How to Kill Bamboo Cane Growing in Your Back Yard


In landscapes across the country, landscapers plant bamboo because it is attractive and easy to care for. But once established, bamboo can be hard to control or eliminate. Worse yet, bamboo will not respect fence lines, and can invade from neighboring yards. The creeping rhizomes burrow under fences and even deeply sunk concrete barriers. Bamboo is also immune to most broad spectrum herbicides. The key to removing bamboo from a yard is to kill the roots.

Step 1

Dig up bamboo using a shovel, garden hoe and mattock. This process is known as grubbing out a plant.

Step 2

Dig out any remaining roots with a garden rake.

Step 3

Watch for any emerging bamboo that will spring up from roots that you may have missed.

Step 4

Treat bamboo shoots with a broad spectrum herbicide containing glyphosate. Do not delay treating young shoots. The older shoots become, the more resistant they grow toward herbicidal treatments. Pour boiling water over new shoots to kill them for a more organic method than herbicide.

Step 5

Wait for young shoots to die and turn brown. Dig up the dead shoots and rhizomes.

Step 6

Mow any remaining new shoots down to the ground using the lowest setting on your mower. Mow over bamboo patches once weekly, as often as you mow your lawn.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear protective clothing and breathing protection when working with herbicides. Take a shower immediately after handling them.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Mattock
  • Rake
  • Herbicide


  • Mississippi State University Extension: Tough, Unwanted Plants Can Be Difficult to Battle
  • Gardening Know How: How To Kill Bamboo Plants and Control Bamboo Spread
  • Thrifty Fun: Getting Rid of Bamboo

Who Can Help

  • American Bamboo Society: Controlling Bamboo
Keywords: eradicating bamboo, eliminating invasive bamboo, killing invasive plants

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."