japanese knotweed in summer

What are the RICS Updated Guidelines for Japanese Knotweed Treatment

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) is an invasive, fast-growing weed that can cause damage to structures and property. It grows extremely quickly, penetrating cracks and joints as it spreads. Japanese knotweed can grow to depths of two metres and extend up to seven metres horizontally from the visible part of the plant.

It can also cause damage to buildings that are within seven metres of the above-ground portions of the plant. Plus, it can impact native plants in your garden by releasing chemicals that suppress plant growth and germination. Therefore, it is important to control its spread at the right time.

News RICS Guidelines for Japanese Knotweed Treatment

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) implemented an updated guidance note on Japanese knotweed in 2022. The RICS Management Category Assessment for Japanese knotweed now uses a decision tree to categorise infestations into four categories: A, B, C, and D, instead of the earlier RICS Risk Category.

These new management categories will help you assess how, sooner rather than later, you will need a Japanese Knotweed Treatment.

Management Category D

Management Category D applies when Japanese knotweed is off-site but within 3 metres of a property’s boundary. In this category, a specialist remediation contractor should advise on possible encroachment and appropriate management. Lending advice in this category is no mortgage retention except in exceptional circumstances.

A remediation specialist would only be brought in if there was a need for defensive action against neighbouring properties or to help instigate legal action against neighbouring properties.

Management Category C

Management Category C is considered “low impact” by the RICS. In this category, there’s no mortgage retention recommendation. The RICS recommends that the client seek specialist advice. In Management Category C, the knotweed is present but not causing damage or affecting amenity. The impact on value is lower because structures and amenity spaces have not been affected. Remedial costs are at the owner’s discretion.

A private homeowner may still want to seek help from a specialist company.

Management Category B

Management Category B is applied when Japanese knotweed is visible on-site, there is no visible damage to structures, and Japanese knotweed is likely to prevent use of or restrict access to amenity space. In this category, remediation from a specialist company is required, and an insurance-backed guarantee must cover work.

The cost of remediation will be related more directly to the value of the property because no structural repairs will be needed.

Management Category A

Management Category A is the most severe category. It applies when Japanese knotweed is on-site; it’s causing visible material damage to a significant structure; it’s within 3m of a habitable space; it’s likely to affect the value of the property because repair and remediation costs will be incurred. In this category, mortgage retention is advised pending a report from a specialist that highlights the appropriate action required. Lending advice is no mortgage until a specialist report is obtained and a suitable remedial plan is agreed upon.

Non-lending advice is to have a specialist remediation contractor advise appropriate action.

The RICS management categories for Japanese Knotweed Treatment provide a clear framework for assessing the severity of an infestation and determining whether a specialist contractor is needed. If you have Japanese knotweed on your property, it is important to have it assessed by a qualified professional to determine the best Japanese Knotweed Treatment for your needs.

Contact us today for more information!

Japanese knotweed management plan - Japanese knotweed on approperty

How to Create a Japanese Knotweed Management Plan?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed is quite invasive and significantly damages properties and infrastructures. So, it is important to have a Japanese knotweed management plan in place if you have an infestation on your property. This plan will outline the steps you will take to control and eradicate the plant.

How to Plan Japanese Knotweed Removal?

The following steps will help you to create a Japanese knotweed management plan:

Survey the Infestation

The first step in creating a Japanese knotweed management plan is to survey the infestation. This will involve identifying the extent of the infestation and the location of the knotweed. The survey should also include an assessment of the soil type and the intended use of the property.

Assess the Risks

Once the infestation has been surveyed, the next step is to assess the risk posed by the knotweed. This will involve considering factors such as the size of the infestation, the location, the soil type, and the intended use of the property.

Develop a Treatment Strategy

There are various ways to treat Japanese knotweed. The best approach will depend on the size and location of the infestation, as well as the budget available. Several methods can be used to control Japanese knotweed, including Physical removal, Chemical treatment, Biological control, and A combination of methods. The choice of treatment method will depend on the specific circumstances of the infestation.

Timeline and Budget

The management plan should also include a timeline for implementation and a budget. The timeline should be realistic and achievable, and the budget should be sufficient to cover the costs of treatment or removal. Even if you are doing it yourself, you’ll need to conduct the removal in a proper time frame to get effective results.

