How to Stunt or Kill Bamboo


Bamboo varieties are divided into two types; runners and clumpers. Clumpers are not invasive and can simply be removed by being dug out from the ground. Runners, on the other hand, will spread, so it is often desirable to kill the plant. According to the American Bamboo Society, herbicides are ineffective at killing bamboo, so use a gentler, natural method to rid your yard of this invasive plant. Killing the plant takes some time; however, the plant will be stunted during the process.

Step 1

Clip off the stalks of the bamboo. The stalks of the bamboo grow in a clump called a grove. This grove is one plant that interconnected below the ground by stems called rhizomes. Use a pair of pruning shears to cut all stalks from the plant.

Step 2

Cut the bamboo grove to the ground. Use a spade or saw to cut pieces of the grove apart until all pieces of the grove above the ground are removed.

Step 3

Dispose of stalks and grove remains in a trash container.

Step 4

Water the plant until the soil around the plant is well saturated.

Step 5

Fertilize the plant by applying 2 inches of manure in a circle around the planting. Cover the area with mulch. Watering and fertilizing the plant will cause new growth.

Step 6

Cut down the grove again after new shoots emerge from the rhizomes. Repeat cutting the plant to the ground every time there is new growth. Eventually this will exhaust the plant and the plant will stop sending up shoots.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Spade
  • Saw


  • American Bamboo Society: Controlling Bamboo
  • Seattle Bamboo
Keywords: growing bamboo, kill bamboo, stunt bamboo

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.