Rhododendrons Could be Criminalised

Many gardeners may find themselves on the wrong side of the law if proposed EU legislation is pushed through in a vote this April.

The Royal Horticultural Society has voiced concerns about new rules on foreign plant species that will be debated next month. This includes rhododendrons and other so-called “invasive species”.

RHS experts are worried that the new rules could inadvertently criminalise many gardening enthusiasts who keep rhododendrons and other “innocuous” garden favourites.

The rules are intended to stem the stream of damaging, non-native species into European ecosystems, with the ban going far beyond existing legislation currently in place in England. Experts have highlighted Japanese knotweed as being a particular nuisance.

Although it is not completely clear which species will be banned, the RHS and millions of green-fingered enthusiasts will be hoping that the EU exercise restraint and common sense when making their final decision.