Implement the Treatment Strategy

Once you have a treatment strategy, you need to implement it. This may involve hiring a professional contractor or doing it yourself. Either way, essential safety equipment and tools must be used to avoid any accident.

Monitor the Results

It is important to monitor the results of the treatment to ensure that it is successful. This may involve regular inspections of the infested area, as we know that Japanese Knotweed tends to grow back.

Get a Professional Japanese Knotweed Management Plan

If you need help with how to create a Japanese knotweed management plan, getting professional advice from a qualified arborist or environmental consultant is a good idea. Professional Japanese knotweed removal companies have the expertise and experience to identify and remove the plant correctly.

The team at CYB Environmental will advise you on the best treatment method for your specific situation. We will also have the necessary safety equipment and procedures in place to protect you and your property. Moreover, in the long run, hiring a professional Japanese knotweed removal company like ours may be more cost-effective than trying to do it yourself. Contact us today!

Japanese knotweed removal and treatment access restriction notice

What are the Different Methods of Japanese Knotweed Removal?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed was originally introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the 1850s. But today, it has become a fast-growing, invasive species that can significantly damage properties. Japanese knotweed removal is therefore essential to prevent the plant from spreading and causing further damage.

Its deep and extensive roots can spread rapidly, making it difficult to control. While the weed’s damage can extend to foundations, walls, and even pavements. The plant is so destructive that it is now classified as a “controlled weed” in the UK, meaning it is illegal to plant, trade, or transport it without a permit.

Japanese Knotweed Removal Methods By CYB Environmental


Japanese knotweed’s extensive root system often penetrates deep into the ground, necessitating comprehensive excavation to eradicate all traces. Although labour-intensive, this method guarantees a lasting solution and avoids the use of chemical herbicides, reducing environmental impacts. It stands as a reliable and effective method for Japanese knotweed removal, as it involves physically digging out the entire root system and rhizomes of the knotweed, ensuring eradication at its source.

Skilled professionals execute precise excavation to prevent unintentional spread, securing the surrounding environment. Post-excavation monitoring and follow-up maintenance are essential to ensure successful elimination, safeguarding against potential regrowth.

Chemical Control

Chemical control serves as a common and potent method for Japanese knotweed removal, as it harnesses targeted herbicides to suppress its growth. Specifically formulated chemicals are applied directly to the foliage or injected into the plant, effectively disrupting its biological processes. However, careful application is crucial to prevent unintended environmental harm.

This method can be more cost-effective and require less physical labour than excavation. Nevertheless, a comprehensive understanding of local regulations and best practices is essential to ensure responsible and sustainable application. Regular monitoring and follow-up treatments may be necessary to achieve successful, long-term eradication of the invasive species.

On-site Burial

On-site burial is a lesser-known method of Japanese knotweed removal, which involves excavating the infested soil and burying it at a significant depth within a containment area on-site. This approach isolates the invasive plant and its rhizomes, reducing the risk of spreading to other areas.

While it avoids the use of chemicals, this method demands careful handling and secure containment to prevent unintentional dispersal. On-site burial may be suitable for large-scale infestations where removal and transportation to off-site disposal facilities are impractical. Regular monitoring is essential to detect any potential regrowth and address it promptly for effective eradication.

What to Do if You Find Japanese Knotweed on Your Property

If you think you have Japanese knotweed on your property, getting a professional assessment as soon as possible is important. A professional Japanese knotweed removal team can identify the plant and recommend the best treatment method.

At CYB Environmental, we are trusted for treating and removing Japanese knotweed in the UK. With a head office in London and satellite offices in Bristol and Cardiff, we are conveniently located to service most of London, the South of England, and Wales. Our commitment ensures that we continue to provide a high-quality service, and accurately meet client objectives, whilst maintaining traditional values of honesty, integrity and professionalism. Get in touch with us today, and we will be happy to help!

Japanese knotweed identification in autumn, fully bloomed.

What Time of the Year Does Japanese Knotweed Grow?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, clump-forming perennial plant with tall and dense stems. By exploiting the small openings in pipes or cracks in barriers such as concrete, the plant causes serious damage & sometimes even breaks apart these structures.

