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How to Kill Bamboo With Salt

Running bamboo is an easily grown, fast-spreading grass that is often planted as a privacy screen. This type of bamboo can pose a problem for some homeowners. If you don't like it, it can be nearly impossible to get rid of. Salt is an effective plant killer; be careful using it because once an area is salted nothing -- no grass, no other plant life -- will grow there for many months and possibly years. Be prepared to put a patio or gravel over an area that has been salted.

Purchase enough salt to spread over the area that has your bamboo. Because bamboo grows via rhizomes underground, you will need to be able to penetrate the ground to get to them. It doesn't matter what kind of salt you buy. It can be pool salt, table salt or rock salt.

Cut the bamboo growth down as much as you can with a mower or machete. You'll want to be able to get the salt right on the ground around the base of the plants. Remove and burn the bamboo stalks.

Spread the salt around the area where the bamboo lives. It doesn't have to be a thick layer -- just make sure the area is well-covered. Alternatively, you can dilute a cup or more of salt in a gallon of water and water the affected area.

Water the area where you have sprinkled the salt to enourage it to seep into the soil.

Pull or dig up as many of the rhizomes as you can and throw them away. Don't compost them because they may still be well enough to grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt
  • Water
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About the Author

Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.