FAQ'S about Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed white creamy cluster flowers

Is it illegal to have Japanese Knotweed

No! It is however illegal to allow the plant to grow and spread onto neighbouring properties. You are also legally able to treat the plant yourself but remember there is no quick fix when treating Japanese Knotweed so be prepared for a lot of patience and perseverance. We advise however that you get your Japanese Knotweed under control ASAP with a management plan from an approved contractor.

Can I get a mortgage with Japanese Knotweed on the property

In most cases yes. We have found that the majority of mortgage companies are happy to lend if there is a 10 year management plan and 10 year Insurance Backed Guarantee in place which is being carried out by a Property Care Association approved contractor like Savage Gardens. Always check with your mortgage lender first though.

Do the seeds on the flowers help to spread the plant

No the seeds very very rarely germinate. The plant is spread through the rhizome (roots) underground and a very small amount of rhizome is needed for this to happen. The canes in summer if given the right conditions could cause the plant to spread but the leaves and winter canes are unable to reproduce. 

Is Japanese Knotweed poisonous

The plant isn't poisonous and the new growth shoots are edible, although we haven't tried it! We don't recommend taking any home as it is illegal to transport Japanese Knotweed without the correct licences and the only destination should be an Authorised Waste Disposal Facility.

Can I cut or burn Japanese Knotweed

You are legally allowed to treat, cut or burn your own Japanese Knotweed in your own garden but care should be taken to understand how the plant spreads so you do not cause this and make the situation worse. There is also a lot of legislation surrounding the plant. So do not compost the Japanese Knotweed or take any cuttings to your local waste tip which is highly illegal. It is best to incinerate any Japanese Knotweed waste you may have, but check the local bylaws with regards burning and bonfires.

Are the chemicals used dangerous

All our operators are licenced and trained to use herbicides in a safe and controlled manner via NPTC. This is for our own safety and for the public and environment around us. The herbicide we use is safe but we recommend for precaution that any pets and children are kept away from the treated area for approximately 1 hour following herbicide application, so that the product can completely dry to the plant. 

Further Reading

Property Care Association Guide

Property Care Association Home owners guide

A Homeowners guide to Japanese Knotweed - A guide to the problems caused and how to deal with them.

RICS Professional Information

RICS - Japanese Knotweed and residential property information paper

Japanese Knotweed and residential property, 1st Edition Information paper produced by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Environment Agency

Environment Agency - Japanese knotweed Code of Practice

This guidance has been withdrawn from use in 2016 because the Environment Agency no longer provides best practice guidance. See guidance on preventing harmful weeds and invasive non-native plants spreading weeds for information on controlling specific plants.


Defra - Pesticides - Code of Practice for using plant protection products

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