Known for its rapid growth, this invasive plant no wonder leaves homeowners worried for several reasons, including property damage, reduced house prices, and more. It is said to cost taxpayers millions of Pounds per year, and the situation only gets worse as the plant has continued to spread across more properties across the UK.

Japanese knotweed growth cycle

Understanding Japanese knotweed identification and the growth cycle is important to get the right treatment for it. Like most other plants, Japanese knotweed doesn’t grow throughout the year and has a seasonal life cycle that develops through different seasons in response to the varying environmental conditions.

Typically, knotweed is quite tall, up to 3m but may vary in height depending on the season. Besides, it has bamboo-like canes that grow in distinctive and dense clumps and spreads rapidly.

All these features give this invasive plant a distinctive appearance, making Japanese knotweed identification an easy task. However, it can sometimes be confused with plants, like Fallopia baldschuanica, Persicaria microcephala, and Leycesteria formosa.

Japanese knotweed identification and growth pattern in different seasons


April to May is the time when new season knotweed stems generate from the underground rhizome system of the plant, using energy stored within to stimulate rapid growth. Bud-like shoots that are red in colour appear first just a few millimetres high from the ground. With the rise in the weather temperature, the buds erupt and begin to grow as stems. In mature knotweed plants, the rate at which they typically grow is 12-18 cm a day. Emergent stems when 10-20 cm high may look like asparagus spears, but soon develop a distinctive appearance when branches and leaves unfurl.


Japanese knotweed identification is the easiest in summer as it is the peak growing season for the plant. By early summer, the stems of the plant reach full height which is typically 2.5-3 m high in mature plants and sometimes higher than that, especially in giant knotweed. By June to July, knotweed starts growing at the rate of several centimetres a day. The free-standing canes of the plant develop purplish speckling near the base and are covered by a dense canopy of foliage at the sides as well as above the stand. This dense canopy blocks the sunlight and stymies the knotweed growth below.


By late summer and early autumn, you see clusters of tiny cream-coloured flowers on the plant. The growth of knotweed usually slows down during this time of the year. The plant prepares for the winter season ahead by re-absorbing all the essential nutrients back into its underground rhizome system. This turns all the leaves as well as stems yellow and then brown as the parts of the plant above the ground die off.


Winter is the most difficult time of the year for Japanese knotweed identification since the plant dies off and enters the dormant phase during this season. But do not be fooled. Its rhizome system is present beneath the soil, all set to emerge again when spring returns and temperatures rise.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Japanese knotweed management team at CYB Environmental, and we will be happy to help. You can also call us on 020 3005 8755 today!


How to Identify the Early Signs of Japanese Knotweed

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Like any kind of plant, Japanese knotweed has early signs of growth that allow you to identify the weed before it grows out of control. Japanese knotweed has been known to grow through walls, concrete and even tarmac, damaging the infrastructure of many homes across the UK. For this reason, it’s vital to identify Japanese knotweed in its early stages.

Here’s how you can stop Japanese knotweed in its tracks by looking out for key signs of growth.

Heart-shaped leaves

One of Japanese knotweed’s most prominent features is the heart-shaped (or shovel-shaped) leaves that dominate the plant. They are a vibrant green and can grow up to 20cm long, so aren’t hard to spot. The leaves will be staggered on the stem rather than clustered, giving them more opportunity to soak up sunlight, but will be curled up and dark in colour when the shoots first emerge.

Red shoots appearing

Once Japanese knotweed starts growing, you should be able to identify new red/purple shoots that are often compared to asparagus. These shoots can grow up to 10ft tall and will quickly develop into dense areas of bamboo-like stems during the spring. If you believe you have Japanese knotweed growing on your property and you attempt to cut these shoots down, you should notice a hollow interior. If the interior is solid, it’s likely the plant isn’t Japanese knotweed.

Buds form in early spring

Japanese knotweed growth occurs mainly between April and October, so you will see the appearance of flower buds from early spring onwards. Japanese knotweed buds are round in shape and tend to bloom between late summer and early autumn. The resulting flowers develop in small clusters and are cream/white in colour, creating thick foliage around the leaves and stems.

