Invasive plants

Find out how to deal with Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed.

Japanese Knotweed has:

  • heart shaped leaves
  • red streaks or spots on leaves
  • stems that are 2m to 3m tall

Damage caused by Japanese Knotweed

Underground stems cause damage to paths, drains and building foundations.

Treating Japanese Knotweed

  • Use a weed specialist
  • don't try to dig it out. The plant needs to be completely removed. If you leave any part of the plant it might spread
  • Spray it with a herbicide to treat Japanese Knotweed
  • Don't put it in your brown bin. 

Giant Hogweed has:

  • large green leaves with jagged edges
  • white flowers
  • thick bristly stems
  • stems up to 5m high

Damage caused by Giant Hogweed

The sap of the plant can cause damage if it touches your skin.

It can cause blistering, severe sunburn and sensitivity to sunlight. This can be a lifelong condition.

Treating Giant Hogweed

  • Don't touch the plant and keep children away.
  • Spray it with a herbicide to treat Giant Hogweed. Make sure you cover your hands and eyes.
  • Don't put Giant Hogweed in your brown bin. 

Removing Giant Hogweed

Don't try to remove Giant Hogweed yourself.

Contact Scottish Nature Scot for advice (opens new window).

Last modified on 6 September 2023