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PlantFiles: Japanese Knotweed, False Bamboo, Mexican Bamboo
Fallopia japonica

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Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Fallopia (fal-OH-pee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Polygonum cuspidatum
Synonym:Pleuropterus cuspidatus
Synonym:Polygonum cuspidatum var. compactum
Synonym:Polygonum zuccarinii
Synonym:Reynoutria japonica

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Perennials

Height:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Herbaceous
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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Profile:

10 positives
7 neutrals
42 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative Tiffit65 On Mar 23, 2014, Tiffit65 from Croydon, NH wrote:

This plant(Fallopia japonica) is horrible. It has taken over an area in my back yard, and now nothing but this plant will grow there. Last year I found it growing all along our property border, and it started growing under, and over my stone wall, and choking out the sunlight to my Lilly's.
I've noticed they grow almost 8 feet tall, and ants are all over them. They grow very fast, as I've cut them down, and continued mowing the area every week, but they still come back. They are also very messy when they flower, and not even the flowers smell nice. My animals don't like to go near them, as they also are a good hiding place for skunks, possums, and groundhogs. I hope to be rid of them this summer, as I will be building a brick, and concrete patio where they are now.

Negative coriaceous On Feb 18, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is both an unstoppable thug in the garden and an invasive plant destructive of natural areas. It's an important environmental problem across most of North America. Eight states have made its planting illegal as a noxious weed or invasive plant.

It produces vast numbers of winged seeds, easily carried by wind. It also spreads underground. It's often spread by contractors moving/spreading/selling soil, as it regrows from the tiniest piece of rhizome. It spreads along rivers and streams as the water erodes and moves soil along the banks.

I've managed to kill it by repeated application of 2% glyphosate over more than one season. I've known many gardeners who've tried to kill it by organic methods, and none who's succeeded.

Negative Rickwebb On Feb 17, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is another powerful East Asian invasive plant in the eastern and Midwestern US. It infests some spots in the open forest and in fields around in southeast PA. In a yard it spreads rapidly by underground rhizomes.

Negative stephenp On Jul 13, 2012, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is the single most disruptive plant in the world.. in the UK people are now encouraged not to plant it, and planting it in the wild is illegal. In fact planting in gardens at all may now be illegal? It has spread out of gardens and into the natural world where it chokes other wildlife.. thankfully many programmes to eradicate it have proved somewhat successful, although some areas with it, still remain.

This is ok in an exceptionally cold area like Northern Canada or Northern Scandinavia, but in mild areas it is an absolute no no.

Negative CrystalH10 On May 1, 2012, CrystalH10 from Burlington, ME wrote:

I moved into a home in Maine about 2 yrs. Ago. And this was all around the house and property. Very bad plant. Still trying to get rid of it. Tried digging, weed killer several kinds and no luck. It is growing into our rock foundation of our old farm house. Which is over 100 yrs old. This plant is not good for anyone. The roots are like thick wood stocks. Very hard to dig up. I don't believe I will ever get rid of them. We should of never bought this property. But we bought it as a bank report. And didn't have much money to work with. And this is what we get. A very bad noctious weed. That cant be stopped when you have this amount to deal with.

Neutral SuburbanNinja80 On Aug 6, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

It maybe a Invasive but you can use it for so much also. But its insanely soft those but you can Drew it out then your good to go. I found this today at work But, not in the Ground Someone used it for a wedding.

Also has anyone heard actually of the bamboo barrier... it may help you, stop complaining because it was yor fault you didnt do any research before planting it.

Negative dmith7777 On Jul 22, 2010, dmith7777 from East Brookfield, MA wrote:

Welcome to the terrorist king of all Invasive plant species, It laughs at Roundup, pulling it up just spreads it, It readily chokes out anything in its path. I can not believe anybody could actually want this plant, It is like wanting cancer. I have succesfully destroyed a large patch of it on the edge of my lawn. since It likes acidic soil I came up with a pretty good system of permanent removal. cut the stalks off about 1 inch tall and bury them with lime untill covered, then water them lightly so a very strong dose of lime water soaks in, then cover with thick black plastic held down with bricks,then let the waiting begin, if any shoots try to poke out from under the plastic just cut them off and add more lime and plastic It seems the combination of way too much lime and 0 sunlight kills them permanently. Good Luck..

