Many people don’t know what Chinese knotweed is, and even more, people don’t know the dangers it poses to their homes and businesses.

Chinese knotweed is a highly invasive weed that can quickly take over an area, destroying property in the process.

What is Chinese knotweed? This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about this dangerous weed, including how to identify it and how to get rid of it.

Chinese knotweed (Fallopia spp.) is an invasive plant species in the Polygonaceae family, originating from Japan and China. It can grow anywhere between 2-10 feet tall and has hollow stems with distinctive white spots.

The leaves are broad and green with jagged tips that may be covered in tiny hairs. Flowers bloom off of a spike at the top of the stem if it’s female or a cone-shaped cluster of flowers on male plants.

It used to be thought that this plant was native to much of Europe, but now we know it came over as an ornamental before World War II so many people have no recollection of its existence there beforehand.

Chinese knotweed illustration showing its heart shaped leaves - similar to Japanese knotweed - what is Chinese knotweed?
Chinese knotweed illustration showing its heart-shaped leaves – similar to Japanese knotweed

How to identify Chinese Knotweed

Chinese knotweed has two major identifying traits. The first is the hollow, white-spotted stems that are a sign of this plant’s invasive nature and strength to grow in tough conditions like deforested areas.

Second is its leaves, which have jagged tips with hairs or spines covering them sometimes at their base where they attach to.

How to get rid of Chinese Knotweed

If you’re not going to get rid of it, try and contain or at least mow down its growth. If your goal is just containment, then dig a trench around the perimeter of where this plant grows so that if any roots start growing outside of the area they’ll be cut off from water sources.

For full removal, it is advisable to use either herbicide such as or manual labour in order to kill this particular weed by hand. Remember to pull up all plant’s root systems with care to ensure you get as much of the root out as possible.

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So make sure that any plants are dealt with quickly and carefully. For better control of Chinese knotweed on your property, we recommend using a herbicide containing glyphosate (the active ingredient).

After getting rid of Chinese knotweed, keep an eye on the site for about three years afterwards – because even though those pesky weeds might have diminished over time there’s always a chance for new ones to come back if left unattended.

Why it’s important to remove Chinese knotweed from your property

Chinese knotweed is a nasty plant that can take over your property if left unchecked. It starts from the smallest of seeds and even though you might be able to control it with some gardening on your own, in order for full removal you’ll need to keep an eye out for three years afterwards so as not to let those pesky flowers come back.

If Chinese knotweed is removed before it sprouts its leaves or flower buds (which will typically happen between April – May), then there’s less chance of spreading:. This means that getting rid of any plants while they’re still small and growing below ground won’t have the same effect as pulling up stakes when everything has already taken off and fully grown.

Plus without these early blooms, destroying root systems may also prove to be easier, too.

Chinese knotweed has a particularly long taproot – in some cases, it can be as deep as six feet underground! It’s this root system that makes the plant so strong and persistent when you’re trying to uproot or otherwise destroy it: if not fully removed from the ground, those roots will continue growing.

As an invasive species, Chinese knotweed can spread easily. The stems (called rhizomes) are underground horizontal stems that grow at the rate of 5″ to 1′ per day in all directions.

What is the long-term impact if you don’t remove it 

If left unchecked, Chinese knotweed could take over your garden and yard in just a few months. It can spread quickly by underground runners as well as airborne seeds that travel long distances through the wind or by physical means such as footwear or equipment.

Once established it is difficult to eradicate without professional help as it will involve a more sizeable treatment plan orchestrated over a long period.

Chinese knotweed creates dense shade so no other plants can thrive beneath them. Chinese knotweed roots break up sidewalks, pavements, driveways, patios and lawns making them unsafe and hard to use.

Growing up to five feet tall so that sheds, decks, fences and other structures are in danger of collapsing under their weight once they consume them.

This plant will eventually kill any native vegetation it comes into contact with by poisoning its root system, killing off whatever life there was before it came along.

How to prevent its growth in the future

Chinese knotweed is also a serious health hazard: They create a toxic environment with their high levels of arsenic which plants around them absorb as well – making for an even more dangerous ecosystem.

This plant will eventually kill any native vegetation it comes into contact with by poisoning its root system and killing off whatever life there was before it came along.

Here are some ways that you can prevent its growth in the future, including through landscaping choices and weed control products that may help your efforts:

  • Mow regularly (once every two weeks)
  • Use a recommended herbicide

In Conclusion

What is Chinese knotweed?

Chinese knotweed is a poisonous plant that can take over the ground in your yard with little effort. It spreads aggressively and fast, choking out native plants along the way by poisoning their root systems.

The best prevention for this invasive weed is to stop it from growing anywhere you have vegetable gardens or live near someone who does, which will limit its growth from spreading elsewhere.

Want to know more about Chinese knotweed?

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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