Never throw away or fly tip plant material or soil – under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence “to plant or otherwise encourage in the wild” the growth of Himalayan balsam
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) must be contacted before using chemicals in or near water.
Take care not to touch the plant as the seeds pods will explode
Be careful not to transport seeds to new sites
Removal of plant material off site must be undertaken by a licenced carrier
Do's & Don'ts
Best Methods of Control
Leaves are spear-shaped with a dark red midrib and grow up to 150mm long
Finely serrated edges
Can grow up to 3 metres tall
Seed pods are around 2.5cm long. Hanging on red stalks. When ripe they explode when touched
Leaves grow in whorls of three.
Pink slipper shaped flowers (rarely white) on long stalks. Flowers June April
Key ID Features
Himalayan balsam spreads through the production of seeds which it catapults up to 7 metres away with its explosive seed pods. The plant material does not re-generate into a new plant.
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens Glandulifera)
Stems are hollow and jointed, sappy and brittle, pinky-red colour.
Often grows in dense stands
Spraying with a commercial glyphosate-based chemical is effective with Himalayan balsam being controlled in 2-3 years. The plant should be sprayed when the leaves are fully out but before flowering. Any re-growth can be sprayed later in the season
Cutting stems or pulling with roots before the plant sets seed is succesful. Grazing is an efficient way of controlling Himalayan balsam
Himalayan balsam can be disposed of by leaving the plants out to dry or by burning.