If you are planning to spend time in your garden this summer, it’s worth knowing that there are several intrusive plants that could invade your flower beds – and leave you with a big fine.
Plants, such as Japanese Knotweed, must be kept under careful control as they can spread quickly and cause damage to neighbouring properties. Some species of plants are heavily regulated with fines issued to anyone who fails to keep them under control.
According to Government advice, if you find invasive, non-native plants on your land, you must stop them from spreading and causing a nuisance – or risk a hefty fine.
Here are some of the most invasive plants, identified by the gardening maintenance company Fantastic Gardeners, which are considered an offence by law to let grow in your garden:
Spear Thistle: Spear thistle is a weed with roots that grow horizontally. It’s very adaptable and has the potential to overpower almost every plant it encounters.
Japanese Knotweed: Japanese Knotweed can cause significant problems to property and garden once it spreads throughout the garden – and is notoriously tricky to remove if it takes hold, with costs of up to £10,000 to have the pest professionally eradicated from your garden
Rhododendron Ponticum: This pretty purple flower is problematic as it grows to a great height and can block the sunlight to other plants. Once it takes hold, it’s very hard to get rid of for good.
Himalayan Balsam: This intrusive species can be easily spread by animals, wind, and rivers, making it hard to stop when it begins to grow. An astonishing 800 seeds can be found on each plant, providing plenty of opportunities for seed pods to spread – as they can shoot up to 22 feet away from the plant’s original location.
Giant Hogweed: This uniquely shaped weed is filled with a powerful chemical known as furanocoumarins, which can cause significant injury when the sap touches human skin. A burning sensation and permanent scarring make this very dangerous to anyone who encounters the plant, and it is strictly controlled for this very reason.
Fantastic Gardeners also advise that people visiting parks or going on country walks during the warm weather should watch out for plants that may be poisonous to animals or leave you with a nasty sting or burn.