The Q&A Archives: How To Kill Bamboo

Question: Bamboo has invaded my garden from a neighbors garden. I am afraid it will take over my property. I can't syop it and it has become a full time job. HELP!

Answer: A running bamboo can be a pest. Unfortunately, it really is difficult to stop it especially after mild winters fail to slow them down. One method is to keep a lawn area adjacent to it so it can be mowed off regularly as you mow the lawn. This should stop the new spring shoots each year, although they can run quite a distance underground before popping up. Another method is to install an underground barrier (concrete, metal sheeting, or even the sturdy plastic "bamboo barrier" sold for the specific purpose) about three feet deep and at an angle leaning away from the plant so as to direct or deflect the roving shoots upward. The shoots should then emerge in a predictable location where they can be cut off on a regular basis. You may be able to slow it down by using an herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate applied to the bamboo foliage during the summer. Last but not least is to try to dig it out but this is a huge job. You might also want to talk to your neighbor about the problem and see if they would be willing to work on it with you.

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