Quick growth

As one of the fastest-growing weeds in the UK, it’s been reported that Japanese knotweed has grown up to 10cm a day in the height of summer. If you’ve noticed a plant quickly spreading across your garden and even infiltrating other properties, then chances are you’re dealing with Japanese knotweed. The rapid root growth also increases its external appearance, with the plant reaching heights of up to 3 metres in 6 weeks.

Identifying Japanese knotweed with CYB

If you believe you’ve found Japanese knotweed on your property, you can contact CYB Environmental. We offer a free and quick identification that can help you confirm the presence of this weed, even in its early stages, before discussing removal. Currently, our Japanese knotweed solutions include:

– Chemical control
– Excavation of the roots
– On-site burial

We’ll inform you of the best removal method for your situation, helping to control the plant and remove Japanese knotweed from your property. Our services extend to customers across the UK, especially to those in Japanese knotweed hotspots. If you require Japanese knotweed removal don’t hesitate to get in touch with CYB Environmental, as failing to deal with this plant could lead to criminal charges.

Read more about the implications of leaving Japanese knotweed to grow in our blog and find out why it’s best to deal with Japanese knotweed as soon as possible.


How does Japanese Knotweed spread?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

What is Japanese knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed, also known as Fallopia Japonica is a weed that has the potential to grow up to 20cm per day, causing devastating environmental problems. Not only this, but it can also ruin houses by destroying the exterior walls that surround the property. This can have devastating impacts on the value of the property and make it hard for buyers to get a mortgage. Japanese Knotweed was first brought into the UK in 1850- before it was known how damaging the plant can be and how rapidly it grows.

How does Japanese Knotweed spread?

It is rare that Japanese Knotweed produces seeds, but it does happen on occasion. You might be left wondering how the weed spreads so rapidly! Instead, Japanese Knotweed spreads through the nodes of green stem – water and soil is the perfect environment for the weed to grow! The dispersal of the rhizome fragments, stems and crowns make it easy for this plant to thrive under the UK’s climate. Despite being a huge problem in the UK, the weed isn’t as invasive in Japan as it propagates in a different manner. Taking the weed out of its natural habitat in 1850 was a big mistake as instead of spreading seeds like in Japan, it has learned to survive and spread through roots, stems and crowns.

Each of these infestive plants in the UK is supported by an underground system filled with stems, crowns and rhizomes which spread and send shoots to the surface. It doesn’t take much for a whole plant to grow like the weed can form a fully grown plant from a single rhizome as small as 10mm. This is why it is so important to dispose of Japanese Knotweed correctly, as it can so easily contaminate the ground by dumping it.

Where does Japanese Knotweed come from?

This weed does not simply just appear from nowhere. If you have spotted Japanese Knotweed on your premises, you can expect to find it in the surrounding areas. Try asking your neighbours if they have it in their garden, or have a look around your property to see if you can spot where the Japanese Knotweed is coming from. If you can not identify Japanese Knotweed nearby, there is a possibility that contaminated soil was dumped on your land, which could have been transferred via foot or on a car.

Can animals spread Japanese Knotweed?

Certain animals are able to spread Japanese Knotweed through their droppings. These animals include sheep, cattle and goats. It is unlikely that rhizome fragments will be the cause of new growth via droppings, however, their droppings could contain stems or canes. These can indeed survive the pass through the animals digestive system and form new growth when positioned back into the soil.

Where in the UK is contaminated?

It is to the point now where there are only a few places that the Japanese Knotweed hasn’t spread. A government-approved scheme has now been put into place to track the spread of the weed. The most contaminated areas are London, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Plymouth, Southampton, Brighton, Blackpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Peterborough, Northampton, Southampton, Brighton and Newcastle.

How fast does Japanese Knotweed spread?

During the summer, Japanese Knotweed has been known to spread as much as 20cm per day. Although we know that it rapidly spreads above the ground, there has been no research conducted on what happens below the ground, yet we know that Japanese Knotweed can and does spread through its roots.

Thank you for reading our blog ‘How does Japanese Knotweed spread’. If you have spotted Japanese Knotweed and need to get it removed, we offer removal services with a 5-year warranty, take a look at our website today.