Positive Actee On May 10, 2010, Actee from Paris
France wrote:

Oh, that's certainly another weed with the roots in hell. One day a new prohibition era will begin. All these infamous and Satanic plants will be outlawed. So what a pleasure for everyone : free everyone's land of this demonic plant, with angel's water like Crossbow or another mishmash. That's for preserving our garden, baby, so it's a sustainable way, even with napalm !

As far I'm concerned, knotweed is a problematic bit but it does not requires any chemical answer since it must not be considered by anthropomorphic means. Don't pray, don't spray ! There are other ways to get rif off it (allelopathic trees, tarpaulin, etc.).

Neutral salbi On Mar 14, 2010, salbi from Mount Vernon, WA wrote:

Due to the large amount of herbicide use this plant has created, I consider it very bad for the community. Maybe by using alternate methodologies, I would consider it simply invasive. I have successfully removed it by a fairly time consuming method of removing ALL new sprouts as soon as they're easy picking distance from the soil. Not have the sunlight act as a fuel sources degrades the plant as it sends it's energies towards more sprouts without any refill. The method is simple. Pick all sprouts until dead. One to Two years. I have made a fairly good pie like rhubarb from the newer stalks.

Negative anelson77 On May 16, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

invasive exotic which grows rampantly and is very difficult to remove. It is a threat to native vegetation and should never be planted or tolerated.

Positive quatske On May 6, 2009, quatske from Belfeld
Netherlands wrote:

Love this plant! We have a lot of it got it with the house.
Grows fast eve here in Holland! It makes a nice green private zone. In fall time use it for decoration in the house together with flowers or just leave them in winter. And in the spring time the sicks are easy to remove.
Easy to control just cut young the roots with a spade. We even took whole aria's out (digging) an replaced them controlling the young ones by pulling them out or cut them and a year later everything is gone. You have to put some energy in it it won't go away from its own.

Positive Invasive On Apr 6, 2009, Invasive from Jamestown, KY wrote:

I just LOVE this plant, It Is such a pretty plant and with science has now found It has a very powerful substance In It's roots called reversathol. Very healthy and for many conditions that you might have, It just might be the answer to your health problem! So remember that the next time you see some Japanese knotweed. This plant should be planted In everyone's backyard. If you have some be sure to share with friends and family members and give anyone some that wants some to start. Very easy to grow just dig a little piece of the root up and give It to them to plant and before long they will have a bunch of It. It also will spread by seed, but mainly by root. This Is among some the nicest plants you can grow. Its foliage and flowers are very pretty. A+ plant all the way!

Negative Dave_T On Nov 3, 2008, Dave_T from Everett, WA wrote:

I manage a golf course in western Washington, and we have a few stands of this stuff. I have noticed a couple of people mentioning that they have used glyphosate (Roundup) on this. Don't. Roundup does not control this type of plant. I recommend a product called Crossbow. I don't believe you can get it from the local hardware store, but a good Ag/Turf supply company (I recommend Wilbur-Ellis in my area) will carry it. Mix about 4oz of it per gallon in a backpack sprayer and you will get very good control. Sometimes one application will last the season. Even better control can be had with the "cut-stem" treatment. Let the plant grow a bit, then cut it down low to the ground and apply the Crossbow to the cut stems immediately.

For those who are seeking this plant for purchase or trade: Check with the laws of your state first. This plant is considered a noxious weed nearly everywhere and may very well be illegal to plant. You may think it's pretty, but your neighbors won't when it spreads to their property. There are plenty of ornamentals available that are aesthetically pleasing without being dangerously uncontrollable.

Neutral DMSmith7 On Sep 10, 2008, DMSmith7 from Miccosukee Cpo, FL wrote:

Very invasive species in England

Neutral FreddieAnn On Sep 1, 2008, FreddieAnn from Vernon, B.C.
Canada wrote:

I too am blessed with this plant beside my house, having come through the fence from a neighbours yard. Constant digging in the spring and mowing the rest of the summer seem to have kept it from getting much bigger. HOWEVER, I have dug up new clumps in the spring and potted them up in large planters for my patio. They make a beautiful planter pot and if left outside over the winter will return the next year, no care other than water needed. It gives a lovely tropical feeling to the patio, a bit of shade and privacy at no cost at all. I have given it to other people to grow in pots, but make them look me in the eye and give the "I will not put this in the ground and will dry and burn it to get rid of it" pledge! I also monitor the pots carefully when they are in the garden over the winter to make sure no sprouts are escaping!!

