How to Kill Bamboo Cane Growing in Your Back Yard

Written by kelsey erin shipman
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Bamboo is a plant that proliferates quickly, and if not controlled, it can overtake your yard or garden. Running bamboo plants put out underground rhizomes that sprout new shoots periodically. Because of these vast underground networks, bamboo is notoriously hard to kill. It works best to use several methods at once and repeat the processes over and over. Depending on the age and size of your bamboo patch, it might take several years to fully rid the area of bamboo.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Herbicide
  • Hand Saw
  • Pruning Shears
  • Lawnmower
  • Boiling Water
  • Shovel

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  1. 1

    Use herbicide. Cut bamboo stalks low to the ground and immediately paint an herbicide on the cut. You must apply the herbicide within 15 seconds in order for the sap to bring it into the plant. Even though this method is not usually effective, it may aid in killing bamboo when used in conjunction with other measures. Reapply on any new shoots.

  2. 2

    Mow frequently. After thoroughly cutting down all above ground bamboo stalks, continue to mow your bamboo plants as often as you mow your lawn. Depending on the size of the patch, new shoots will continue to grow for a year or more and should be cut down regularly.

  3. 3

    Dig up the roots. The most effective method for bamboo removal is also the most labour intensive. Cut down all bamboo shoots and dig up the entire root system. Depending on the age and size of your bamboo patch, the roots could reach several feet into the soil and be twice as wide as the patch.

  4. 4

    Pour boiling water on new shoots. Cut down all bamboo stalks. When new shoots arrive, pour boiling water directly on new shoots. This method must be done routinely to aid in bamboo control.

Tips and warnings

  • If bamboo is encroaching on your property from a neighbour's yard, build a barrier below ground to prevent the roots from spreading. Dig a trench 2 feet deep and place a plastic or metal sheet inside. Allow the barrier to stick up 6 inches above ground.

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