The Best Way to Kill a Bamboo Plant

Updated November 22, 2016

You may be tired of the bamboo in your landscaping or have inherited the bamboo when you bought your home or maybe your neighbour's bamboo has invaded your yard. Regardless of the reason, you need to kill the bamboo to get rid of it. Complete eradication of bamboo can be done without the use of harsh toxic chemicals, but it will take time.

Cook It

This is a very effective, environmentally friendly method of ridding your yard of bamboo, particularly if done during the summer. First cut the bamboo down as close to the ground as you can. Spread a thick layer of high nitrogen lawn fertiliser over the area where the bamboo is. Next cover the area with clear plastic sheeting and secure the plastic around the edges. The sun will be intensified through the plastic and cook the sprouting bamboo. The fertiliser contributes to the heat in this environment and stimulates the growth of the bamboo which uses up the energy reserves in the plant's roots and rhizomes. Unable to replace those reserves because the sprouts keep dying, the bamboo will eventually die.

Dig It

The reason bamboo is so difficult to completely remove from landscaping is because it spreads through its root system and rhizomes. Begin by cutting down the bamboo plants as close to the ground as possible. Dig up the bamboo and as much of the root system and rhizomes as you can. It will be impossible to extract all of these. Be sure to dispose of the dug up bamboo where it cannot re-establish itself.

Fill in where you dug up the bamboo and wait for the new shoots to appear. If you pour boiling water on the shoots, the boiling water will kill the shoot and root, plus any nearby vegetation the water comes in contact with. You must continue to do this as long as you see bamboo shoots sprouting up.

Or, you can repeatedly mow the shoots down with your mower set on the lowest setting. By mowing the tops of the shoots off close to the ground you are starving the plant and roots from receiving the photosynthesis it must have to produce more root energy. Once the bamboo has exhausted its root energy supply, the plant will die . Both the boiling water and mowing method, combined or used individually, will eventually rid your yard of bamboo, but it may take a year or two.

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