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Help with identification, this plant is ruining my summer!

My next door neighbours plant (not sure if it's a weed) is spreading to my garden. I have seen this pant growing in a weed like fasion in urban hedgerows.

Luckily I have thin gravel and very little soil so the plant can't take deep routes, however I find myself having to pull up the shoots up every 6 weeks as they grow VERY fast easily reach waist heightin a couple of weeks, particulary after rain.

The plant looks a bit like a bush/tree with spongy stems slightly red (not woody) leaves are green fairly large and circle/oval in shape

I have tried spraying weed killer on the plants, to no effect. ...Strangely, the plant seems fairly contained next door but is taking over my garden in an add hoc manner

I am not a 'gardener' but would like some help identifying this plant so I can take appropriate measures. I would uploads a picture but can't see any facility to do so...

Your help is much appreciated!


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    You can upload a picture on here

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    I'm making a guess at Himalayan Balsam

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    ow help I was given this from a friend last year!! What have I done

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native plant and the Dept of the Environment has published information about its control (see link at the bottom) - it catapults its seeds up to 7 metres from the parent plant - a neighbour planted one plant in his garden, two years later all the surrounding gardens had problemmatic numbers of the plants springing up all over the place. Pull them up and seal them in a bin bag with some water and  rot them down thoroughly before disposing of them!

    Our neighbour justified growing it 'because it reminded him of his youth travelling in Nepal, and because the bees love it'.  Bees do love it, but it is so invasive that it becomes a monoculture and that is bad for nature. It also contributes to the erosion of river banks, thus affecting kingfisher and martin nesting sites, water voles burrows etc, and causing flooding.

    That being said, the way it's coiled springs propel it's seeds so far is fascinating

    And for more information scroll down to pages 14/15 of this publication

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • diggingdorisdiggingdoris Posts: 513

    I know this plant can be a nuisance, but watching that clip took me back about 50 years to when I used to stand at the bottom of my garden squeezing the pods just to see the seeds shoot out so fast. The way the pod curls back is fascinating. I can still remember the smell of them as well. Amazing memory, thank you

  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    This is not good Ive been out in my garden and see no sign of it would it survive in the North of Scotland? I hope not!

  • KezzaKezza Posts: 90


    I can't see Twinkle_83's picture, but if it is Himalayan Balsam, it definitely will survive in the North of Scotland, as I live in Moray, and it was rife at a cottage I used to rent.  I still live in Moray, but there are none of the plants where I now live - thank goodness.  I agree the way the seeds are spread is fascinating, but a nuisance plant nonetheless. image

  • If the leaves are circular/oval rather than elongated it may not be Himalayan Balsam. Bad news is that it may be Japanese Knotweed in this case:

    This is not an easy plant to get rid of, but you do need to tackle it!


  • trifid housetrifid house Posts: 100

    I have an unknown plants is my garden which look similar to himalayan balsam but the flowers are not on stalks like i see by my local river. The are small greenish pink close to the top of leaf stalk in clusters.. Any ideas???

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    Rosebay willowherb

    There is a 'Lesser Rosebay Willowherb' as well, with slightly different flowers, but I can't find a pic online. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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