What does a Japanese Knotweed winter look like?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed is much easier to identify during the summer months with its large heart-shaped leaves and white bunched flowers. The real question is though, what does Japanese knotweed in the winter look like? Can you remove Japanese Knotweed throughout the winter?

One thing is for certain, Japanese knotweed does not die during the wintertime, so don’t be deceived by its dead-looking leaves and stalks! Japanese knotweed prefers to shy away in the wintertime, getting away from the cold, dampness, frost and snow. The weed is not as visible as it is tucked away beneath the ground, where its rhizome system holds on to all the energy it needs to survive through harsh weather conditions. The visible part of the plant starts to deteriorate over the autumn months, where the leaves start to fall, leaving bare canes behind.

What does a Japanese Knotweed winter look like?

As previously mentioned, what can be seen above ground is sparse, especially if the infestation is small and the weeds can be easily flattened. In summer, Japanese knotweed can grow up to 20cm per day! On the other hand, Japanese knotweed during winter usually will not progress growing unless the conditions are at a higher temperature than usual. Large spaces that contain Japanese Knotweed may however be more easily spotted. Hordes of Japanese knotweed canes can stand even throughout the wind and rain.

An effective way to spot Japanese Knotweed during winter is by looking up close. You will notice stems shaped in a zigzag pattern, growing towards the sky. These canes will have an appearance similar to bamboo in a darker shade- hollow and light. Depending on what time you catch the weed, you may also notice the remains of white flower clusters. It is important to try not to break the plant or stand on the plant when identifying them as you may unknowingly spread it to different locations.

-If you’re unsure how to identify Japanese Knotweed, get the professionals in at CYB

I’ve identified a Japanese Knotweed winter- what do I do?

Whatever the case, do not cut or chop Japanese Knotweed down. Japanese Knotweed is extremely difficult to dispose of and you can get fined for disposing of it incorrectly. Breaking canes of the knotweed risk breaking off a part of the crown attached to the underground rhizome network. This can trigger new growth, yes, but it can also lead to new areas of knotweed appearing in your property if the fragments are not properly handled.

A knotweed rhizome fragment that weighs as little as 0.7g can produce a new plant, which is why it’s so important to call up specialists like CYB as soon as possible. Specialists can remove the Japanese knotweed using methods that ensure they won’t return. In fact, CYB has a 5-year warranty to make sure that you feel confident in using their service.

Japanese knotweed winter in urban areas

Japanese knotweed in urban areas can appear little or not at all during winter, however, these are the areas that are most at harm from the weed. They can stand as a serious environmental problem, destroying local ecosystems and causing erosion near riverbanks. Winter floods can enhance a Japanese knotweed infestation as fragments of the knotweed can get transported via the water to new locations.

Thank You for reading our blog ‘What does a Japanese Knotweed winter look like’. If you have identified Japanese Knotweed in or around your property, make sure you call up the specialists CYB today.


Is Japanese Knotweed Poisonous?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed is a perennial plant that has advanced across the UK, infiltrating housing foundations and gardens. This weed is known for its ability to spread with speed and can even grow up to 10cm a day. It can be difficult to control and even more difficult to eradicate from your property, which is where Japanese knotweed removal comes in.

Whilst the plant is notorious throughout the country, there are still some unknown characteristics of Japanese knotweed.

Is it poisonous?

Luckily, despite the threat it poses to property, Japanese knotweed is not a poisonous plant. Some people can confuse Japanese knotweed with giant hogweed, which can cause severe burns when exposed to UV rays. A few cases of mild skin irritation have been reported when coming into contact with Japanese knotweed, but the plant poses no real threat to humans.

In fact, Japanese knotweed is edible. The plant can become sweet or savoury, depending on how it’s prepared, and can be eaten both raw and cooked. Harvesting Japanese knotweed for consumption doesn’t pose any risks to the environment, as there is no chance of the plant being over-harvested.

Japanese knotweed also contains Vitamin C and Vitamin A, and has been used for centuries as herbal medicine to cure many ailments. Whilst Japanese knotweed isn’t safe for your home, it is completely safe to touch and consume for both humans and animals.

What other threats does it pose?

