What to Plant in Place of Japanese Knotweed
prepared by the Delaware River Invasive Plant Partnership

Japanese Knotweed –

What to Plant in its Place 


It is important to rapidly establish native or non-invasive plants to control knotweed and stabilize the soil. Knotweed seedlings do not compete well with other vegetation.. Prior to planting or seeding the area, it might be best to wait a full growing season to see if any native or non-invasive plants, which were stored in the seed bank, revegetate the area naturally. This will save you time and money. However, whether or not you decide to seed or plant, you must continue to monitor the area and treat resprouts or new invasions of knotweed as soon as they appear.

The following is a suggested list of native and/or non-native, non-invasive plants to plant in areas where knotweed grows. Consult your neighbors, local nurseries, garden clubs, or the internet for more suggested plantings. Always check first for the potential invasiveness of any new plant to be sure you don't give yourself more problems.



(suggested because they are fast growing):

•  Dogwoods (establish quickly)

•  Silky and Gray Dogwoods (aggressive spreaders)

•  Willows (establish quickly)

•  Birches

•  Alders

•  Poplars

•  Sycamore (grows quickly)

•  Ninebark

•  Sourgum

•  Black gum

•  Sweet gum

•  Aspen

•  Black locust

•  Blackcherry

•  Tulip poplar

•  Pin oak

•  White pine

•  Silver maple




(suggested because they are hardy, with dense branches and lots of leaves)

•  Viburnums (such as Arrowwood)

•  Shadbush

•  Bayberry

•  Chokeberry

•  Willows (plant near water bodies)

•  Box elder (grows in moist soils)

•  Sweet pepperbush (grows in moist soils)



Herbaceous vegetation

(suggested where winter ice removes woody vegetation)



•  Black-eyed susan

•  Black cohosh

•  Wild rye

•  Virginia Wild rye (perennial, tolerates shade, found in moist, wooded areas and riparian zones) *thick litter layer may prevent some seed germination

•  Riverbank Wild rye (grows well in scoured riverbanks)

•  Blue stems

•  Big Blue stem (deep, fibrous root system may give them some advantage)

•  Switchgrass (deep, fibrous root system may give them some advantage)

•  Indian grass

•  Joe-pye weed (perennial wildflower needing full sun, average to moist soils, tall to overgrow knotweed, showy)

•  New York Ironweed (perennial wildflower needing full sun, average to moist soils, tall to overgrow knotweed, showy)

•  Fowl Blue grass (perennial, normally found in wet areas) *thick litter layer may prevent some seed germination


Prepared by DRIPP (the Delaware River Invasive Plant Partnership) for the Sept. 27, 2003 Upper Delaware Knotweed Community Awareness Workshop. This list is only meant to suggest some of the many plant options that you could consider. Please contact your local nursery, garden club, or the internet for more information. To learn more about DRIPP, contact Joanne Steinhart, DRIPP Project Manager, at 570-643-7922,x12, jsteinhart@tnc.org.



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