The Q&A Archives: Bamboo

Question: I just moved into a new house that has some Bamboo (possibly Bambusa ventricosa but I'm not sure - it is about 16' tall, green stocks and has runners) planted adjacient to it. As it would appear to be invasive I am wondering if it could cause damage to my concrete foundation or the drainage pipes for the house?

Answer: A running bamboo could possibly cause problems -- if there is a weakness in a foundation or a pipe then the plant could exacerbate that. You can control the bamboo by installing a root barrier. The barrier material should be sturdy and smooth sided. The barrier should go down several feet and installed at an angle leaning outward at the top. When the runners come up against it they will be directed upward to the surface where you can cut off the growth tips. You can also try mowing around the perimeter of the bamboo stand on a frequent regular basis to prevent it expanding.

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