Japanese knotweed has been known to grow through concrete and can weave itself into the structural foundations of your property. The plant can damage the foundation by targeting weak spots and growing through them. Some homeowners who have found Japanese knotweed on their property have been refused mortgages, making it difficult for them to sell their homes and move elsewhere.

Not only this, but Japanese knotweed can also threaten native vegetation. As the plant grows rapidly and up to 7ft in height, it blocks out and shades other species of fauna, making it difficult for them to thrive. Japanese knotweed also releases a chemical substance that impedes the growth of nearby plants.

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed

CYB Environmental specialises in the removal and eradication of Japanese knotweed from UK homes and gardens. When removing Japanese knotweed, our methods include:

– Chemical control
– Excavation of the plants and their roots
– On-site burial and/or encapsulation with membranes roots

Whilst it is possible to get rid of Japanese knotweed on your own, the plant can easily grow out of control and become tricky to excavate. Our methods of removal are completed with a team of highly trained individuals, with years of experience dealing with this plant. We ensure every trace of this plant is removed from your property, so there is no chance of Japanese knotweed returning.

We understand how worrying it can be to find this plant on your property, which is why we offer a cost-effective and efficient service to clients needing Japanese knotweed removal across the UK. You can get in touch with CYB Environmental for our Japanese knotweed removal service, or for more information on the plant.

If you are concerned about a plant and think it may be Japanese Knotweed, you can send us a photo and receive a free quick identification from one of our specialists.


Can Japanese Knotweed be Eradicated?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed spreads easily across the UK through the unintentional or deliberate movement of the plant. Thankfully, Japanese knotweed cannot spread through seed dispersion, which makes the removal of this plant easier to complete.

However, this doesn’t stop Japanese knotweed from growing at exceptional speeds and posing a threat to both properties and native vegetation. This development has lead to field trials, research and studies all being conducted to help further understand and control this plant.

Can it be eradicated?

In 2018, Swansea University conducted the world’s largest field trial on Japanese knotweed, by testing all 19 methods used to control and remove this plant. Over a period of three years, researchers found that it’s impossible to fully eradicate Japanese knotweed from the UK, with the current available methods.

However, critics of this study found that researchers had failed to properly test physical methods of removal, which have been proven to be 100% effective if done correctly. By overlooking this method, it’s difficult to state whether Swansea University was correct in their findings and how accurate their claims were.

Whilst Japanese knotweed may be impossible to eradicate from the UK, sustained control and management of the plant are almost more important. Investing in various methods of removal will improve the lives of those affected by Japanese knotweed, instead of focusing on eradicating it completely.

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed from your property

Finding Japanese knotweed on your property is worrisome but can be removed. Whilst the overall eradication of Japanese knotweed is still questionable, there is no reason why the plant can’t be eradicated from your property.

Once you have correctly identified the plant, you can then follow the steps to remove it. Japanese knotweed removal can be done with DIY if the plant growth is minimal and it hasn’t spread into the foundations of your home.

Cut down the canes and remove them from your garden or lawn, then apply a weed killer onto the remaining Japanese knotweed. Wait at least a week before removing the weeds and ensure all roots are pulled out in the process. If you are struggling with this, or have noticed Japanese knotweed returning to your property, get in touch with a specialist Japanese knotweed removal service.

How CYB Environmental can help

CYB Environmental is the only Japanese knotweed removal company and consultancy in the UK, offering an insurance backed guarantee with each treatment plan. We can help you identify Japanese knotweed on your property and remove it completely.

We use chemical control, root excavation, and burial & encapsulation to help eradicate Japanese knotweed from your home. Whether the plant has remained in your garden, or found its way into the foundations of your property, CYB Environmental will work to safely and successfully remove Japanese knotweed.

Find out more about Japanese knotweed and how you can identify it here. If you are in need of an efficient and cost-effective Japanese knotweed removal service, get in touch with CYB environmental for our full range of treatments.

Plants That Look Like Japanese Knotweed

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

The spread of Japanese Knotweed on your land or property can be very damaging. With the plants rapid spreading habits, the time taken to remove it can increase dramatically and be very expensive.