Positive cactusman102 On Aug 21, 2008, cactusman102 from Lawrence, KS wrote:

Relax a bit......let the plant take over.....so what! Look what our own invasive species has done to this earth! Besides, plants like this are good for absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), sequestering harmful chemicals and adding oxygen to the air. I figure we should promote dense stands of plants like this to offset all the tropical forests we cut down and burn.

Maybe instead of crying about how this plant ruined your life and saying how horrible it is, lets try to see the good too.... explore its use as paper, bio-fuel, erosion control, or neighbor screening and repellant.

Think about this.....If you are concerned about a plant taking over, you are upset because of a control issue You are upset that you can't control a species just as determined to survive on this earth as you are.

Negative daylilyfanatic On Jul 16, 2008, daylilyfanatic wrote:

I just wanted to say that although it attracts bees this plant is very invasive and chokes outother plants includingsome of bees faviortes.

Neutral vtlafemme On Jul 14, 2008, vtlafemme from Arlington, VT wrote:

I initially did not like this plant, and technically I still am trying to get rid of it. But after long research I found an interesting program: burn the tall stuff, EAT the small stuff. Bizare to say the least. But God gave us this plant for a purpose, right?

Negative chedder66 On May 25, 2008, chedder66 from Huntington, NY wrote:

I cannot believe people are trying to trade this plant on this site! That is a horrible idea and very irresponsible.

I hate this plant! I have some of this in my backyard and I control it by cutting it as low as I can and then spraying herbicide into the hollow stems. Its been working adequately and I have not let it get too bad.

Negative kitty143cat On May 7, 2008, kitty143cat from Waterbury, CT wrote:

I live in Connecticut and this weed is very invasive. I have failed so far in getting rid of this weed. I'm going to try Spectracide Brush Killer it says it will kill Knotweed but its not specific about the Japanese kind. We're going to dig down 6" - 12" (spray with weed killer) and put down weed blocker fabric with staples to hold it down in place. Then put down fresh top soil and more weed blocker fabric with staples and mulch. We never plan on planting anything here because we're afraid the Japanese Knotweed will grow back. I hope this works! :-)

Negative von30 On Apr 17, 2008, von30 from Sherwood, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

The only thing that I have found that works well for killing Knotweed
is stem injection. I had to shell out the money for the specialized tool and it's very tedious injecting each stem, but it works.

Negative cynthia_c On Mar 17, 2008, cynthia_c from Great Barrington, MA wrote:

Our small lot was surrounded by knotweed on three sides... I can't say that it's eradicated, but once I adjusted to the thought that I'd just have to do knotweed patrols all summer, it's been ok. A boundary area of mowed grass, even without any landscaping fabric under it, stops it pretty well--or at least, keeps it contolled. I believe that the knotweed becomes confused and confounded in its efforts to grow in the lawn--it keeps trying to come up, keeps getting mowed down, and gradually loses a fair amount of vigor. I haven't had problems gardening in the areas beyond the mowed strip--very little knotweed arrives there, and I can easily pull out those few light surface roots once in the spring. Also, the dense shade of our conifer border slows it down enough for me to have a fighting chance--I go out every couple of weeks and pull it or wack it with a handtool. Frequently, I can talk my boys into doing this for me--it's fun and easy to chop at, when it's young. I dry the roots in my driveway.

Negative Malus2006 On Feb 18, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Will spreads by sending rhizomes at least 20 to 30 feets away from the parent plant. The only nice thing is that you can use the dried stalks as stakes but still weak compare to bamboo stakes. I have been wondering if they can be used for industry product - they have plenty of cellulose - for paper, ethanol, or for fires that produces energy when shredded and compacted together in a block - at least find a use for them as they are hard to get rid of.

