they are not viable in the UK – a few seeds can make stems but they don’t survive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for reading my post and for your advice. Yes, I have read terrifying stories about it this weed. I will be using an herbicide (injections through the stalks) to combat it. Hopefully, it will work.


  6. sounds a lot like the kudzu I grew up seeing everywhere in Georgia. That stuff was unstoppable. Good luck with your invasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kalamain says:

    Japanese knotweed is a horrid plant when it gets hold.
    As stated above some methods (manual) do work but you risk forcing it to spread. The best is chemical. The injections are not cheap though.
    When I worked for the council it was a constant problem and some home owners we meet had been taken for a lot of money for shoddy work.
    Do some research on companies before you contract someone in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly will. Thank you so much for your suggestions and for taking the time to read the article.


  8. Can you bore down deeply into the ground around it and kill it with salt and/or vinegar? Or is it too tough for that? Granted nothing would ever grow in that spot again but at least you’d be rid of it. As one of your readers already pointed out, it is similar to kudzu in its propensity to spread. Kudzu is invasive to the US, aka “The Vine that Ate the South.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have tried that method. This weed is a monster. The roots grow too deep. I am going to try injections next Spring.


  9. We used to have it in the village I grew up in – a few years ago after I found it was edible I went to look for it, but it had all gone. Sorry I can’t tell you how they did it, but it does show it can be killed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, I am working on it.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s