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24 Nov 2022 < Back

Homeowner garden maintenance tips for invasive plants

As part of #MaintenanceWeek, and in addition, as it is also our ‘2022 Invasive Weed Conference’ today, for homeowners that are also keen gardeners or horticulturists, we have put together some maintenance tips to help contain a range of non-native plants/weeds to help maintain and prevent their potentially damaging spread.

Plants including Japanese rose and Montbretia are a common sight in gardens across the country, but they are among a number of non-native species, including Japanese knotweed, that ‘escape’ from gardens up and down the UK. 

Why the need for maintenance…

Through Government legislation and the media, many of us have become aware of the potential harm non-native, invasive plants can cause to buildings and to the environment. In particular, invasive plants like Japanese knotweed, Bamboo and Buddleia can cause damage in the wild by displacing native species.

For homeowners, they cause problems such as a loss of amenity space, potential damage to hard surfaces, boundary walls and even the property itself. This can even potentially lead to the devaluation of land and property, as well potential restrictions on mortgages.It is important that steps are taken to control their growth.

There are things however, you can do to help maintain and stop the spread…even in the winter months. Check out our maintenance tips & guidance below…

Our maintenance guidance & tips

Annual plants, with seeds dispersed by wind e.g. Himalayan balsam  

Management of Himalayan balsam should be done by trimming or pruning, which will ensure the plant is unable to produce the flower and seed pods. If are seeds present in the soil, they will germinate in the spring but try to remove these by pulling/hoeing. 

Perennial (woody shrubs) plants that produce seed attractive to birds etc. (e.g. cotoneaster, Japanese rose

Keep in check by pruning and thinning, which will reduce the amount of seeds and fruits that can be dispersed by animal vectors. It may seem a bit perverse to deny wild birds a readily available food source for the winter months but the potential harm these plants can cause in the wild should not be underestimated.

Perennial plants that spread by underground rhizomes, stolons or bulbs (e.g. Three-cornered garlic, Montbretia, Variegated yellow archangel

Lift and thin, taking care to sieve the soil to remove excess bulbils etc.  Avoid unintended dispersal outside the garden through the disposal or transfer of soil which still contains the bulbs and root fragments or, in the case of Variegated yellow archangel, stems and stolons which can self-propagate.

Perennial plants; seeds dispersed by wind (e.g. Buddleia)

Although not a ‘Schedule 9’ plant, it is non-native and causes both ecological displacement and can affect buildings and built structures. Seed dispersal can be limited by removing seed heads in the autumn (bagged and placed in the correct bin) and mature plants can be pruned heavily each winter. If complete removal is needed the plant can be cut down to the ground and ‘Ecoplugs’ or similar applied to the stump (please read label precautions before use) stopping new shoots appearing in the spring.

More help and advice

For homeowners looking for additional help and advice on on invasive plants and weeds, you can go to our homeowner help & guidance pages using the button below where you will find a variety of information and advice on a variety of invasive plants.

If you are a professional however, you can also find guidance by visiting the professional pages

More info about invasive plants

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