I have two different bamboo problems.
First is one of my neighbors has a bamboo plant, that occasionally likes to
send a cane onto our side of the fence, this is a clumping variety, so
containing it, is usually a pruning of the cane.
The second problem is much more difficult. The previous owners had planted a
variety of bamboo that sends runners. They had planted it in a buried pot,
but of course it escaped the containment attempts. We've since removed the
plant, but have been deal with the thousands of segmented runners, my
strategy so far has been to spray the canes with round-up, wait a few days,
then dig up as much of the runner as I can find.
Anyone have any better suggestions? It's been 2 years now, and I don't know
how many runner segments still have a will to survive.
Use it to build scaffolding, or treat skin disorders, or a thousand other
(a strange interview recorded off Radio Japan with a bamboo expert)
I've tried spraying round up on the leaves/canes and letting it die back, it
doesn't work. The leaves die back, and it sprouts new leaves along with more
canes. Spaying and waiting a few days seems to produce the longest results.
The shock produced by round up, plus digging up as many roots as i can find
causes the bamboo to use up as much of it's stored energy. But in the
interest of an experiment, I've left a patch of bamboo alone, after
spraying. Let's see if the directions work this time.
If you must use Roundup, here is a suggestion. Dilute it to only
75% of its usual strength. That keeps it from killing too quickly,
from killing top growth before it has a chance to translocate
throughout the roots and runners. From your first paragraph above,
you are indeed killing the top growth without reaching the
This method, however, requires that you respray about once every
1-2 months. About 3 weeks after each spraying, use a high-nitrogen
fertilizer in the area and water thoroughly to encourage new bamboo
growth. That new growth is most susceptible to absorbing and
When you do not get any new growth 2 months after the last
spraying, you are done.
Since you are trying to kill only one type of plant and not a broad
spectrum of plants, don't use a broad spectrum herbicide such as
Roundup. (No, I'm not against Roundup. I use it myself -- but
only for general cleanup of an area, not for only one kind of
Bamboo is a grass. Go to a comprehensive nursery and get a grass
killer. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.
Running kinds of bamboo are a pain to kill off. Even translocating
herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup) kill only the top growth, not the
runners. If you keep killing or removing top growth, eventually you
will starve the runners. If this is too slow for you, digging them up
is the fastest way.
Way back when...before Roundup came on the scene...I had difficulty getting
rid of another plant with rhizomes - bermuda grass. Finally stumbled across
vapam, which did a bang up job. Of course, it killed everything else as
well. Make sure you follow directions.
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