Himalayan Balsam Control

Why control Himalayan Balsam?

Himalayan Balsam is an Invasive plant and should be controlled in order to preserve our natural environment and to fulfil our Legal duties.

When Himalayan Balsam grows near rivers it quickly spreads.  Seeds travel down the river and can germinate under water.  Large dense areas out grow native species, and can impede flow rate during high rainfall.  During winter, when the plant dies back, it leaves the ground sparse and unstable increasing the risk of erosion.

It is illegal to plant or allow Himalayan Balsam to grow in the wild and is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  If you have Himalayan Balsam growing in your garden, you must control it in order that it does not spread.

About

Himalayan Balsam was brought to the Uk in 1839 by the Victorians as an Ornamental plant, along with other invasive species  such as Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed.  It was popular due to it “Invasive Splendor” meaning it was affordable to all as only a few seeds would allow you to establish an ornate garden.  Within 10 years, it was out of control, and growing vigorously in the wild.  Today, it has spread throughout much of the UK, out competing our native plants.


Identifying

Identifying Himalayan Balsam is quite easy during its growing season.  It can grow 1-2 metres high with soft green or red tinged stems.

 

 Its leaves are finely serrated and are 5 – 23cm long.

During its flowering season, June – October, it produces pink flowers in the shape of a Policeman’s Helmet. (also known as).  The flowers produce a high amounts of nector, making it very attractive to pollinating insects such as bees.

Once flowered, seed pods are formed.  When the seeds are ripe, the pods explode upon contact, spreading seeds within a 7 metre radius.  Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds.

If you have Himalayan Balsam growing on your property or land, and would like a free no obligation quote or advise, please do not hesitate to contact us today.