Monty Don gives advice on how to keep weeds 'under control'
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Not all plants are considered good for the environment. In fact, some non-native species and invasive weeds are heavily regulated in the UK. While it is usually not illegal to grow them in your own garden, controlling the spread of these “criminal” plants is crucial to prevent further damage to neighbouring properties or wildland. Spotting prohibited plants growing on your property is easy to do when you know what to look for, and these are just nine key species you should know about according to Fantastic Gardeners.
Intrusive plants don’t always look unpleasant as they spread throughout the garden, making them even harder to identify as harmful species.
The attractive green leaves on Japanese knotweed and the striking purple seed heads on spear thistle can both offer an enticing garden display, but they are just some of the problem plants which are threatening wildlife, the food chain, and biodiversity across the country.
Fantastic Gardeners said: “These plants tend to spread vigorously, making their control costly and difficult.
“Fines and regulations would apply to anyone who fails to abide by the law.”
Which plants are considered criminal in the UK?
It is considered an offence by law to let any of the following plants grow outside in your garden.
This enticing plant is considered to be highly invasive and poses a significant threat to other native UK species.
Spear thistle is a problematic weed because it produces a tap root on germination, with lateral roots that grow horizontally.
According to Fantastic Gardeners, this plant is very adaptable and has the potential to compete with almost every plant it encounters.
While the yellow flowers may be deceiving, this “beauty” of a weed is actually poisonous to most mammals.
It is one of the most commonly reported weeds found throughout the country, though its growth should be strictly controlled to protect livestock.
This green, leafy plant is highly invasive and will harbour several different types of unwanted garden pests.
Broad-leaved dock can grow in all soil types, with “no climatic limitation” to stop this plant growing across the country.
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Known as a flexible weed, the curled dock plant will outcompete most native species.
Curled dock and broad-leaved dock are both covered by the Weeds Act, 1959.
This invasive plant can grow almost anywhere, causing significant issues to homeowners once it spreads throughout the garden.
Japanese knotweed can take years to eradicate completely and can cost upwards of £10,000 to be professionally removed.
Though the small purple flowers may be deceiving, this widespread, tall plant is considered problematic for several reasons.
Not only can it grow to a considerable height, but it will block sunlight for competing plants while doing so.
Eradication costs the UK millions every year, and is no easy feat to get rid of for good.
This intrusive species can be easily spread by animals, wind and rivers, making it hard to stop when it begins to grow.
Around 800 seeds can be found on each plant, leaving plenty of opportunity for this ripe seed pods to shoot up to 22 feet away from its original site.
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 makes this very dangerous to passers-by and is strictly controlled for this reason.
New Zealand pigmyweed
This invasive weed is known to kill any native species in its path, posing a considerable threat to your garden and surrounding land.
Sales of this plant have been banned since 2014 in the UK in order to control the rapid spread.
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