Negative daredevil On Feb 17, 2008, daredevil from Niagara Falls, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Misery loves company and I laughed through most of the comments, only to be slapped into seriousness by the few people who praise this plant.
We did the dig out, cover with heavy duty landscape frabic and then with 1-2' of dirt when we moved here. Problem is, you'd have to extend the landscape fabric at least 2 yards past the dug out area, and we couldn't due to our neighbor's trees. And we couldn't attach the landscape fabric to our own garage to make a tight seal. We're forever mowing new sprouts. This just makes the plant mad -- last year, it broke through the concrete floor and is now growing happily inside the garage!
At my first house, I had monstrous Alianthus and went through many truck jacks and come alongs pulling those out. Trying to jack a huge crown of knotweed is a method of propagation.

Negative lilmac442 On Dec 23, 2007, lilmac442 from Millington, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I had never experienced the vile plant until I moved to upstate NY. The previous land owners planted several stands of it to hide the garbage dumping that had been done all over the property. Shame on them! I cut and dug and waged war all fall on a single stand-only to see it return in double measure the following spring. I have read that in some places it is illegal to bring this plant in, due to its invasive qualities. And yes, when you pile up the canes to burn, it sounds like artillery fire! My neighbor two doors down came over to see what kind of gun or M-80's I was setting off. I am back in MI now and if I never see another one of these horrible curses, I'll be a happy gal. phooey and bleah!!!

Negative Fledgeling On Dec 20, 2007, Fledgeling from Huron, SD wrote:

The most current name is Fallopia japonica. This is a invasive weed with no redeeming qualities and is likely one of the worst weeds out there. Research shows that this plant has begun to hybridize with a closely related introduced species (F. sachalinensis) and their hybrid, F. x bohemica, has even greater potential for further spread than its parents.

Negative distantkin On Nov 3, 2007, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Listed on Minnesota DNR invasive list
"Ecological Threat:
Japanese knotweed spreads primarily vegetatively to form dense thickets that suppress native vegetation.
It can pose a significant threat to riparian areas, such as disturbed stream sides, lakeshores and other low lying areas, where it can rapidly colonize. It tolerates full shade, high temperatures, high salinity and drought.
It is currently occurring from Maine to Minnesota and south to Louisiana and scattered in midwestern and western states. It was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s for ornamental purposes and erosion control."

Neutral plantaholic2 On Sep 6, 2007, plantaholic2 from N Middlesex County, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I'm on the fence. I have the ornamental 'Variegata' which I was told is not as aggressive. I have some in the shade that is still tiny after 3 years. But I also put some in a sunnier area (3-4 hrs) and that got a little scary. This past spring I saw some shoots go under a stone border and pop up on the other side in the lawn.

So I just pulled all of it out last night from the sunny area. I made some divisions of it in pots with the intention of planting them in other shade locations. But now reading all these negatives, I am quite afraid to do that.

I did take care to keep all the parts of it separate from other yard debris. My gut told me that would probably be wise but I was unsure how necessary a precaution that was. Boy, I am glad I did that after reading all these comments. I have it all in a black plastic back that will go to the landfill, but now I am not sure if that is good enough. Maybe I will dump it all out and let it dry and fry to its death first.

And I think I will also revisit the area where it was and dig around for more roots. I think there was a big root growing into a boxwood that I kinda disregarded.

Negative ceferino On Jun 15, 2007, ceferino from Soppe-le-haut
France wrote:

I live in France where this plant spreads mainly by folks buying gravel/sand/etc that came from infested river banks, among other means of propagation. I would call it a hideous pest but in fact it's rather pretty. Unfortunately its invasive nature and incredibly rapid growth rate would still make me call it hideous.

I don't have any on my 4 acres yet but if some shows up I am glad to have found this website to learn more. I don't know if I can buy Crossbow from Dow Agro Science here in France but if Knotwood rears its ugly/pretty head I will find that out quick. Else I'll use repeated Roundup until it's dead. We have no creeks on our property to worry about polluting with Roundup. Not that I like resorting to chemicals. Nobody talks about goats.

