Japanese Knotweed is an interesting and unfortunate example of what can happen when a plant leaves its natural habitat. It is native to Japan and East Asia, where it’s a small nuisance. Its growth in these areas is severely limited due to the insects which eat it and the fungus which kills it. Take the Knotweed out of Japan, move it to the UK, and you have a very serious problem.
That’s exactly what happened in the 19th century. It first came to Europe as an ornamental plant. It has since infected lawns everywhere. Homeowners struggle to identify and kill this weed before it destroys their property.
Their best bet is to contact a professional to completely eliminate the threat. Otherwise, the plant will simply regrow and return the following year. Knotweed grows fast and it can kill many other plants that you would rather have in the area. It’s important that you understand Japanese Knotweed identification so that you can know when to call a professional.
Japanese Knotweed Identification According To Seasons
Identifying the Japanese Knotweed will differ slightly from one season to the next. This is because the plant cycles through various phases according to seasonal conditions. It begins its growth during the spring time. By winter, the plant will mostly die above the soil. Homeowners might think they are free from the menace, but the shoots will begin to regrow the following spring. That’s why completely destroying the plant from below the surface is mandatory.
Spring Time Identification
The Japanese Knotweed stores nutrients within the rhizome. During early spring these nutrients are used to facilitate rapid growth. You will usually see the first signs of growth during the month of March. The purple and red shoots appear above ground with rolled back leaves. The leaves will grow at a very fast pace because of the nutritional surplus within the rhizome.
Summer Time Identification
Japanese Knotweed identification is much easier during the summer. These are the months when the plant will hit the peak of its growth. The stem of the Knotweed looks a lot like a bamboo shoot with small purple dots. If you were to cut one of the canes open you would notice chambers that stored moisture as well as nutrients. As for the leaves, they have grown fairly large with pointy tips. Finally, near the end of summer, the Japanese Knotweed will begin to bloom white flowers in small clusters.
Winter Time Identification
The plant does not like the frost. Its leaves will begin to brown and the plant will retract back into its rhizome. It may even seem to disappear entirely, but don’t be fooled. Beneath the ground, the rhizome is still alive. As spring returns, new sprouts will exit the rhizome and peek above the surface.
Having Them Removed
Identifying Japanese Knotweed while it is above the surface is very important. Likewise, you can attempt to dig below and identify the rhizome. If you believe that this plant is on your property, then you are highly advised to contact a professional Knotweed removal company immediately.