How to Remove Japanese Knotweed

These recommendations are primarily for homeowners and communities that would like to start working in their neighborhood greenspace. For each species we recommend herbicide-free control methods, but have added an herbicide option for some species for those who are comfortable using them. These methods were selected while keeping in mind limiting soil disturbance, reducing herbicide use, and avoiding harm to other species that may be present whether they be other plants/animals. Manual removal is possible for all of them if you have the time. If the infestation is overwhelmingly severe or these tips aren’t proving effective, we suggest you consider qualified professional services.


Japanese Knotweed

Fallopia japonica – Georgia EPPC Category 1 Alert (significant potential to become a serious problem in Georgia)


This plant is one of the hardest plants to remove, even professionally.


Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed leaves and flowers.


Japanese knotweed stems

Japanese knotweed stems.



First clear out the surface growth from previous growing seasons. Then, cover the area with a wire fence mesh with ½” x ½” openings. Fasten the fencing material down so that it will stay put throughout the growing season. The knotweed stems will grow through the steel mesh. As they grow, they will expand in diameter. Eventually, they will push against the mesh and girdle themselves. The surface growth will die back, but the rhizome will continue to push new stems through the wire mesh. The stems will continue to girdle themselves until the rhizomes carbohydrate reserves are depleted. 


Girdling Japanese knotweed



“Category” refers to description of invasiveness based on information from the Georgia and North Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) and do not necessarily reflect the severity of invasions in Atlanta specifically. View our Resource “Atlanta’s Top Invasive Plants (A to Z) Expanded List” for more information.

A great opportunity to learn is volunteering with us at a Forest Restoration project. Please view our Calendar of upcoming service projects or consider enrolling in our annual Forest Stewardship training program. For other species removal, also read: How to Remove Our Top 10 Invasive Plants.

If you have any questions about this guide please email