Weed Warrior Frank’s Invasive Weed of the Week: Knotweed-Zilla

Knotweeds have come to our region.

Japanese, Giant, Himalayan and Bohemian Knotweeds are bamboo-like bushes. They were popular imports that grew thick and fast in 19th Century English gardens, providing shade and privacy.

Unfortunately they became way too much of a good thing, not only for the owners, but also for the neighbourhood. Knotweed plants can send roots sideways into other yards, punch through concrete basements, home siding and up through floors into bedrooms.

A neighbour’s plant that can invade your yard, your house, your privacy and tickle your nose with its root tendrils while you sleep soon loses most of its adorability factor — especially if it stops you from getting a mortgage or home insurance, like in Great Britain.

Prevention is by far the easiest method of dealing with a knotweed invasion. A single knotweed plant can send its root system deep and wide. A tiny piece of root or stem, left in the ground, can start a new plant colony, years later. So, unless you want to dig up your whole yard with a big backhoe and sieve all the dirt through a fine screen, or spend countless hours every year for the next decade patiently snipping and painting thousands of knotweed stems with Roundup, keeping knotweeds away from your community is the simple solution.

Garden centers should not be selling plant monsters like Japanese, Giant, Himalayan or Bohemian Knotweed.

Let’s all be plant responsible, and keep Cranbrook safe for us, our neighbours and future generations.

Weed Warrior Frank