You can construct an effective barrier out of heavy plastic that is buried at least two feet in the soil. Angle the plastic outward and upward from the clump so any rhizomes that contact it will be forced to grow upward toward the soil surface. Your barrier must be completely free of cracks or voids, and any seams must be secured with a strip of stainless steel on both sides of the plastic that is riveted in place. The barrier must be checked and maintained if it is to function as an effective barrier. Rhizomes may attempt to jump the surface by growing over the lip of the barrier, and these must be removed before they invade the surrounding area.
Mowing the new shoots of bamboo in spring is effective in removing the
top growth but will not stop the spread of the rhizomes. Annual trenching
around the clump and careful removal of all traces of the rhizomes will
contain it as well.
there any bamboo species that spread more slowly than others?
Not all bamboos are invasive. Clump-forming Fargesia, for instance,
really doesn't spread much and coexists nicely with other plants.
is smaller than its running relatives and fits very nicely into smaller
gardens. It adds a lovely, graceful feeling to the garden and it
is relatively free of diseases and pests.
heard that in Asia bamboo periodically flowers and then dies. Will
my bamboo flower and die? If so, when?
All bamboos are monocarpic plants with similar genetic makeup, flower
simultaneously, and die after flowering; although there is no way to know
for sure when it will happen, your bamboo will someday flower and die.
Bamboo of the same species may flower in different years in different locations
within their native range, so all of the bamboos of a given species do
not necessarily flower in the same year. Large quantities of seeds
are produced when this happens, so bamboo perpetuates itself in the wild.
neighbor's bamboo is invading my yard. How can I kill the part that
is on my property?
It will be very difficult for you to kill only the portion of the plant that has stepped over the property line. To selectively kill only part of the plant, you will need to first isolate it by digging a trench along the property line to break the rhizome connections to the rest of the plant. You can then cut the bamboo and keep mowing it until all the food reserves in the rhizomes are used up and the bamboo is no longer able to grow new shoots. Bamboo is not easily killed by most herbicides, although certain formulations of glyphosate are labeled for bamboo.
If you succeed in killing your part of the clump, you will need to erect
a barrier of some kind to prevent it from spreading into your property
Last Updated May 13, 2002
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