Black bamboo forest
How to kill bamboo plants

While many bamboo plants are undeniably graceful and ornamental, given favorable conditions they can end up being aggressively invasive. Plant a vigorous running species in a confined area without considering the consequences and you can end up with a rampaging thug growing through ornamental borders, pristine lawns and even pathways.

Bamboo roots
Bamboo roots
Cutting back the culms (canes) will clear a site but if you leave then root system unmolested then you are just building up to more problems for the future.

The trouble is that the successful eradication of vigorous bamboo will take time, patience and more often than not - money!

Physical control

The simplest method to remove bamboo is to remove the cums and then proceed to carefully dig out the entire root system. Of course, this can be difficult with very large plants, or on heavy soil.

Furthermore, any significant pieces of root that are left in the ground will eventually re-established as new plants later on.

Bamboo growing spikes emerging from the soil
Bamboo growing spikes
Chemical control

If you want to save time and energy then consider spraying your bamboo with an effective herbicide such as glyphosate. Of course the larger the plant, the more difficult it will be to completely kill it, and and you may require several applications of weed killer to succeed.

Smaller plants will be relatively simple to apply a weed killer to. Taller plants with finger width culms can be bent over onto plastic sheeting and secured to the ground. They will then be ready for spraying with a reduced risk of other plants of turf becoming sprayed also.

For culms thicker than your thumb it may not be possible to bend them over to ground level. In this case cut the canes to ground level and treat with a stump and root killer containing glyphosate. Treat foliage of any regrowth with another application of weedkiller and repeat on any subsequent growth.

For related articles click onto the following links:
Bamboo Control

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