Ceferino
Alsace, France

Negative kenny7476 On Jun 2, 2007, kenny7476 from Kent, OH wrote:

I have hated this plant for two years when I saw it in my friend's backyard when he moved. Now, two years later since I have moved into a new home, I have inherited my own rather large infestation of this foul and cumbersome weed. Just in the past few days, I decided to look it up and finally found out its name. Now that it has a name, I hate it even more. I actually have been dreaming at night about cutting it down, that's how obsessed I am with erradicating it.

Thanks for all of the notes on getting rid of it. The only problem with my land is that the knotweed crosses over property lines. So I will do my best to stop it to where my land ends, then continue to fight it every year for the rest of my life. I only have flashes of myself when I am 80 years old, out back with a machatte, cursing this living garbage for the next 45 years.
Ugh.

Negative paracelsus On May 30, 2007, paracelsus from Elmira, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is one of the only plants I would never recommend anyone plant. Here in upstate NY (I can't believe someone in this area actually planted this thing), Japanese knotweed is pretty much taking over all the areas alongside creeks that furnish paths for wildlife. It forms huge thickets, crowding out every other plant form, and nothing can eat it. The flowers are usually so sweet that their scent is sickening, but this year in addition they smell exactly like tom cat pee. And this plant can grow through 6 inches of pavement. Garlic mustard is as nothing compared to it. As for harvesting the roots for alternative medicine, don't make me laugh. The roots of a healthy patch of Japanese knotweed are like solid wood. So don't plant it, please!

Positive heygeno On May 25, 2007, heygeno from Columbus, OH wrote:

Maybe I should have looked further---- My knotweed fits all other discriptions except MINE has the most beautiful pink/red seedheads in the fall that almost GLOW !
I love this plant. It does spread but I dont mind having to control it. This year I cut early sprouts - to a foot high in size - and made soup with them ( web has recipies ).
Geno

Negative dhughes On May 24, 2007, dhughes from Commerce Township, MI wrote:

I hate, hate, hate this plant!! I inherited it when I bought my house and have been trying to get rid of it for 4 years. It covers almost a 1/4 of woodland property and has choked out trillium, jack in the pulpit, mayapple and many more desireable plants. I dig and dig and pull it out frequently and I'm making some progress, but very slowly. This stuff laughs at Roundup and I don't want to use more chemicals due to the sensitive native plants and wet woodland area it is in. Another note - I am a horticulturist and in Michigan it is illegal to plant Jap. Knotweed and/or knowingly grow it. A hefty fine can result. Do not plant Jap. Knotweed.

Negative rose_gardenmom On May 3, 2007, rose_gardenmom from Boise, ID wrote:

This plant was growing in the back corner of the yard when we purchased our house. My husband was actually fond of it, but he finally agreed to let me mount an attack effort on it. We tried Round-up, digging as much of the roots as possible, etc. Nothing worked. We turned off the water to the area (we live in the desert!) and actually trained our dog to trot out to that corner every time he needs to do his business . . . but after all our efforts for four or five years, the stuff still manages to come back with a few shoots every year. Unbelievable! The dead stalks do serve one useful purpose; I break them off every spring and use them as unobtrusive supports for the peonies.

Negative northofboston On Apr 23, 2007, northofboston from Gloucester, MA wrote:

It is an on going battle to rid my garden of this plant.

Positive mamapajama On Apr 17, 2007, mamapajama from Poughkeepsie, NY wrote:

Yes, this plant is invasive - around Dutchess county, NY it is a roadside weed. We have controlled it by mowing and pulling up new shoots in spring. That being said, the plant makes a great instant screen, growing 10' or more in about a month. Late summer. another bonus - bees love the small white flowers that appear. Since our north american honeybee population is declining, and I use beneficial insects in my organic gardens, this is a positive thing, although someone else may find a bee and wasp attractor less than desirable. One last thing - do not plant near foundations as it eats concrete if left long enough.

Positive skygardener On Jan 7, 2007, skygardener from San Anselmo, CA wrote:

All you negative comment folks are missing out on a long life!

This plant contains in it's root, a recently discovered elixir made from grapes called resveratrol. It's all the fashion to take this in the alternative medical world, for all kinds of conditions, and lately it's been tested in 500mg/day doses to be a cell rejeuvenator. Besides, as a pesticide, the extract of the root has been sprayed to give plants more resistence to molds and fungus, such as powdery mildew.

