How to Kill Bamboo?

How to Kill Bamboo?

I have bamboo coming from my neighbours yard and it’s popping up all over the place! Is there any way to control this or eliminate the bamboo, because spraying it doesn't seem to work.


Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Basically there are 2 bamboo types “runners” and “clumpers”. Clumping bamboos don’t invade, and to remove a clumper, just dig it out and transplant the bamboo to a better suited location (they won’t spread). However in your case you are not dealing with a clumper but with a runner (invasive)!

Herbicides usually don’t work well on bamboo, probably because of their massive underground network, and it’s important to know a little more about the underground network to better understand the growth of bamboo.

All of the bamboo culms (or stalks) are interconnected underground by rhizomes which are are very dense and woody stems and produce new shoots upwards and roots downwards. Many people think that every bamboo culm is an individual “bamboo tree”, however, a bamboo grove is usually just one single plant and not a group of plants.

If the bamboo in your yard has come across from your neighbors yard, you could separate your grove from his by cutting the connecting rhizomes with a spade or a saw. The rhizomes are usually quite shallow and easy to locate, but the downside is that new shoots will continue to appear every single year. When your neighbors part is healthy and vigorous, the rhizomes will continue to grow back in your yard because they are still supported by the photosynthesis in the leaves of his part. So, in theory, you can only kill bamboo by eliminating the entire plant (also the part in your neighbours yard), which is probably not an option.

The best solution would be to dig a ditch and putting in a bamboo barrier instead of killing the entire bamboo plant. A “rhizome barrier” of 3 three feet deep is effective to stop or redirect the running bamboo.

Bamboo barriers can be concrete (at least three inches thick) or metal, or plastic. You should leave at least an inch above ground level to make it easier to find the rhizomes that try to escape over the top of the barrier. Check the bamboo barrier once a year, and cut off rhizomes that arch over the top.

Other effective bamboo barriers are ponds or streams.


Kimberly replied:

We have a large amount of bamboo however I have noticed while searching the backyard and cutting the visible root that in several patches of white clover the bamboo never grows. It will grow on the outer edge of the clover but never inside the patch. So this year we are buying clover seed and planting in the backyard hopefully it will stop it from spreading.


Mary Ann replied:

I am very interested in your comment about bamboo not growing in the middle of clover patches and would therefore like to know if your experiment worked through this growing season?