It’s that time of year again when Spring begins and the weather becomes more favourable for everything to grow in the garden.

Whilst we all love what you can grow in your garden, along with it also comes those dreaded weeds.

The most notorious of all is Japanese knotweed. Therefore, spotting the early Japanese knotweed shoots in your garden should give you a fighting chance to get rid of them early on in the season.

Why is Japanese knotweed a problem?

Japanese knotweed is an invasive weed that can grow up to 12 inches per day. It spreads by both vegetative propagation and seed production, with large numbers of seeds produced each year from a single plant.

The weed has been found in at least 36 U.S. states and infests over 3 million acres of land throughout the country.

Its sheer growth dominates and consumes everything within its vicinity which ultimately kills all other plants in your garden.

The only way to claim back your garden is to tackle it early on in Spring before it grows and flowers.

Early Japanese knotweed shoots begin to grow from late March across open ground from seeds spread the year before
Early Japanese knotweed shoots begin to grow from late March across the open ground from seeds spread the year before

What time of the season will Japanese knotweed appear?

Japanese knotweed typically begins to sprout in late March or early April, with flowering occurring between June and October.

The plant dies back to the ground each winter, but the roots remain alive and can regrow the following spring. You may see Japanese knotweed growing in gardens, along roadsides, or in other disturbed areas.

If you see Japanese knotweed growing on your property, it’s important to take action to control the plant. If left unchecked,

Japanese knotweed can quickly spread and become difficult to eradicate. There are several different methods of control that can be used, including physical removal, chemical treatment, and biological control.

How to identify Japanese knotweed shoots

It’s important to note that the first visible shoots may not be Japanese knotweed, so if you’re not sure, keep looking. You’ll know you’ve found Japanese knotweed when its leaves are a vibrant green on top with a lighter shade of green underneath.

I’ve already mentioned how closely they resemble bamboo shoots, but one way to tell the difference is that Japanese knotweed leaves are slightly pointier than bamboo shoots. If you look closely, you’ll also see that the veins on Japanese knotweed leaves are more prominent.

The stems of Japanese knotweed are red or purple, and they’re hollow in the middle. They can grow up to 3 meters tall, but when they’re just starting out, they’re usually around 1 meter tall.

The pink heads of Japanese knotweed buds begin to climb out of the ground  at an alarming rate - early Japanese knotweed shoots
The pink heads of Japanese knotweed begin to climb out of the ground at an alarming rate

What action should you take?

When you see Japanese knotweed shoots appearing, it is important to take immediate action in order to prevent the weed from spreading. Here are a few tips on what to do:

  1. Remove the shoots as soon as possible using a sharp knife or clippers. Be sure to dispose of them properly so they don’t spread the weed elsewhere.
  2. If the shoots are near a paved surface, use a weed killer to kill them off.
  3. Monitor the area closely for any new shoots and take action immediately.

By following these tips, you can help prevent Japanese knotweed from spreading and taking over your property.

In conclusion

What to do when you see early Japanese knotweed shoots appear

If you think you’ve found Japanese knotweed on your property, the best thing to do is call a professional for help. Japanese knotweed is very difficult to get rid of once it’s established, so it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible.

Want to know more about Japanese knotweed shoots?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email –

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

Knotweed Removal, UK

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