I just discovered one company that gets their resveratrol from Giant Knotweed, another name for Polygonum cuspitdatum. I'd say you have a wealth of health in your landscape if you're blessed with abundance of this plant. Dig up the roots and make tea, and live happily every after.

And, it's also a Chinese herb, which you have to pay good money for, but, that will at least let you check with an herbalist to be sure it's good for you.

On this site they say the herb prevents thrombosis of the epithelial cells in the arteries ... Other doctors say it helps memory, controls blood sugar, and that it actually helps the cell normalize.

Don't be so quick to pull out the "weeds" in your yard. Native Americans believe that what grows around you are the healing plants you need. Take another look. The internet might help you identify your health problems, through the kindness of the weeds in your backyard.

Be Well

Negative myoldfriend On Sep 5, 2006, myoldfriend from Lake Stevens, WA wrote:

It is growing adjacent to a creek. It dies back completely in the winter when the temp sometimes goes down to 10 or 15 degrees and stays for weeks. I pull it all out when it first shows up, but two weeks later there is even more of it. I would never use poison close to a stream (or anywhere else for that matter) so guess I am stuck with pulling, chopping, glaring, and cursing...:) I live in Lake Stevens, WA.

Positive ridgerunner1 On Jul 3, 2006, ridgerunner1 from Dearborn Heights, MI wrote:

I've been growing this plant for more than 25 years. It makes a great privacy screen. I keep it under control by pulling new wandering shoots. My neighber even ask for some plants. He also enjoys the living privacy fence they create. So the plant is alive and well in southeastern Michigan.

Negative LarisaB On Jun 11, 2006, LarisaB from West Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This noxious weed is one of the three main invasives I see taking over the Alki Peninsula. Ravines and empty lots in my neighborhood are full of it where they should have native elderberries and the like.

Negative jgyuhas On May 19, 2006, jgyuhas from Biddeford, ME (Zone 5b) wrote:

There is a large stand of this noxious plant behind my stockade fence and I have been fighting it for the last 9 years. It sends up sprouts every spring and I attack it with a shovel and try to pull up as much root as possible. This battle goes on all summer and the worst part is that the sprouts and stalks ( if they aren't caught in time) grow right through other plantings like strawberries and iris, etc. and controlling the knotweed results in damage to desirable plants.

Negative ladygardener1 On May 18, 2006, ladygardener1 from Near Lake Erie, NW, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Have tried to get rid of this for 30+ years, it came with the house. It is a constant battle. I try to dig out what I can when I see it popping up.

The only good thing about it is the old dried stocks will make a loud crack when you add it to an outdoor fire!

Negative mgartist On May 14, 2006, mgartist from Fox Island, WA wrote:

This plant is terribly invasive and is on the Washington State Noxious weed list.

Neutral wolfsowl On Apr 9, 2006, wolfsowl from Kelowna
Canada wrote:

A neighbor gave me a cutting of false bamboo from her garden about 20 years ago. I planted it by my rabbit barn mainly as a sun screen, but I also liked the tropical look of the plant. I knew nothing about how to grow or plant it, but it grew into a large bushy crop in no time. It is extremely hardy, and I'm sure it would have grown out of control if not for the rabbits, who really like to nibble the new shoots. They also like use the base of the plant as their potty. In the last 20 years it has not grown beyond the 6 square feet or so of ground I first planted it in, and I've had no problems with it in the rest of my yard. However, my neighbor has spent the last 20 years trying to eradicate it from her garden with only limited success.... perhaps the secret is to use rabbit poop.

Negative JennyD On Apr 7, 2006, JennyD from near Truro, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 6b) wrote:

I live in Cornwall, in the south west of Britain, where the climate is damp and mild. Japanese knotweed is a major invader in this area and hard to deal with because it is an enthusiastic vegetative reproducer. Our local horticultural college is carrying out experiments to ascertain how best to get rid of it. However, I have just heard a report on the radio from a member of a group of gardeners who take care of a local cemetery. They have problems with knotweed too but seem to have round an effective -- if perhaps rather labour-intensive -- way of getting rid of it. They regularily pull it up wherever it raises its ugly head and then throw what they have pulled onto some raised surface: pallets, stone or concrete slabs -- where they leave the knotweek to dry out completely before disposing of it. Apparently this is effective. The regular pulling weakens the plants and drying out stops the reproduction which can happen if you try to compost it.