The United Kingdom has a number of other plants that can be confused with Japanese Knotweed. This article by CYB Environmental will list some of the most similar plants to aid you in identifying a real knotweed infection. We are a RICS regulated company that specialise in the removal of Japanese Knotweed. For enquiries and assessments, be sure to contact us, we can help you decide whether or not you have a knotweed infection. That being said, let’s get into plants that look like Japanese Knotweed.

Plants That Look Like Japanese Knotweed

Himalayan Knotweed (Persicaria Wallichii)

When not in bloom, Himalayan Knotweed can look extremely similar to it’s Japanese counterpart due to the similar stems. Not only to the eye, but also to the touch as the stem on both plants is hollow.

Take a close look at the leaves, are they very narrow and half as wide as they are long? With the stem growing to around 1cm in diameter? If so, the plant you’re inspecting is likely to be Himalayan Knotweed. The flowers have a pink hue, rather than the pure white plants on Japanese Knotweed.

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens Glandulifera)

Similar to Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam is a rapidly growing plant. It can quickly cover a large area and grow as tall as 2.5 Metres. It also has a hollow stem.

Begin by inspecting the stem, you will see the leaves grow opposite each other, rather than the alternating pattern of Japanese Knotweed. The leaves are also much longer and thinner too, with a pink midrib.

Plants That Look Like Japanese Knotweed

Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex Obtusifolius)

Part of the same family, so hardly surprising that it looks similar to knotweed, Broadleaved Dock has leaves arranged alternately along the stem as well. Its flowers and stems also form spikes just like knotweed.

Stems are fluted and shorter than knotweed plants, growing up to 1m in height. The stems are not completely hollow and contain a foam-like substance when snapped open.

Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia Cordata)

The leaves of a Chameleon plant are why it often gets confused with Japanese knotweed. Both plants have heart-shaped leaves and produce flowers, with both reaching heights of a metre or above.

The big difference between them is the flowers. Japanese knotweed produces clusters of small creamy-white flowers, whilst chameleon plants have slightly larger flowers with easily distinguishable petals.


Lesser Knotweed (Persicaria campanulata)

It’s not only the same that is similar. Lesser knotweed has an almost identical bamboo style hollow stem, with small flower clusters and rising to around the same height.

However, lesser knotweed can be identified by its pink flowers rather than creamy-white, with thin ovate leaves rather than heart-shaped ones. The leaves are the biggest indicator, so check this feature of the plant before you jump to any conclusions.

Ornamental Bistorts (Persicaria amplexicaulis)

Also known as Red Bistorts, this plant has similar leaves and stems to Japanese knotweed, with its stems hollow and separated into nodes. Ornamental Bistorts can be mistaken for Japanese knotweed when not in bloom.

Once flowers start to grow, this is where the plant differs. Ornamental Bistorts are also planted on purpose and don’t grow at alarming rates. You are unlikely to suddenly find Ornamental Bistorts on your property if you haven’t planted it yourself.


Horsetail (Equisetum)

When it’s young, horsetail can be confused with Japanese knotweed. Its growth speed and quantity match that of Japanese knotweed, and its sudden appearance might cause some concern.

However, Horsetail soon loses its knotweed similarities as it matures, developing green stems and its signature brush-like appearance.

Russian Vine (Fallopia baldschuanica)

Russian Vine can be mistakenly identified as Japanese knotweed due to its small cluster of flowers, and its mass of green leaves. Some leaves on Russian Vine’s could also be mistaken as heart-shaped, which might cause confusion for homeowners.

Given its name, the Russian Vine plant is a climber that relies on structures to support itself, unlike Japanese knotweed.


Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis)

With Bindweeds heart shaped leaves, it would take a closer inspection to gage whether or not it is Japanese Knotweed. The leaves of Bindweed are also similar to Knotweed due to the alternate growth patterns along the stem. Bindweed can also cover a large area very quickly if left untamed. One of that most mistaken plant that looks like Japanese Knotweed.

As the name suggests, Bindweed is a climbing plant that has the ability to grow by twisting around other erect plants. That being said, it is unable to support its own weight and lacks the ability to grow straight up, unlike Japanese Knotweed. Large pink or white flowers also appear in early summer for Bindweed, also distinguishing it from Knotweed.

Concerned about Japanese knotweed on your property? Contact CYB Environmental for our excellent removal services, or for more information on Japanese knotweed.