Negative Equilibrium On Jan 13, 2006, Equilibrium wrote:

I will echo the sentiments expressed by all others who posted a negative for this plant. Difficult if not impossible to contain without labor intesive removal combined with chemicals. This plant will get away from you as it repeatedly escapes cultivation.

Negative renwings On Nov 17, 2005, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

AWFUL! It is choking the riverbank and elbowing out native species. Just as bad as blackberry bushes here. It doesn't even look that nice in my opinion. You are out of your mind if you plant this monster.

Negative BettyAlready On Jul 26, 2005, BettyAlready from Petersburg, NY wrote:

Japanese knotweed came with the house I bought four years ago. I did pretty extensive research regarding getting rid of it, and tried several things. The most effective is just to spray the leaves as it comes up in the spring, using a heavy councentration of Roundup. I have one very large stand under control--it is almost eradicated, but it will never be completely because it grows along the stream behind our house, and I don't use the Roundup anywhere near the stream. There is another stand behind our barn that I haven't concentrated on, although I spray the perimeter to keep it contained. I will probably continue to let it exist and try to control its spread because I don't need any more land to mow, and it does provide a nice screen.

DO NOT PLANT IT, EVER. Also, don't bother to try to dig it up. And DO NOT discard any piece of anywhere, including the town dump--it's just mean to other people.

Negative fluffygrue On Jul 14, 2005, fluffygrue from Manchester
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

"In 1981, The Wildlife and Countryside Act made it illegal to spread Japanese Knotweed." Don't plant it in the UK - it's extremely invasive. If you have some in your garden, keep pulling it up and burn it.

Negative GwenStoller On May 6, 2005, GwenStoller from Kirkland, WA wrote:

Noxious weed in WA state. Need information on how to eradicate!

Negative bc43 On May 3, 2005, bc43 from Jefferson, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is an obnoxious invasive that should never be planted.

Negative pdxJules On Mar 22, 2005, pdxJules from Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

There are several stands of this in my neighborhood so we'll have an invasion for many years. I first saw it when I bought my old house - a large tropical looking plant was in the back yard - a friend said KILL IT NOW - IT'S BAD! I decided to wait till fall to hack it down - and that was long enough for it to send roots far far away. I'm still trying to find and pull the long roots and stop it from coming back.

They have insignificant white blooms, then unfortunately, also throw seed. Even Round Up didn't stop mine, and I am about to try that again...along with some violent shovel work. Please don't let it get a foothold in your neighborhood.

Positive kalloco On Nov 8, 2004, kalloco from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I love to consume polygonum cuspidata...AKA Tiger Cane...or Japanese Knotweed. I would like to purchase a live plant to propagate.

Negative monsterman On Aug 26, 2004, monsterman from Lesage, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

If you plant this, you had better start saving your money, cause your gonna need a lot of roundup. This got started in my yard from a piece on a backhoe bucket ( at least thats all I can figure out ). I found this on another site: "Their rhizomes spread underground 25 feet in all directions, sending up shoots tough enough to pop through pavement." another site I read a few years ago said roots up to 60 feet deep. But I finally got rid of it ...........I moved : )

Positive gonedutch On Aug 5, 2004, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

Since I planted it last year the Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia Japonica, forms a beautiful blind behind my barn. It is fast-growing, has great foliage and provides an attractive display of white flowers in late summer, like white lilac, or some of the elderberries (sorbaria sorbifolia). As a precaution, it should be planted inside a defined border where it cannot escape, like a mowing edge and/or thick pavement. Its controversial press shows that a 'weed' is only a weed where it is not wanted. If you are not convinced, check the scent of Joe Pye Weed or Butterfly Weed, or the great foliage of Variegated Bishops Weed.

Negative sirkeith On Jun 1, 2004, sirkeith from Sheboygan, WI wrote:

The False Bamboo has been a thorn in the side of the city development office where I live. It is an extremely hardy weed which can only be killed by basically killing the ground it resides in.

I like the landscape fabric idea to choke it out, but I would add this to the recommendation: Instead of using landscape fabric, use the same rubber membrane that roofers use on flat roofs. It is stonger, thicker, and all but impossilbe for plants to poke through. It also has a greater lifespan than frabic and comes in wide sheets. This also works great under decks and patios with gravel or sand on top to control weeds under these structures.

The agriculture guru from my city recommended this though. There is a chemical herbicide for woody stemmed weeds called Crossbow from Dow Agro Science. It sells for about $66 a gallon here in it's concentrated form. It gets mixed with water (he even recommends doubling or tripling the dosage to kill this particular plant), and then gets sprayed on. This will kill everything in that soil! The grass and any plants you want to keep are also goners. He recommended doing this over and over until there are no more shoots popping up and then to re-fertilize the area and start over.

I hope some of this helps. Good luck and may fortune smile upon you.

Negative dedeschmitt On Jul 31, 2003, dedeschmitt wrote:

This is indeed a VERY invasive weed. When we bought our place in Maine there were several stands of it and we were told that it's literally impossible to get rid of. Contrary to what we were told, we HAVE irradicated it in one large place where it was really an ugly landscaping problem.

We began the project in early spring, but I think you could do this at any time of year. First we moved, scythed, dug out and pulled up all of it we could. Next we lay porous landscaping/ground cloth over the whole area, using lots of pins and very generous seam overlaps. On top of that we put down about 4" of topsoil and planted grass seed. The idea was to suffocate and exhaust the stuff. It's worked very well and is almost gone. We did have some work it's way up through the seams and some little guys pop up around the edges and through several tears in the fabric - we just keep pulling them up. Over time they started getting weaker and weaker and smaller.

Finally this year, we've had almost none of it return. The grass there isn't doing very well because we didn't make the soil deep enough, but at least half our yard isn't lost to knotweed. We may not have totally irradicated it, but . . . it's a pretty good solution for some situations!

Suggestions for improvements to this method:

1. If I did this over again, I'd actually tuck&fold the seams to make them even more impenetrable, and I think we would have defeated it even sooner!

2. Make the area as smooth and free of sticks and roots as you can. Our area was partially woodsy and there were some raspberry plants we didn't remove carefully enough - their stems caused holes in the landscape fabric where several knotweeds popped up later.

3. My next problem is how to improve the lawn there - the soil is not really deep enough for it. I'm considering removing the topsoil and grass - and starting over with more landscape cloth and adding better, deeper soil.

Negative groovytee On Jul 28, 2003, groovytee from Washington, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant was out of control at my new house. Though it will take me a few years, I will conquer it. BEWARE: Do NOT plant this anywhere!!

Negative franz On Oct 8, 2002, franz from Hawes
United Kingdom wrote:

In the UK it is an extremely invasive, practically ineradicable weed.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Birmingham, Alabama
Fortuna, California
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Boise, Idaho (2 reports)
Hayden, Idaho
Moscow, Idaho
Brookfield, Illinois
Lawrence, Kansas
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Biddeford, Maine
Burlington, Maine
Fallston, Maryland
Brockton, Massachusetts
East Brookfield, Massachusetts
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Northbridge, Massachusetts
Sharon, Massachusetts
Shirley, Massachusetts
Commerce Township, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan
Ludington, Michigan
Tecumseh, Michigan
Brewster, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dover, New Hampshire
Newport, New Hampshire
Neptune, New Jersey
Deposit, New York
Fairport, New York
Horseheads, New York
Jefferson, New York
Monsey, New York
North Lawrence, New York
Poughkeepsie, New York
Saranac Lake, New York
Schenectady, New York
Southampton, New York
Staten Island, New York
Linville, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Kent, Ohio
Sherwood, Oregon
Albion, Pennsylvania
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Washington, Pennsylvania
Southlake, Texas
Arlington, Vermont
Chester, Vermont
Huntington, Vermont
Bristol, Virginia
Covesville, Virginia
Longview, Washington
Mount Vernon, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Lesage, West Virginia



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